They left their native lands in search of work, religious and political freedom, and a better life for their families. Drawn by industry, land and the promise of community, they found their way to Central Illinois. Bringing little other than their cultural traditions and values, they embraced this land of opportunity and helped shape a new society. They are the major immigrant groups who became THE NEW PEORIANS.
In the LEBANESE, members of the Couri, Alwan and Unes families share tales of their ancestors and how they established themselves in Central Illinois while always maintaining their culture’s strong traditions of family, honor and respect. The program includes historical commentary by Monica Vest Wheeler and personal interviews with Congressman Ray LaHood and Peoria Mayor Jim Maloof.
Production of THE NEW PEORIANS was made possible in part by David and Sharyn Joseph with support from the WTVP Klystron Society.