Myrurgia Mutueel brought this suitcase to one of our workshops. “I bought this suitcase 30 years ago at El Nilo de Egipto in Otrobanda, a store that closed a long time ago. My love for antique objects was huge at the time, it was a way for me to remember my childhood in my grandmother’s house. At El Nilo they sold many objects with old models. The owner was of Lebanese descent, I think this suitcase came from the Middle East.”

Immigration to Curaçao rose at the beginning of the 20th century as the island shifted from an agricultural to an industrial society. The first Lebanese arrived in that period. Historically the Lebanese diaspora was trade-oriented. They were all merchants selling their products from house to house and in later years from their stores. Their businesses went (and still go) from bakeries to restaurants and furniture stores. Some of their descendants became active in politics and civil service.

“Historically the Lebanese diaspora was trade-oriented.”