News & Media

October 14, 2011
Paulo Jorge Sarkis lectures at USEK on the Academic Exchange between Lebanon and Brazil

In cooperation with the Confederation of Lebanese-Brazilian Entities (CONFELIBRA), the Institute of History and the Center of Studies and Cultures of Latin America (CECAL) at the Holy Spirit University of Kaslik (USEK) organized on October 14, 2011 a conference under the title of “Academic Exchange: Lebanon-Brazil”, given by Professor Paulo Jorge Sarkis, academic counselor in Brazil and former President of the Federal University of Santa Maria (UFSM), Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil.

Following the welcome speech by Mr. Khalil Abboud, Vice-Director of the Student Affairs Office, Rev. Fr. Jean-Maroun Maghames, Director of the USEK Institute of History, introduced Prof. Sarkis and shed light on the various efforts he deployed in order to promote academic exchange between Lebanon and Brazil.

Prof. Sarkis started his lecture by highlighting that Lebanon has become since 2004 one of the countries which benefit from the governmental programs in Brazil that provide students with financial aids. Sarkis presented as well a historical overview on bilateral relations and the common points between the two countries which share a long history of socio-economic and political relations. After elaborating on the status of higher education in Brazil, Sarkis stressed that the main objective of CONFILEBRA is to develop bilateral relations between the Lebanese and the Brazilian peoples, and more particularly to put the Lebanese students in contact with the Lebanese diaspora in Brazil.

Rev. Fr. Karam Rizk, Dean of the USEK Faculty of Letters, praised in his speech the relation of friendship and warmth that brings the two peoples together. While Dr. Boutros Labaki, Lecturer at Saint Joseph University (USJ), discussed the potential cooperation agreements that may help in meeting the various needs of both countries. In turn, Dr. Melhem Chaoul, Lecturer at the Lebanese University (UL), stressed the importance of creating a scholarship fund financed by the donations of Lebanese and Brazilian businessmen, highlighting as well the importance of learning Portuguese in order to overcome the language barrier. After Mr. Roberto Khatlab, Director of CECAL-USEK, thanked Prof. Sarkis and all the speakers, Mr. Carlos Edde, National Bloc leader, encouraged students to pursue their higher education in Brazil, because it is a well developed country that provides all the educational needs for students.
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