Attendant of Sirio e Libanes Restaurant behind a counter filled with sfihas and kibes – in SAARA market, Downtown Rio de Janeiro. Typical machines for cooling/circulating refreshments on the background and signs indicating the prices of goods complete the photographic composition.
In the 1950’s, when Rio de Janeiro was still the capital of Brazil, the growing city attracted many immigrants from Lebanon, looking for business opportunities and a more stable lifestyle. On that period Lebanon was going through hard times, and Rio was a prospering, vibrant city, open to new cultures and ideas.
Many of the Lebanese migrants that settled in Rio on that time became business owners, helping the cultural diversity of the city. They built their lives through hard work and prospered to become influential not only in the business spheres, but also in the Brazilian Political area. For instance, the parents of Brazilian President Michel Temer, who came to power in 2016, are from Lebanon.
In 2016 Rio sees another wave of immigrants from the East Mediterranean area, but this time, of Syrian Origins.
Photo taken on 03/Aug/2016.