I don't know if this helps, but I'll pass it along anyway. My family went to panama in the 30's and then settled in Colombia in the 40's.
I know that they come from a small town called minya (I don't know if the spelling is right), near Tripoli.
There are a bunch of lebanese immigrants who went to mexico, central america and the carribean rim of south america in the 30's and 40's. I don't know the reason but I've run into several half or part lebanese/mexican-honduran-venezuelan-etc over the years with similar stories.
A final note-I went to the lebanese consulate in 1989 to try to find some background info on the name. I was told that it goes across both muslim and christian faiths. The name means blacksmith or ironworker; if there was a person in the town that worked with metals or made metal materials then he was called bitar.
I hope this info was useful.
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