The Lebanese who emigrated in the early 1900's left from the port of Beirut to Marseille in France and from there, by train to St. Nazaire or Le Havre to cross the Atlantic to New York. Many of my relatives took this route and talked about it at length, until they died. Others have left Beirut for Alexandria and Tangiers before crossing to Europe and then to America. The port of Tripoli was never an important port-o-call under the Ottomans.
It was common for family and friends to accompany the traveling passengers on a small boat to the liner that weighed anchor in deeper waters. They would spend several hours on board to bid them farewell before returning to the pier. The voyage from Beirut to New York would sometimes take about 4 weeks, depending on the weather. Passengers suffered from motion sickness and other illnesses related to the squalid conditions on board. Not all travelers could afford first class! Many of the Lebanese who perished on the Titanic were poor immigrants.
(By the way, Zahle is a well-known Lebanese city in the Beqaa Valley.)
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