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.
“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”.
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.
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.
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.
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.
- National forum for educators, young civil society actors and journalists on education for peace and dialogue values (10-11/12/2013)
- Seminar on "Philosophy as a necessity in the contemporary Arab World" (UNESCO Palace, 21/11/2013)
- Validation national workshop on “Assessment of the Level of Inclusiveness of Public Policies with regards to young men and women living with disabilities in Lebanon” (Four Points Hotel – Sheraton, 26/10/2013)
- Seminar on "Quality Education for All: Achievements and Challenges" (30/04/2013, UNESCO Palace)