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Saturday,28 January, 2023
The President to the “Human Academy for Convergence and Dialogue”:
The President to the “Human Academy for Convergence and Dialogue”:
19/10/2022

The President to the “Human Academy for Convergence and Dialogue”: “its idea was born to me from the pluralism that characterizes Lebanon and the religions and sects it knows. It is important for people in a pluralistic society to know those who disagree with them”.

 

President Aoun: “I succeeded in bringing the "Academy" to the highest international forum, and I want it to be a meeting place between people of multiple nationalities, civilizations and religions”.

 

President Aoun: “The spread of open thought through the “Academy” will make its bearer a messenger, and what we have established in this “Academy” stems from universal thought, its starting point in Lebanon”.

 

President Aoun: “We will seek to bring international support to this “academy” worldwide, and the launch and development of its work will contain a lot of passion”.

 

Coordinator Al-Khoury: “We have accomplished the first stage of the mission and the work will be followed up through committees to become a reality. We hope that the conflicting Lebanese will always be the first to learn and benefit”.

 

Kilab: “The hope is that this "Academy" will carry all the Lebanese, through the tribulations of the present, to perpetual encounter and dialogue”.

 

The President granted late Dr. Fanous a medal.

 

President Aoun met former Minister Safadi.

 

 

President of the Republic, General Michel Aoun, launched this afternoon at the Presidential Palace, the "Human Academy for Convergence and Dialogue", which, since the beginning of his presidential term, had initiated its idea and ensured its realization, at the Lebanese and international levels, and he made efforts to adopt it at the United Nations.  

 

This was achieved through a resolution issued by its General Assembly in September 2019 with the support of 165 out of 167 countries, with the United States and Israel opposing it.

 

President Aoun stressed that "its idea was born to him on the basis of the pluralism that characterizes Lebanon, the religions he knows, and their sects, noting that through his interactions in Lebanon and abroad, he became acquainted with many categories of people of different affiliations.

 

“I noticed that all have the same wishes as we do. Everyone wants to live in peace and has friendships with everyone. It is important for people in a pluralistic society to get to know those who differ with them in religious, ethnic and cultural affiliations” the President said. 

 

“This can only be achieved through meeting and working together to achieve common goals” President Aoun added.

 

The President also indicated that “The large number of countries that voted to establish this project, 165 out of 167 countries, indicates the desire of everyone for rapprochement", reviewing the escalation of crises in Lebanon since the fall of 2019 until today, in terms of economic, financial, political and health, which hindered the expected launch of the "Academy".

 

President Aoun also revealed that "The will is for the Academy to be a meeting place for individuals of various nationalities, civilizations and religions, from all over the world”.

 

"The convergence between civilizations and differences develops harmonious feelings and alleviates the ignorance of the other. Hence, the spread of this open mind, through the "Academy", will make its bearer a messenger who transmits what he received in it to his environment and his homeland, and from them to all parts of the world. I can confirm that what we established in this "academy" stems from a universal thought, and the starting point is in Lebanon” the President continued.

 

In addition, President Aoun stressed that “We will seek to bring international support to this "academy" at the world level, because what we have established is in the service of the world, and we only have to be ready to establish it according to scientific conditions, in response to this huge project," noting that "East Asian countries have met with enthusiasm this project which is in line with Western enthusiasm, and sometimes even ahead of it”.

 

“We have to start working according to two years of education: the first is joint, while the second is more specialized, and its topics are: peace building, human rights, cultures and civilizations, down to the view about God, metaphysics, and others” President Aoun concluded, noting that "The start of business of the academy and its development will contain a lot of passion”.

 

Coordinator’s Word:

During the meeting, the coordinator of the Academic Committee of the "Human Academy for Convergence and Dialogue", Naji El-Khoury, delivered a speech in which he said: 

 

"Mr. President, before you is a working team composed of fifteen specialists from university professors and activists in the field of convergence and dialogue, they came from all regions, sects, and political and social backgrounds.  

 

This team, which you gathered with your positions and directives, began its work eight months ago and proceeded from the concept paper that you developed and distributed to the participating countries in the United Nations, which was approved unanimously by 165 votes over 167 of the General Assembly under No. 344/73 dated 9/16/2019.

 

Mr. President, we tried, starting from this three-page paper, which we considered the basis of our work, and from our conviction that our beloved Lebanon must play its real role in meeting and dialogue between different cultures, religions and civilizations. 

 

We worked with what we have of experience, conviction, data and enthusiasm. Yes, this volunteer team worked with great enthusiasm, hoping that it would contribute to making Lebanon an international platform for dialogue, and that the conflicting Lebanese are always among the first learners and beneficiaries.

 

I started working with the consultation of all those who, in one way or another, accompanied this project since its inception, so that the final product becomes the summary of the efforts of everyone without exception.  An aid platform, bearing in mind competence, efficiency, patriotism, free work and dedication.

 

The focus, in the beginning, was on the Academic Committee to develop a preliminary concept. Long meetings began in the Presidential Palace until they exceeded seventeen, accompanied by about forty documents that we all put in your hands with a piece of paper. The conclusion that we reached, and during this intellectual journey, we unfortunately lost our dear friend, Dr. Muhammad Wajih Sobhi Fanous, a highly productive thinker in this country, making himself a bridge between all sects and beliefs.

 

We have accomplished the first phase of the mission. We have transferred the work to the Engineering and Technical Committee, and he will continue his path through the financial, legal, diplomatic and media committees until it becomes a reality. 

 

We thank you for the trust that is dear to our hearts and we promise that we, hand in hand, and if we start small, we will extend and grow like a snowball, with the help of  all the competencies and all the good will, all of them means all of them”.

 

Kilab:

Then Dr. Elham Kilab Basat gave a speech in which she said: 

"We thank you, Mr. President, for receiving today the academic committee of the "Human Academy for Convergence and Dialogue."

 

This committee worked in successive meetings over the course of about eight months to define the "Academy", the level of education, certificates, the content of the curricula, even the quality of buildings and green spaces that are geometrically compatible with the Academy's approach and needs.

We developed the initial concept and introduced the "Academy" as a high international educational institution that aims to:

-Producing knowledge related to the problems of dialogue, diversity and conflict resolution.

 -Active contribution to building a civilization of brotherhood, convergence and peace.

 

Its tasks include: teaching and learning, preparation and continuous training, and creative interactive activities.

 

Among its certificates: a master's degree (as a transitional stage) in three specializations: peace building, human rights, and cultures and civilizations.

 

What distinguished the committee's intellectual, organizational and voluntary effort are the constructive national spirit and the human intimacy that brought together its members, as if it were a promise to complete and develop this project, so that this "Academy" would carry all the Lebanese, through the tribulations of the present, to perpetual encounter and dialogue”.

 

Attendees:

The launch ceremony was attended by Coordinator Khoury and Dr. Kilab Basat, Drs: Rola Abi Habib Khoury, Martin Akkad, Zahida Darwish Jabbour, Walid Hammoud, Shaden Hani, Father Georges Hobeika, Bassem Malaki, Hoda Nehmeh Matar, Antoine Tohme, Dima Zein de Clerc, Rula Thebian, and Iman Shams Al-Din.

 

Letter of Thanks:

At the end of the meeting, the President of the Republic handed the members a letter of thanks for the efforts made by each of them in order to achieve this breakthrough.

 

Medal for the late Dr. Fanous:

At the end of meeting, the President granted Dr. Wajih Fanous, a member of the Academic Committee of the “Human Academy for Dialogue and Convergence,” the Silver Lebanese National Order of Merit, in appreciation of his humanitarian, scientific and academic contributions.

 

The medal was received by his wife, Dr. Iman Shams El-Din, a member of the committee, and his two sons, Dr. Lamis Fanous and Professor Ramzi Fanous.

 

Former Minister Safadi:

The President received former MP and Minister, Muhammad Al-Safadi, and deliberated with him current affairs.

 

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