Reconnect with your roots
BTR participants experience every dimension of Lebanon. Beyond tourism, they're exposed to Lebanon's natural beauty, rich culture, historical significance, and political landscape for free, outside of airfare.
This year's Back to Roots trip will be taking place from Sunday, June 26 - Sunday, July 10, 2016.
What You’ll Do During These Two Weeks
Engage with young adults of the Lebanese Diaspora
with Lebanon on a multi-faceted level.
Take part in daily excursions, meetings with influential Lebanese leaders, and captivating lectures with Lebanese scholars.
Cultivate a love for Lebanon and become well-informed, passionate ambassadors for the Land of the Cedars.
Our 3 Pillars
What you need to know
This two-week immersion program will help you
engage, learn, and connect with Lebanese society.
Every year, BTR participants learn about social enterprises by and for Lebanese that make a difference in Lebanon. These inspirational initiatives are what keep Lebanon moving, and we want our participants to know about them. But it doesn't end there: we connect Back to Roots alumni with volunteer and internship opportunities, both in Lebanon and in the US and Canada, to make sure they continue to robustly engage with Lebanon.
BTR participants learn about Lebanon’s social, economic, and political dynamics from the country’s stakeholders, including NGOs, activists, political players, and more. Each edition, we tailor our activities based on the expressed interests of participants, and we make every moment a learning moment. Armed with this knowledge, our participants are empowered to educate those around them once back in the US and Canada.
Our focus on connectivity is central: we want to connect the youth of the Lebanese diaspora with their heritage so they can build a real, lasting relationship with Lebanon. But we also want to bridge Lebanon’s rich past with its promising future, and create friendships among Lebanese youth abroad to establish social and professional networks. By deepening their roots in Lebanon, participants can extend their branches.
A Global Community
Meet our team leaders
Executive Director - Washington, D.C.
Gustave is Back to Roots’ Executive Director. Along with other passionate young adults of the Lebanese diaspora, he founded Back to Roots in 2010 and is so excited to see how far the program has come. Gustave is a Strategy & Technology consultant in the Washington D.C. area with expertise in Transportation Engineering and Planning. Gustave maintains a leading social, political and educational activism for his dear homeland through a tireless involvement with various organizations.
- Cyber Dust +gcordahi
Assistant Director - Lebanon
Maya is Back to Roots' Assistant Director in Lebanon, where she plans BTR editions and gets to watch the magic happen first-hand. After taking part in BTR's pilot edition in 2010, Maya was determined to live in Beirut. She moved from Washington, D.C. to Lebanon in 2013 to work as a print journalist, and has been having the time of her life discovering Lebanon every day.
Assistant Director - US, Michigan
Anthony is Back to Roots' Assistant Director in North America, where he coordinates every step of the program year in and year out. After taking part in BTR’s 2012 edition, Anthony was inspired by the program and wanted others to experience Lebanon as he did. He returned to Lebanon to lead BTR's 2013 edition through the program. A teacher at heart, he currently dedicates his life to shaping the young minds of Detroit for a better tomorrow. He can't wait to meet the next round of Cedar Leaders each year!
Design Chair - California
Stephanie is Back to Roots’ Design Chair. She is the founder of Studio Issa, a web design agency with offices in Providence & San Diego. As a participant of BTR's 2014 edition, Stephanie felt inspired by the many progressive and philanthropic initiatives happening around Lebanon. More specifically, initiatives in the design and art industries. Her goal is to support BTR from a design and online marketing standpoint. BONUS: Stephanie and her team at Studio Issa handcrafted the redesign of this website!
The Proof is in the Pudding
What past participants have to say
BTR exceeded my expectations in every way and has made me more engaged with my home country than ever before. Prior to BTR, I had a distant relationship with my Lebanese heritage. The trip engaged me head on with the culture and I have never been more proud to be Lebanese. After talking with so many phenomenal Lebanese people, I will use their passion and resilience in whichever career I choose in order to make a better name for Lebanese-Americans.
Roy I. Louisiana, USA
Back to Roots is a cause so valuable and so pure, that I am proud to serve it and give everything I have to it.
Misha A. Montreal, Canada
It was the most beautiful and enriching experience in my life, the best summer I ever had. It is a life-changing trip, where you meet amazing people in amazing surroundings.
Olivia D. Georgia, USA
Pride and appreciation for your culture is not something that can be taught, but has to be lived and experienced firsthand—which is exactly what BTR makes possible!