Migration & Health
From 2014 to 2015 the Khayrallah Center collected death certificates for Lebanese-Americans who passed away between 1900 and 1949. Death certificates are a rich source of social and medical history and constitute the first step in an ongoing unique and pioneering research project to document the impact of migration on the health of the Lebanese-American community. Using this data we collated and analyzed statistical and genealogical information about immigrants.
- Statistical information such as age, location, and cause of death allow us to examine the impact of migration on the health of individuals and the community. We hope to answer questions about how changes in diet, work, social and physical dislocation, as well as accessibility and relationship to medical care shaped the health of the community.
- Genealogical information such as name, country residence, and birthplace tell us about immigration patterns and family relationships within this country, as well as the social mobility of the community and its integration into the larger society.
We have visualized our initial findings to make them accessible to the general public, Lebanese-Americans and researchers. In our visualizations we have explored regional variations, occupation and illness, epidemic diseases in the community, among other topics and questions. We hope that you will find this material useful and look forward to your feedback and help in this critical project.
How Did Migration Affect the Health of the Early Lebanese-American Community
To answer this question researchers at the Khayrallah Center have been studied the impact of migration on the health of Lebanese immigrants between 1922 and 1949 using death certificates, national mortality statistics, and census data to compare the prevalence of influenza, pneumonia, tuberculosis, heart diseases, and cerebrovascular diseases (stroke) among Lebanese American communities and the general United States population.
Spanish Flu Grips Vermont
In 1918, one of the most devastating pandemics in history ravaged the world. Roughly three to five percent of the global population died, or fifty to one hundred million people. By some estimates this is more people than were killed by the Black Death. Examining Lebanese immigrants affected in Vermont, we see the flu’s detrimental impact on young lives and families striving to establish themselves in America.
Tragedy Strikes a Lebanese Community, 1918
On the windy evening of Saturday, March 9, 1918, hundreds, including Rosa Azar and Tommy and Matry Thomas, gathered at the Pastime Theater to watch the silent film, “The Quiet Man.” There was one standing room only at the Winchester, Kentucky theater. Even though it could hold 500 seated, at least 600 were in attendance. No one in the town imagined or would ever forget the tragedy that would soon occur.
What Death Certificates Tell Us About the Lives of Lebanese
The goal of the Khayrallah Center is to shed light on the important contribution of Lebanese-Americans. We investigated death certificates as yet another primary source that could help us understand the whole picture of the community.
Mortality of Lebanese Immigrants in the US, 1900-1949