Key Speeches

Introduction > Groundbreaking Ceremony for AUB’s College Hall – November 18, 1992

The war in Lebanon has ended, but the fight for a modern Lebanon has just begun
Dear friends,
A year after they destroyed your university building, we gather today to lay the foundations of a new hall. As if your destiny is that of Lebanon’s. You have tasted the bitterness of punishment when your doors were open to education, knowledge and development; however, you rose again to carry on with your mission, surviving the challenge. 
Thus, your university has become a bright component of Lebanon, and it is no coincidence that the reconstruction of your university comes in parallel with the reconstruction process in Lebanon. This prominent school has always been the symbol of the openness of Lebanese society and has played a very important role in turning Lebanon a leading educational destination for all the students in the region and the world.
Today, we count on you once more to spread the message of Lebanon, which is that of understanding and acceptance, culture and sciences.
Dear friends,
Your mission today is no less important than the mission you chose more than a century ago when you decided to take part in the Arab renaissance and laid the corner stone of this university in Beirut. And since the reconstruction starts by edifying the spirit of the man, education, pedagogy, research and knowledge are the pillars of a new society that is aiming to build a peaceful and prosperous future.
We are in need of a cultural uprising that will set us free from the aftermath of work and push us into the twenty first century, so that Lebanon can regain its ever shining position in the region and the world as a land of challenging integration and intersections.
Great countries are the ones that know how to move from the status-quo and embrace reality successfully.
The war in Lebanon has ended, but the fight for a modern Lebanon has just begun.
In this new era we will give great importance to the education of the new generations by eradicating threats and preparing them to take over Lebanon’s message domestically and abroad.
 The state will be very involved, as well as the religious, cultural, social and economic communities and the various associations and institutions. We shall work hand in hand to help build the minds of the future on the basis of openness and methodology, healthy thinking and choices. We want the new generations to learn how to compete, not how to fight. Be sure to equip the schools and universities with modern tools and the latest educational techniques. Reinforcing knowledge sets the tradition of taking part in the reconstruction process.
I come to you at this school, at the dawn of the reconstruction process.
When I was a student myself, I believed that school represented a nation’s dynamism and dreams.
We call on you to sponsor congresses, open laboratories, hold scientific and educational gatherings, cultural expositions, and artistic festivals. The state is in need of creativity, giving and hard work, and it will provide opportunities for all. It is its responsibility.
The priorities of the state over the next period are:
First, reinforcing unity, regaining sovereignty, rebuilding a new society of peace and reconstruction are the duties of the population.
Second, reforming our economic system in order to put an end to the financial crisis. Lebanon which protected its people from foreign threats will succeed in protecting itself economically.
Third, liberating the occupied territories in South Lebanon and West Bekaa as stated by UN resolution 425.
My friends,
It is only by the joint work of the talented and skilled that we will be able to take Lebanon out of the debris back into life.
The time has come; the country is in dire need of the potential of all in its battle for setting new foundations. Let us start a new era together by offering to our country what it needs and drawing a new future for ourselves and the generations to come; a  future of construction, enlightenment and peace.

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