DETROIT - Mr. Bilal Kabalan was appointed by the Lebanese Foreign Ministry as the new Consul General of Lebanon to head the Lebanese mission in Detroit. Mr. Kabalan will succeed Mr. Houssam Diab who was appointed to the same position as an Acting Consul General in February 2011. Mr. Diab will move to his new post in Muscat as the Lebanese Ambassador to the country of Oman, a member state of the Gulf Cooperation Council.
Lebanon has one embassy based in Washington, D.C., and three consulate general offices in the United States, New York, Los Angeles and Detroit; each consulate covers a specific region. The Detroit Consulate General covers Michigan, Kentucky, Illinois, Ohio, Indiana, Minnesota, Iowa, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota, Wisconsin, West Virginia, Missouri, and Kansas.
The new Consul General like his predecssor is coming onto the job with a great deal of experience that he acquired through positions he assumed in other Lebanese missions in various world capitals.
Prior to his current position in Detroit, and since June 2008 Mr. Kabalan served as a high ranking diplomat at the Lebanese Embassy in Cairo. He also served as an Alternate Representative of Lebanon to the League of Arab States, which has its permenant headquarters in the Eyptian capital.
Mr. Kabalan witnessed first-hand the birth of the "Arab Spring" and the historic change in Egypt that ended more than three decades of President Hosni Mubarak’s rule.
He also was privy to back door discussions on the current Syrian crisis during deliberations of Arab League members as well as the Libyan revolution that toppled Muammar Gaddafi’s regime.
Prior to that Mr. Kabalan served in Vienna for two years after serving as a consul at the Lebanese Embassy in Washington from April 1999 through January 2004. He also was in charge of the European Department at the Lebanese Foreign Ministry in Beirut through August 2006.
He received his undergraduate degrees in Geography and History from the American University of Beirut and the Jesuit University in Lebanon. He received his MBA from DeVry University in Maryland.
Mr. Kabalan has an ambitious agenda to share with the Lebanese local community. He told The Arab American News that he would like to work with community organizations and leaders to bridge the gaps that separate the Lebanese community here which have been affected by sharp divisions back home along sectarian and religious lines.
Mr. Kabalan will encourage the younger generation to further engage in the main society and build coalitions to serve their society here, protect their community interests and serve their country of origin by improving the ties that bind the two nations.
He encourages Lebanese Americans to visit and invest in Lebanon and invite their friends to discover the beauty of their homeland.
Mr. Kabalan is married to Laura Mourad who is a chiropractor; they have two daughters six and three years old.