News & Media

February 28, 2014
Conference “My Land: A Promising Future”

Under the patronage and with the presence of the President of the Republic of Lebanon, General Michel Sleiman, the Holy Spirit University of Kaslik (USEK) and The Ghadon Wa’ed Association for human, economic and democratic development, in cooperation with the International Institute of Cherasco, Cuneo, Italy, organized a conference entitled “My Land: A Promising Future”. This conference tackled the practical choices and the executive programs for investments of Lebanese territories within the process of economic and social development. A group of current and former ministers and MPs, political, military, religious and social figures all attended the event, which took place in the John Paul II Amphitheater at USEK Main Campus.

During the inauguration session, President Sleiman stated that “The land, the people and common values constitute the golden threefold pillars of a nation and they are necessary to link the past with the future. In fact, preserving the land is a sacred duty to support the one nation for its constituents: land, people and institutions, within the borders stipulated in the constitution and internationally recognized.” He added: “The Lebanese land was and will always be, in spite of all wars and crises, the land of free living and coexistence. As a result, it is necessary to preserve this land for the sake of its mission and for the survival of the dialogue between communities and religions…This conference is a live proof that, despite all that is missing, there are still people who only want to see the arable land inside the arid environment. Together, let us engrave our dreams on the stones of the bitter reality, maybe we can see a light of hope in this dark tunnel of the present.”

The President of the Holy Spirit University of Kaslik, Rev. Fr. Hady Mahfouz, talked about the fragility and supremacy of human beings and about the mystery of creation and the mystery of the creator which are present in the Holy Spirit University, daughter of the Lebanese Maronite Order (LMO), famous for its love to the land and the nation. He added: “The Order is known for education and farming. In fact, its monasteries work in agriculture; and lately, it established “Adyar” to continue with the tradition of monastic work based on the relationship of respecting the land and increasing its productivity, through modern technology…”

Then, the General Director of the International Snail Breeding Institute, Mr. Giovanni Avagnina, took the floor and said: “Lebanon has the adequate climate conditions for snail breeding given the fact that the climate is not very cold and that there is enough irrigation water for this type of high level culture…” He explained the nutritional value of edible snails in a healthy diet and the medical value of snail which saliva can be used as a medicine and as cosmetic product.

The General Director of the Ghadun Wa’ed Association, Mr. Nawfal Daou, stated: “We chose the title of the conference “My Land: A Promising Future” so the event can be an act of hope and faith in our present and future, an act of our attachment to our land…We hope that this conference will be the beginning of the journey towards administrative decentralization. This decentralization would lead to developing rural and remote areas, enrooting of the Lebanese people in their land, limiting internal and external and internal migration through generating job opportunities for the youth…”

Finally, the Dean of the Faculty of Food and Agricultural Sciences, Dr. Lara Hanna Wakim, stated that “The idea behind this conference is based on two principles: first, our faith that our land is a sacred land and a place for generosity and giving; it gives us as much as we give it; and second, the fact that our ancestors were aware of this truth so they worked hard on it…” 

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