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Around the Franco-Lebanese Days in Paris, the 23/03/16

by WLCU Editor | Feb 29, 2016

Bahjat Rizk: Around the Franco-Lebanese Days in Paris
The 23/03/16 

After long years of service to the Lebanese culture at UNESCO and France, through institutions and especially the associations, I am pleased to participate in this second edition of Lebanese Days in Paris, led by the World  Lebanese Cultural Union (WLCU -France) and a group of Franco-Lebanese associations that I thank from my heart.

I salute particularly Ms. Artemis Keyrouz and Mr. Edmond Massih, since last year initiators of this beautiful collective pioneer project, called I hope, with the support of Mr. Christophe Girard, to become an annual tradition friendly.

Certainly there is the richness of the program that covers different activities and allows the public to discover and participate in a festive way, cognitive and varied.
There is also the French-Lebanese fruitful friendship we love always to celebrate and that we do not grow weary,to serve and to promote.
There is especially the encounter between two universal ideals which our globalized world today urgently needs, that of France for Human and  citizen Rights  and that of Lebanon diversity and dialogue of cultures and religions.

These two messages must be heard and involved, to create a universe where while developing certain aspects of our cultural differences, to enroll in a fair collective belonging, solidarity and fundamental. These two approaches that seem contradictory, can combine and join is in search of a model, where cultural differences should be seen as an added value, all belonging to the national community and not manipulated for sectarian purposes.

The Lebanese experience always proves lively and dynamic, a century after the declaration of Greater Lebanon (1920), several centuries of common life and multiple tests crossings that different religious cultures can sustainably coexist in the same space, in mutual compliance  and continuous exchange by forging a strong common culture and identity through other settings, such as language and lifestyle.

The French, innovative and truly revolutionary experience shows, for more than two centuries (1789), a long old history and also many trials, that whatever the cultural contributions and backgrounds, the opportunity to meet around common values (Freedom, Equality, Brotherhood), which places the rights of the individual at the heart of society. Both models reflect globalization. Their abusive excesses can be prohibitive: communities can easily switch to communalism and the individual can quickly fail in individualism. They are aware that any transcendent ideal can, if handled, be transformed into an ideology of exclusion. This is the challenge of our plural societies today.

It's realizing that the identification process combines several structural anthropological parameters, which should not be discriminatory, we can participate in the building of a consistent, democratic, just and unitary society.

Lebanon's Cultural Days in France are moments of sharing and reflection, trying to create a positive synergy between two major imperatives, fit for any human movement: that of diversity and of unity.

Bahjat Rizk

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