Under the patronage of the Minister of Education and Higher Education Elias Bou Saab, the Lebanese Canadian University - LCU held its graduation ceremony, entitled "Culture of peace and reconciliation” for 260 students for the academic year 2015-2016.
The public was chaired by His Eminence Cardinal Bechara Boutros Rahi March represented by Mgr. Georges Azzi, MP Ibrahim Kanaan, the minister Elias Bou Saab represented by Dr Vera Zeytouni, General Michel Aoun represented by Mr. Roger Azar, the leader of the Lebanese Forces Dr. Samir Geagea represented by Dr. Elie El Hajj Moussa, the commander of the Lebanese Army General Jean Kahwaji represented by Brigadier Yoorab Sakhr, the Director General of the internal security forces of General Ibrahim Basbous represented by lieutenant Hady Sfeir, the Director General of the public security General Abbas Ibrahim represented by Brigadier Labib Al Achkouty, the Director General of the State Security General Georges Karaa represented by Colonel Raymond Abou Maachar, the intelligence director Colonel Kamil Daher represented by General Fatek Al Saadi and the responsible for communication within the Lebanese Forces Mr. Melhem Riachy. The ceremony gathered as well officials, economic, social, religious and educational instances, the Board of Trustees of the university, the teachers, the administration, the parents of the graduates and friends.
Dr. Rony Abi Nakhle
The ceremony began with the speech of Dr. Rony Abi Nakhle: “Dear Students, start your new life with joy and pride, look at the world with a bright sight, since the future is ahead of you and your country, Lebanon, needs your energy and your culture. Do not give in to despair and do not let it defeat you, be strong people despite the problems and do not limit your hopes or your dreams.
Be proud of your university who is also proud of you. The Lebanese Canadian University - LCU, because of you, established a new campus in Hadat - Beirut and its ambition is to spread in the five provinces of the country.
Dear graduate officers, military school students, men of honor, sacrifice and loyalty, you are the honor of the university and the country. We applaud your leadership on this day, and we congratulate you as well because you deserved to be there after long studies in spite of your service and military responsibilities. We send greetings, through your presence among us, to the General Commander Jean Kahwaji and we thank him for his invaluable confidence in the Lebanese Canadian University - LCU.
On this occasion, I am pleased to announce two special tributes.
The first tribute is a scientific one. Professor Harald Buben will be awarded an honorary doctorate in recognition of his international work in the business world and companies which subsequently became an example for young ambitious students wishing to enter this field. His reputation as the best businessman became international which resulted in the honor tonight.
The second tribute is, on the other hand, a national one. This tribute involves two national figures: the Chairman of the Finance and Budget Committee of the Lebanese Parliament His Excellency MP Ibrahim Kanaan, and the head of communications within the Lebanese Forces Mr. Melhem Riachy.
These two personalities deserved this tribute because they have proven that dialogue is the brain of the language, even in Lebanon. Following this dialogue, the obstacles can be overcome and the differences can get closer. Hopefully this agreement will lead to the election of a president for the Lebanese republic that will meet the hopes of the Lebanese and that will transport Lebanon and its people towards security and stability.
The representative of the University of Bordeaux Jean Etienne then took the floor and the award of honorary doctorate ceremony Harald Buben followed.
Following this, Dr Rony Abi Nakhlé presented honorary plaques to the deputy Ibrahim Kanaan and Mr. Melhem Riachy, repeating that the university chose them because they are an example to the young Lebanese who have confidence in the culture of peace, dialogue and reconciliation.
MP Ibrahim Kanaan
MP Ibrahim Kanaan, secretary of the "Change and Reform bloc", thanked the initiative of the university and said that the weakness lies in the differentiation and that strength lies in unity.
He said: "They accused us of dreaming, but we proved that we are realistic and we persevere, because the purpose for which we are working for is worth it.”
He concluded: "We will commit ourselves to not regress and continue the path in unison so that we can restore, as Christians and Lebanese, the partnership that will open a new horizon based on the equality of the rights and duties and that will lead to a strong presidency and a new election code.”
For his part, the responsible for communication within the Lebanese Forces Mr. Melhem Riachy improvised his speech saying that: "This tribute is not addressed personally to me but for the reconciliation. The latter is a symbol for peace, love, the courage to love and have peace and the courage to be different without hassle. Reconciliation resides to love each other without eliminating the people around us".
He added: "I say to the graduates do not be afraid of life and its difficulties, because life is for the strong minded people. You are the protectors of the reconciliation. You can forget everything but do not forget your country. Just go boldly where others don’t dare."
Meanwhile, the chairman of the board of trustees, Dr Yolande Salem, paid tribute to the employee at LCU Boulos Marcel for his efforts and sacrifices.
In conclusion, Marie Claude Daher, an MBA student, delivered a speech on behalf of all graduates.
Then Mrs. Rania Habib, Vice-Chairman of the Board of Trustees and Director of Admission and Orientation Office, presented the diplomas to students in bachelor and master, as well as to the students of the Command and Staff College in the Lebanese army who received their Master in strategic and diplomatic studies. The graduate Brigadier General Bahaa Halal delivered a speech on behalf of the army.
The students subsequently launched their hats to the sound of fireworks and were congratulated during the cocktail that was prepared for the occasion.