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May 14, 2010
USEK Pays Tribute to Ambassador Kamil Abu Sawan

Under the patronage of the Minister of Justice Ibrahim Najjar, the Holy Spirit University of Kaslik held on the 14th of May 2010 a ceremony in honor of the former ambassador to the UNESCO Kamil Abu Sawan, during which the latter signed his latest book entitled: “From Lebanon’s Mountain to Fleurance’s Royal Palace”, “De la montagne du Liban à la Bastide Royale de Fleurance’. The ceremony was held within the framework of the 2010 culture exhibition in USEK, upon the invitation of the University’s President, Reverend Father Hadi Mahfouz, and its council, at the John Paul II Amphitheater in the main campus.

The ceremony was attended by his Excellency Minister Najjar, members of parliament Fouad Al-Saad and Nematallah Abi Nasr, representative of USEK’s President and Vice-President for Research and French speaking world’s relations, reverend father professor Georges Hobeika, reverend father Boulos Neeman, as well as a number of eminent personalities in the literary, intellectual and social fields.

Following the national anthem and the presentation of the ceremony by its host professor Mireille Tahan, speeches have been given by the editor in chief of Abu Sawan’s publications professor Moris Saliba, President of the Lebanese Pen Club, Dr. Jamil Jabre, and the author and philosopher Khalil Ramez Sarkis, who sent his speech from London to be given on his behalf by the poet Henry Zgheib. Most of the speeches praised the writings and intellectual richness of Abu Sawan, not to mention his humanitarian and patriotic charities.

Right after the musical pause, the vice-rector for research and French-speaking world’s relations, reverend father professor Georges Hobeika gave a speech where he expressed his ever-lasting passion for the works of Kamil Abu Sawan, pointing out that “his passion emanates from the human and social values that Mr. Kamil had always defended in all his books”. Reverend father Hobeika has also hailed the qualities of Mr Sawan’s latest book entitled “from Lebanon’s Mountain to Fleurance Royal Palace”. He said that “the reader gets overwhelmed by the way in which the author extraordinarily blends both Lebanon’s and France’s histories, mentalities and cultures.”

After the brief speech given by ambassador Abu Sawan who expressed his heartfelt thanks and gratitude for the University, the speakers and the audience, the minister of Justice Ibrahim Najjar delivered a speech, saying that “today’s ceremony is a unique occasion to commemorate the French-speaking world, or more precisely the freedom of speech, away from the dominant culture and context”. He added that “the French-speaking world, as incarnated in the book, is a typical example of the preservation of the cultural identity, heritage and history, all within a culture open to the world.

At the end, Abu Sawan received an award as a token of appreciation from Minister Najjar and the university’s medal from reverend father Hobeika.
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