The Lebanese Roots of the Maronite Church

Lady of the Cedars pic
Lady of the Cedars

Houston restaurateur Assad Boulos has over 20 years of experience in managing the daily business functions of a variety of restaurants and retail venues. His current venture is Juan Parilla, a high-end Colombian eating establishment. Aside from work, Assad Boulos regularly contributes his time and resources to his church, Our Lady of the Cedars.

Our Lady of the Cedars is a Maronite Church of the Eastern Catholic Church tradition. It was established in Houston in 1991 by Father Milad T. Yaghi and is known for its strong Lebanese community.

The origins of the Maronite Church date back to the fourth century when St. Maron,
a Syrian hermit, started drawing a number of followers who were anxious to separate themselves from a growing controversy with the church in Antioch. His followers, who became known as Maronites, eventually sought refuge in the mountains of Lebanon under the cedar trees. They actively sought to spread Christianity to the local people, and were quite successful in expanding their following.

Throughout the centuries, the Maronite church resisted numerous advances by Muslim invaders, holding fast to their beliefs and traditions in spite of intense persecution. Even today, the Maronite tradition is central to the Lebanese culture.


New Colombian Restaurant in Houston’s Uptown District

Juan Parilla pic
Juan Parilla

Assad Boulos, a restaurateur in Houston, Texas, has used his extensive management experience to oversee business operations at a number of restaurants and retail ventures across Houston. Juan Parilla, a smart Colombian restaurant located in the heart of Houston’s Uptown District, is Assad Boulos’ current venture.

The Uptown District in Houston was established in 1987 when major development projects were initiated less than ten miles from the city’s center. The thriving area quickly grew into one of the nation’s largest business districts. Located along Westheimer Road and Post Oak Boulevard, two of Houston’s main thoroughfares, the area welcomes more than 200,000 people each day to its businesses, restaurants, and high end shops.

Uptown is known for its many options for fine dining and sophisticated shopping. Along with numerous upscale boutiques, the district houses the state’s largest shopping mall, the Galleria.

Visitors and residents of Uptown also enjoy the area’s green spaces, particularly Hines Waterfall Park, which features a 64 foot tall architectural fountain. The park, owned by the city of Houston, is a popular community gathering place.

Interesting History of Chapultepec Castle in Mexico City

Chapultepec Castle
Chapultepec Castle


Assad Boulos has founded several businesses, and among his newest is a restaurant called Juan Parilla in Houston. Away from work-related duties, Assad Boulos enjoys traveling, and one of the places he has visited is Mexico and many of its sites.

Situated on top of sacred Chapultepec Hill in Mexico City, Chapultepec Castle is a prominent historic landmark in Mexico and is the only castle that royalty has lived in that is located in North America. Construction of the castle started in 1775, and the Mexico City government acquired the castle in 1806. The name “Chapultepec” is a Nahuatl word that means “at the grasshopper’s hill.” In fact, Empress Carlota and Mexican Emperor Maximilian lived there in 1864. In more modern times, Chapultepec Castle was used for the filming of Baz Luhrmann’s 1996 film Romeo + Juliet.

Upon walking through the entrance of the castle, visitors see a white monument dedicated to the fallen from the Mexican-American War of 1846-1848. Ancient glyphs carved in the stone from the reign of the Aztecs can be seen on the grounds near the castle. Currently known as a public museum, Chapultepec Castle can be accessed by public transportation.

When to Visit Miami, Florida

Miami, Florida pic
Miami, Florida

An accomplished entrepreneur in Texas, Assad Boulos is the president of Wasfi restaurant, ANA, Inc., and Juan Parilla. He has been working in the food and retail industries for more than three decades and is responsible for overseeing all aspects of his restaurants and companies. In his free time, Assad Boulos enjoys traveling to such places as Miami, Florida.

There are a couple great times to visit Miami, Florida: in spring between March and May and early winter from October to December. Between March and May, the city experiences average temperatures in the mid-80s and relatively low precipitation. Plus, hurricane season has yet to begin. While the weather is ideal, spring does bring in large crowds, especially during spring break. Fortunately, they tend to flock to Miami Beach, so the city itself stays relatively calm. In early winter, Miami experiences similar temperatures and precipitation, but crowds tend to be lower. This brings with it cheaper accommodations and food prices.

Generally, peak tourist season runs from January through April because of the preferable temperatures and weather. Although the weather may be more enjoyable for a wide range of activities, the huge crowds drive up hotel and flight prices. Not to mention, most visitors during these months must book their trip well ahead of time.

Summer is Miami’s normal off-season. From June through August, temperatures are typically in the 90s and humidity levels skyrocket, creating a hot and often muggy experience. Hurricane season also begins during these months. However, this is the best time to save money as hotel rates often plummet.