Key Speeches

Introduction > Opening Ceremony of the FAO Lebanese Chamber – November 6, 1993

The Lebanese people offer initiative and loyalty
Dear friends,
It pleases me to see Lebanese people around the world adhering to their heritage and culture to a point that makes you wonder if you are in Lebanon or abroad.
Dear friends,
I am not here to recall war and misery, but rather to reaffirm our confidence in Lebanon.
That is how I started my mission, and this is how I accomplish it. When I took office, the government was paralyzed and the Lebanese were lost and looking for shelter, escaping bloodshed and seeking a new life in a different country.
Those who inflicted death and destruction are blaming me for not having rebuilt the country yet. Are we destined to keep rebuilding what they are destroying?
The inauguration of the Lebanese Chamber is further evidence of our ability to rise again with dignity.
We are offering the Organization two gifts; first, the eternal Lebanese initiative which helped us face the challenges, and second, our loyalty to the Organization that has long assisted its Member States.
Rest assured that all Lebanese believe in sharing and construction, wherever the road may take them. We are open people who are ready to cooperate for the sake of construction and progress.  And the Lebanese Chamber would not be given to us had it not been for our eagerness for development which is an integral part of our politics, economics, education and life.
The Lebanese do not discriminate between themselves and their country. When their own country was at war, they united to help in its reconstruction and worked hard and competed to raise their country’s flag at the international organization that has been fighting hunger and working for the well-being of people.
Dear friends,
Let the world know that we have not surrendered to destruction.  Lebanon is flourishing by our will and unity.
Instead of looking at the victims of war, start looking at the Lebanese who make gardens out of rocks and manufacture leading products.  Look at the Lebanese in Diaspora who excelled in the fields of engineering, science, politics, arts and medicine. Look at Edward Sawma who headed the Organization's general directorate for 18 years. Look at the business empire they have built across the world.
Dear Friends,
Take a look at the elite who have joined us tonight, they have rejected that you leave office dear Edward before Lebanon reaffirms its adherence to the Organization.
And by making abundant contributions, you have created a special friendship between Lebanon and the Organization.
Dear contributors,
Your initiative is highly appreciated.  Because of you, Lebanon is the first Arabic country to join the Organization and the achievements of my friend Edward, who makes both of the organization and Lebanon proud.
Congratulations on the Lebanese Chamber as it illustrates a part of Lebanon's role in the world and preserves the accomplishments of a genius from Lebanon, who set his mind to serving humanity, the organization and Lebanon.

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