Before talking about the President of the Dominican Republic, Luis Abinader, who is of Lebanese descent from the town of Baskinta, Lebanon, let us first focus on the town of Baskinta, known as “Moon’s neighbor.” Baskinta has a long history, it lies at the foot of Mount Sannine and has been an inspiration to poets and writers. Residents of Baskinta are proud of their wonderful land, mountains and hills, so they always sing the Arabic song: نحنا والقمر جيران بيتو خلف تلالنا وبيطلع من قبالناWe and the Moon are neighbors which resides behind our hills and rises from our mountains. Baskinta, which means “house of justice,” was the first residence of the Phoenicians, and then of the Greek and Roman invaders. Later on it became the home of the princes of the Maradas who made it a base for the country which was later called Keserwan in relation to “Kesra,” the first of the princes of Baskinta.

  • Baskinta’s Rebel….ثائربسكنتا

The natives of Baskinta narrate the history of Baskinta’s Rebel as the following: Naoum Labaki was revolting from the town of Baabdat and was plotting against the Ottoman occupation. He fled to Baskinta, where he formed a force of men, including Tanios Abu Nader. Naoum and his armed men confronted the Ottoman occupational forces in the area of Jreed, overcame them, and prevented their invasion into the Baskinta area. As a reminder, in the Valley of Skulls in Baskinta, there is an inaccessible cave called the Cave of Tanios Abu Nader.  In short, Baskinta is full of historical events that could fill volumes of studies on the topic of this proud town.

The main question remains: Where is Baskinta located on the Lebanese Map? Baskinta rises 1,250 meters above the Mediterranean sea level, with some of its peaks reaching approximately 2,625 meters, and occupies an area of 48 square kilometers. Baskinta is mainly irrigated from the spring of honey along with many other springs, is the town that gave birth to the late writer Michael Naimy and today it is the hometown to the President of the Dominican Republic, Luis Abinader.

  • Who is President Luis Abinader?

In 1898, Joseph Sassin Abinader and his Lebanese wife Esther Wasaf immigrated from Baskinta to the Dominican Republic.  Mr. and Mrs. Joseph Abinader are the  grandparents of Father Jose Abinader, who is the  father of Luis Abinader. Jose Abinader became Senator Abinader in the Dominican Republic, where he founded a university. His son, Luis Abinader, who today became President of the Dominican Republic, was born in 1967. He completed his education at Dominican universities then moved to study at Harvard University in the United States of America where he graduated with a degree in economics. He is married to Raquel Arbaje Soni of Lebanese origin, has three daughters, and currently leads a group active in tourism projects and cement factories. He is also the founder of the modern revolutionary party in the Dominican Republic and has run for the party.

Although Luis Abinader is the fifth president of the Dominican Republic, he is the first president to bear the name Corona. He is known as Luis Rodolfo Abinader Corona, in compliance with a tradition in some Latin American countries where the father’s family name is placed after the first name and the mother’s family name follows after. Although President Luis Abinader is unfamiliar with the Arabic language. He visited Lebanon in 2017 to participate in the Lebanese Diaspora Energy Conference in Beirut, where he announced to the press that the Dominican Republic is home to approximately 100,000 people of Lebanese descent and that his heart skips a beat each time he mentions Lebanon. During his stay, he also visited his ancestor hometown Baskinta.

  • Where is the Dominican Republic located?

The Dominican Republic is a country in Central America that shares the island of ESPANOLA with the state of Haiti in the Caribbean and has a population of approximately 11 million people.

Many difficulties will face the president-elect. Among which, the Corona epidemic where many positive cases and deaths have been recorded. Moreover, according to the local newspaper Diario Libre, nearly one million employees lost their jobs and the virus has caused paralysis in the tourism sector which contributes to 10% of the national revenue for the strongest economy among the Islands of the Antilles in the Caribbean. It is worth noting that, much like the United States of America, the presidential term in the Dominican Republic is four years. President Luis Abinader is against corruption and widespread chaos, is close to the poor, and enjoys the love of the people for him.

  • The word of The Lebanon Times magazine.

All things considered, we, as the Lebanese community, should feel obligated to bow down in respect to the Lebanese immigrants who plant Cedar trees in every country they settle in. This idea is what we have been calling for since the arrival of The Lebanon Times Magazine in Houston, Texas: that all Arab communities should take an active role in social and political works around the globe. Therefore, let President Abinader be a role model to build a foundation for the second, third, and fourth generations of Arab communities since 95% of Arab descendants will never go back to live in their homeland because they are deep rooted in their current countries of residence. To reiterate, please get involved socially, politically and economically in all fields, raise the name of your countries, and be the ambassadors of your country.

In recognition of President Luis Abinader representing his country’s flag in the presidency of the Dominican Republic, The Lebanon Times Magazine presents him with the most valuable asset we have, the cover of The Lebanon Times Magazine. Congratulations!