Community Diversity and Dialogue: Lebanon’s Model

Kuwait was the first country in the Gulf area to launch the Lebanon Dialogue Initiative; this is fitting given the long standing and excellent relationship that exists between Kuwait and Lebanon. Under the auspices of the Lebanese Ambassador to Kuwait Dr. Khadr Helweh, LDI organized another symposium in Kuwait titled “Community Diversity and Dialogue: Lebanon’s Model” in April, 2015.

The event was held on the campus of Gulf University for Science and Technology in Kuwait. A number of members of the Lebanese community and a large group of intellectuals, academics, citizens and friends attended the event at the invitation of LDI liaison officer in Kuwait Ms. Lubna Adlouni.

In his intervention, Ambassador Helweh praised the initiative, believing it to be highly important, and calling to focus all efforts through effective dialogue not only in order to establish a dialogue center in Lebanon, but for it also be a major part within the organization of the United Nations.

The symposium began with a welcoming speech by Ms. Adlouni, followed by a word from Dr. Salah Eddin, Professor of Islamic Studies at the Gulf University, who pointed out that the idea of Lebanon, the land of the dialogue of civilizations, emerged before the birth of Greater Lebanon. He went on to state that Lebanon remains a model of co-existence between its citizens and residents, in spite of the multiplicity of cultural backgrounds, traditions and religions.

Following Dr. Salah Eddin’s speech, Dr. Guita Hourani, Secretary General of LDI, announced that Kuwait will be the first station in the Middle East from which the initiative will emerge.

Dr. Hourani pointed out that the initiative grew out of, and was inspired by, the speech of former President Michel Sleiman on behalf of Lebanon in the United Nations General Assembly in 2008. She also stated that the Initiative truly began in 2013 with the aid of several Lebanese businessmen and academics, as well as a group of Lebanese activists. She noted the major roles of Notre Dame University in Lebanon, as well as the Council for Research in Values and Philosophy, throughout the process.

The gathering was concluded by Dr. Bilal Sandid, who recited a poem in Lebanese dialect, in which he highlighted the importance of Lebanon, as a land, a people, and a message.


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