The Southern Federation of Syrian Lebanese American Clubs is
an organization of heritage established in 1931 by first-generation
Syrian Lebanese descent. Their mission was to give to the United
States a pure Americanism with their fullest loyalty and undying
allegiance, because America provided them and their posterity
a new life of hope --- a hope founded upon principles of freedom,
equality and opportunity.
The Federation is an organization which combines pure Americanism
with the traditions of Syria and Lebanon: strong traditions
of belief in God, sense of family, love of heritage and willingness
to serve each other. It is an organization which honors the
memory of its illustrious ancestors and exalts the great contributions
which its race has made to mankind.
The Federation recognizes the diverse religious and political
beliefs of its members and therefore the Federation does not
promote or foster any sectarian, religious or political movements.
"I believe in you, And I believe
in your destiny. I believe that you are contributors to this
I believe that you have inherited from your
forefathers an ancient dream, a song, a prophecy, which you
can proudly lay as a gift of gratitude upon the lap of America.
I believe that you can say to the founders
of this great nation, "Here I am, a youth, a young tree
whose roots were plucked from the hills of Lebanon, yet I am
deeply rooted here, and I would be fruitful."
I believe that even as your fathers came to
this land to produce riches, you were born here to produce riches
by intelligence, by labor.
I believe that it is in you to be good citizens.
And what is it to be a good citizen? It is to acknowledge the
other person's rights before asserting your own, but always
to be conscious of your own. It is to be free in word and deed,
but it is also to know that your freedom is subject to the other
person's freedom. It is to create the useful and beautiful with
your own hands, and to admire what others have created in love
and with faith. It is to produce by labor and only by labor
and to spend less than you have produced that your children
may not be dependent upon the state for support when you are
no more. It is to stand before the towers of New York and Washington,
Chicago and San Francisco saying in your heart, `I am the descendant
of a people that builded Damascus and Byblos, and Tyre and Sidon
and Antioch, and now I am here to build with you, and with a
You should be proud of being an American, but you should also
be proud that your fathers and mothers came from a land upon
which God laid His gracious hand and raised His messengers."
-- Kahlil Gibran