Araiji to Jones: We support initiatives for people, general interest

Culture Minister, Raymond Araji, said on Thursday that the ministry couldnot but give support and adhere to initiatives that put humans at the center of politics and put general interest at the top of their priorities.

His words came during a ceremony organized in Zouk Mikael whereby the U.S. Charge d’Affaires, Richard Jones, donated books and equipment for Youth and Culture Center (YCC) in Zouk Mikael in the presence of the municipality’s president, Nohad Nawfal, YCC Director, Roula Sawan, and other personalities.

Sawan and Nawfal separately made a statement to thank the U.S. Embassy for its donation.

Araji said extended his personal gratitude and appreciation to the diplomat for being such a loyal friend to Lebanon and giving Lebanon his unrelenting support since 1996.

“It is with great pleasure that I join you today to receive the donation of the American Embassy in the form of books and equipment, for the benefit of the YCC in Zouk Mikael,” the minister said.

“I would like to start by thanking the United States for their attachment and support to Lebanon, in order to preserve it as an example of open-mindedness, of conciliation and reconciliation. It is crucial today to understand the vital importance of such a model of conviviality and exchange, at a time where the most fanatic obscurantism is reappearing at our doorstep and threatening the minorities with eradication or forced exile,” he added.

He underscored that these ancient minorities formed an integral part of societies and their history, and guarantee the equilibrium of nations.

“Through the emphasis on Culture, which is where differences of opinions are voiced, and through the priority given to the youth, which represent the budding promise of a peaceful future, the United States and all the national and international collaborators who got involved in the YCC projects, have chosen Peace and given priority to humanity against savagery,” Araiji went on saying.

He also honored the municipality of Zouk Mikael and its teams for being a lively and innovative local public institution, adding that “even during our darkest hours when war was raging and all was neglected and derelict, its public areas and roundabouts were amongst the only ones to be adorned with flowers and greenery, conveying a message of hope and resistance and particularly a promise of rebirth to a wounded population.”

For his part, Jones said that mastering the English language enhanced employment opportunities for students and opened a window to the world, it also enabled them to contribute in the social and economic success, noting that the US Embassy supports English language teaching in Lebanon through a variety of activities and cultural exchange.

He added that the U.S. Embassy presented this donation to the YCC to encourage the purchase of English books and host programs on the English language.

Source: National News Agency

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