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Workshop for university students and schools on "Cultural Diversity for Dialogue and Development" (UNESCO Beirut Office, 26-27/05/2014)

On the occasion of the World Day for cultural diversity for dialogue and development, the Lebanese National ‎Commission for UNESCO and the UNESCO Regional Office in Beirut, organized two workshops on cultural ‎diversity, conducted by Dr. Amal Dibo, in the framework of the national competition on “cultural diversity for ‎dialogue and development: a message from Lebanon to the world”.‎

The workshops were part of “King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz International Programme for a Culture of Peace and ‎Dialogue”, which aims, in collaboration with UNESCO, to involve youth in the promotion of peace and a culture ‎of dialogue among nations and peoples, as well as entrench the principles of joint actions to promote dialogue ‎as a means to resolve conflicts and contribute to a better and peaceful world. ‎

20 students and two university professors participated in the first workshop, held on May 26, 2014, from Jinan ‎University – Tripoli, Haigazian University, Lebanese University – Tripoli, Notre Dame University – Louaize, ‎Sagesse University, Lebanese German University and Lebanese University of‏ ‏Sciences‏ and ‏Arts. Whereas, 32 ‎principals and teachers from 23 associated schools attended the second workshop, held on May 27, 2014.‎

 

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‎“Cultural Diversity for Dialogue and Development: A Message from Lebanon to the World” ‎‎(20/05/2014)‎

UNESCO Regional Office in Beirut and the Lebanese National Commission for UNESCO co-organized, on ‎Tuesday May 21, 2014 a ceremony in the framework of “Dialogue” programme, on the theme “Cultural Diversity ‎for Dialogue and Development: A Message from Lebanon to the World”, under the patronage of His Excellency ‎the President of the Republic General Michel Sleiman, represented by the Ministry of Information Mr. Ramzi ‎Jreige.‎

The ceremony was attended, among others, MP Mohammad Kabbani, representing the Speaker of the ‎Parliament of Lebanon Nabih Berri, and Prime Minister Tamam Salam, MPs Robert Ghanem and Khaled ‎Zahraman, the director of the UNESCO Regional Office in Beirut Dr. Hamed Al Hammami, the President of the ‎Lebanese National Commission for UNESCO Prof. Henri Awit, the Secretary General of King Abdulaziz Center ‎for National Dialogue Fahed Al Sultan, the Secretary General of the Lebanese National Commission Dr. Zahida ‎Darwiche Jabbour, Senior Adviser for the UNESCO Program on Intercultural Dialogue Dr. Selim El-Sayegh, as ‎well as cultural, academic and media personalities. ‎

The ceremony was part of “King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz International Programme for a Culture of Peace and ‎Dialogue”, which aims, in collaboration with UNESCO, to involve youth in the promotion of peace and a culture ‎of dialogue among nations and peoples, as well as entrench the principles of joint actions to promote dialogue ‎as a means to resolve conflicts and contribute to a better and peaceful world. ‎

The Director of the UNESCO Regional Office in Beirut, Dr. Hamed Al Hammami, referred in his speech, to the ‎UNESCO Universal Declaration on Cultural Diversity, which was adopted in 2001 by the member states during ‎the 31st session of the General Conference, and stipulated that intercultural dialogue is the best guarantee of ‎peace; stressing the importance of the agreement signed between UNESCO and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia ‎in support of the King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz International Programme for a Culture of Peace and Dialogue.‎
Dr. Hammami concluded his speech by quoting the message of UNESCO Director General Ms. Irina Bokova ‎on the occasion of World Day for Cultural Diversity for Dialogue and Development, celebrated on May 21, 2014: ‎‎“Our cultural diversity is a stimulator of creativity. Investing in this creativity can transform societies. It is our ‎responsibility to develop education and intercultural skills in young people to sustain the diversity of our world ‎and to learn to live together in the diversity of our languages, cultures and religions, to bring about change”.‎

The President of the Lebanese National Commission for UNESCO, Prof. Henri Awit, began his speech by ‎addressing the President of the Republic of Lebanon, referring to his speech at the UN General Assembly in ‎‎2008, during which he stated his belief that the Lebanese entity is essentially founded on the philosophy of ‎dialogue, concialiation and coexistence, and expressed Lebanon’s ambition to become an international center ‎for managing the dialogue of civilizations and cultures in a way that complements its role as a land liking east to ‎west based on its unique attributes, its rich diversity, its rooted experience in reconciling unity with pluralism, ‎modernity with authenticity, and based on the specificity of belonging and citizenship.‎
Prof. Awit added that the Lebanese National Commission, not only has adopted the theme of the ceremony: ‎‎“Cultural diversity for dialogue and development: a message from Lebanon to the world”, but also aims at ‎promoting it through the activities and projects implemented. After listing some of the best practices carried out ‎by the Lebanese National Commission in the field of cultural diversity, he noted that culural diversity is an ‎essential component of the existence of Lebanon and the reason why World day for cultural diversity for ‎dialogue and development can be considered a Lebanese day by excellence. ‎

The senior adviser for the UNESCO program on intercultural dialogue, former minister Dr. Selim El-Sayegh ‎explained that the UNESCO Programme on Intercultural Dialogue in the Arab Region comes in response to an ‎urgent need in the region, following the changes and the awakening of the people that have unveiled the ‎collective consciousness of cultural enrichment as a factor of unity and cohesion within nations; encouraging ‎every researcher and scholar to visit the website and be part of an open forum for dialogue, to share information ‎and experiences.‎

Then, Mrs. Maysoun Chehab, consultant for the UNESCO program on basic education and coordinator of the ‎Dialogue (Hawer) programme, launched the national youth competition on “cultural diversity for dialogue and ‎development” for associated schools and universities, noting that the competition aims at engaging Lebanese ‎youth to play an important part in the society development through accepting others. And since respect for ‎cultural diversity has become a global responsibility, students are encouraged to submit works that show ‎Lebanon as a model of diversity, freedom and living together (4 categories for the schools: poetry, drawing, ‎short story and theatrical play; whereas 2 categories for universities: documentary or poster).‎

Finally, the Minister of Informaiton, Mr. Ramzi Jreige, gave a speech on behalf of the President of the Republic, ‎in which he conveyed the President’s wishes that dialogue be the basis for spreading a culture of peace among ‎and within nations, instead of fanaticism and threats of war, noting that Lebanon's position on the world map ‎has defined him a role he has played throughout history and continues to play despite all the obstacles and ‎crises. The identity of this country, as described by the Holy Pope John Paul II "Lebanon is more than a country, ‎Lebanon is a message", is based on shared values and goals and is characterized by dialogue. He concluded ‎by adding that  "The message of the President of the Republic, to the youth of Lebanon to keep high hopes for ‎the future of their country and to never lose faith in their homeland, and not to leave a place of despair in their ‎hearts”.‎

 

 

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Award Ceremony for Winners of the National Reading Contest (UNESCO Palace, 29/04/2014)‎

Under the patronage of H.E. Minister of Culture Mr. Raymond Araygi, the Lebanese National Commission ‎for UNESCO organized an award ceremony for the winners of the National Reading Contest, launched on ‎the occasion of its 65th anniversary, Tuesday April 29, 2014 at 5:00 pm at UNESCO Palace.‎

The ceremony was attended by the Director of the UNESCO Regional Office in Beirut Dr. Hamed Al-‎Hammami, Lebanon representative at the Executive Board of ALECSO Dr. Hicham Nachabe, Mrs. Samar ‎Al-Hajj, Mrs. Claudia Tueini, and a large number of cultural and social personalities.‎

In her speech, the Secretary General of the Lebanese National Commission for UNESCO, Dr. Zahida ‎Darwiche Jabbour, stressed the importance of the relationship between the reader and the book, “reading ‎entails the senses along with the thought and imagination… The book is essential as a primary source of ‎knowledge and a component of culture”, noting that the relationship between the reader and a digital screen ‎‎“does not allow the acquisition of a large amount of information”.‎

Jury member, Dr. Edgard Traboulsi, highlighted the advantages of reading, notably when it comes to ‎stimulating the mind and shaping the reader’s thoughts, character and perception of one’s life and others.‎

The winners of the national reading contest then received their awards from the Minister of Culture and the ‎jury members, the president of the Lebanese National Commission Dr. Henri Awit, the Secretary General ‎Dr. Zahida Darwiche Jabbour, Dr. Claudia Abi Nader, Dr. Edgard Traboulsi and Dr. Youssef Assi.‎

The first-prize winners were Rindala Jabbour and Isabelle Fakhoury, second-prize Chady Elias, and third-‎prize ‎ Najwa Yehya. ‎

 

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Celebration of the International Francophonie Day (USJ, 26/03/2014)‎

Who among us does not recall the nostalgic memory of the "Big House", with its door always open ‎and its space, though narrowed, large enough to welcome family, friends and guests?‎
Between the space and its inhabitants, there are secret language and invisible connections shaping ‎the individual and collective identity. Friendliness and hospitality are qualities that have long ‎characterized being Lebanese. What about the younger generations, especially with the pace of ‎modern life determining a change in our habits and in our relationship to time and space?‎
Are the novels "Histoire de la grande maison" by Charif Majdalani, and "Un ermite dans la grande ‎maison" by Carmen Boustani, born from the nostalgia of a bygone era, or rather from the bitter ‎conclusion that such art of living is threatened to be extinguished? Does the novel represent the ‎reaction of its writer to the metamorphosis of our daily life as a response to the progress of ‎urbanism?‎

These questions and many others, were raised and addressed by the President Ghaleb Ghanem ‎and Mrs. Nadia Jammal, professor at the Faculty of Letters and Human Sciences – USJ, during a ‎round table moderated by architect Mr. Fadlallah Dagher and organized by the Lebanese National ‎Commission for UNESCO and the Faculty of Letters and Human Sciences at Saint Joseph ‎University on the occasion of the International Francophonie Day.‎
The round table also included a reading of excerpts from the two works by students of the ‎Department of French letters, Pamela Krause and Michel Sarkis, as well as interventions by ‎authors Mr. Charif Majdalani and Mrs. Carmen Boustani.‎

 

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Seminar on the occasion of the World Poetry Day (20/03/2014)‎

On the occasion of World Poetry Day, the Lebanese National Commission for UNESCO, organized in ‎collaboration with Khaled bin al-Walid Al-Horj College – Makassed Philanthropic Islamic Association of Beirut, a ‎seminar on “the issue and status of poetry education in elementary”, on Thursday March 20, 2014 at Khaled bin ‎al-Walid Al-Horj College – Barbir.‎

The seminar was attended by the president of the Lebanese National Commission, Dr. Henri Awit, the ‎Secretary General Dr. Zahida Darwiche Jabbour, Makassed's president Mr. Amine el-Daouk, the ‎Representative of Lebanon at the Executive Board of ALECSO Dr. Hicham Nashabe, and Mrs. Hiba Nashabe, ‎principal of Khaled bin al-Walid Al-Horj College.‎

The seminar was moderated by Dr. Claudia Chamoun Abi Nader, member of the Lebanese National ‎Commission, with the participation of Mrs. Rana Idriss, director of “Dar al-Adab” Publishing House, of the poet ‎Mr. Antoine Raad, of Mrs. Mona Kalaaji, the Arabic Language Coordinator at Makassed, and Dr. Tony Ghoch, ‎former professor at the Faculty of Education at the Lebanese University. ‎

 

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Seminar on "Role of media in the rise or decline of the Arabic language" (LAU, 18/12/2013)‎

Under the patronage of H.E. Minister of Information Mr. Walid Daouk, and on the occasion of the World ‎Arabic Language Day – observed annually on December 18, the Lebanese National Commission for ‎UNESCO organized in cooperation with the Lebanese American University in Beirut, a seminar on the ‎‎“Role of media in the rise or decline of the Arabic language”, moderated by Dr. Latif Zeitouni, Professor of ‎Arabic literature in the Department of Humanities at LAU Beirut, with the participation of Mr. Rafiq ‎Nasrallah, Director of the Lebanese International Center for Media and Research, Dr. Yasmine Dabbous ‎from the Lebanese American University (LAU), and Dr. Sanaa Harake from the Lebanese University.‎
Among the attendees were Dr. Hisham Nashabeh, member of the Executive board of the Arab League ‎Educational, Cultural and Scientific Organization (ALECSO), Mr. Mohammed Machnouk, Educational ‎Board Director of the Makassed Philanthropic Islamic Association of Beirut, and Ms. Dina Karam, ‎representing the Director of the UNESCO Regional Office in Beirut.‎

 

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