Lebanese Heritage | June 2013 Issue Draft
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The Lebanese Heritage
From British Columbia to the world...

June 2013 - Volume 2013, No.06


Let us work together to ensure a better, safer, and more secure world for future generations!

By Maria-Luisa Chávez, Chief UN DPI-NGO Relations
(Learn more about Maria-Luisa Chávez)

My dear Friends,

On behalf of the United Nations Department of Public Information, Non-Governmental Organizations Section, it is a distinct honour for me to congratulate the World Lebanese Cultural Union on the occasion of your fifth anniversary as an associated NGO. 

For nearly five and a half decades the World Lebanese Cultural Union has been successfully endeavouring to promote the Lebanese culture to raise awareness of the Lebanese heritage in the Lebanese Diaspora and beyond.

While actively working with your compatriots around the world, you have also been fulfilling your role as an associated NGO in good standing with the United Nations Department of Public Information.

Since late 1950th, the World Lebanese Cultural Union has been committed to helping your brethren around the world, through a host of service programmes, by combating hunger, providing scholarships, and fighting poverty. Your agenda addresses all of the UN Millennium Development Goals: health, hunger, cleaner environment, and education.

The World Lebanese Cultural Union’s relationship with the United Nations is a testament to the great achievements that can be attained when civil society works hand in hand with international organizations and other NGOs.

DPI remains committed to reaching out, engaging and educating non-governmental organizations, civil society and academia with the goal of building support for peace, development and human rights for all. The NGO Relations Section reaches out yearly to 10,000 members of civil society, most of who are volunteers, in mobilizing and motivating and assisting them to effectively become advocates for change.

The United Nations strongly believes in the substantial work civil society – especially youth – is doing on many issues and on many levels and we expect this trend will continue.

The NGO Relations, together with associated NGOs, articulate the UN’s priorities and activities in order to raise public awareness and increase the support of civil society to the Organization.
As Chief of the DPI/NGO Relations, I invite the World Lebanese Cultural Union to play an active role in the work of DPI/NGO as well as the next UN DPI/NGO Conference. Let us work together to ensure a better, safer, and more secure world for future generations.
I would also like to take this opportunity to express my deep appreciation for the visit of Dr. Nick Kahwaji, WLCU main representative to the DPI-UN, to New York and to thank him for the beautiful book and sculpture of one of my favourite icons Kahlil Gibran. I will retire from the UN but the UN will never retire from me and I can assure you that I will always be there for my great friends the NGOs.

Working together we have made a difference and you will always be in my hearts.

Warm regards,

Maria-Luisa Chávez

Chief, DPI/NGO Relations

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Story of the Month

The Lebanese Heritage House: Marie Khalife’s Museum By Dr. Guita Hourani and Michel Ghanem

Perched on a hill overlooking the ancient church of Our Lady of Ilige and the Monastery of Mayfouq in Mayfouq, Lebanon, we find one of Lebanon’s hidden national treasures:   “the Lebanese Heritage House” of the late Marie Khalife.  Over a period of more than 30 years, Khalife amassed hundreds of cultural objects from around Lebanon to create a replica of the characteristic Lebanese home. Her villa and the museum it housed were finished in 1990, at which point she opened it for free to the public.  Although it was not an official museum, and it was largely unadvertised, it was visited by over 3000 persons by the time she died, in March 2013. Partly this was due to the fact that the Lebanese Heritage House had caught the attention of the media, and was featured on many Lebanese and Middle Eastern TV shows.  

Marie held BAs in Arabic literature and theology and taught painting as well as civic education in private and public schools in Lebanon, instilling into generations of students a love for Lebanon and its heritage. She was a poet and a painter, and friends and acquaintances can testify to her refinement. In the era of the Civil wars, when all about her intellectuals as well as common people were falling victim to pessimism about the future of Lebanon, she resisted with passion this notion and maintained a resilient optimism. She persisted in nurturing her vision of beauty, seeing life in naturally formed objects and giving them, as well as products of handicraft,   a home. Objects for her were subjects that told stories. 

Quote of the Month

Greatness is not in where we stand, but in what direction we are moving. We must sail sometimes with the wind and sometimes against it - but sail we must, and not drift, nor lie at anchor.


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Culture & Multiculturalism

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Economy in Lebanon

Lebanese Emigration

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Roots and Wings

Various Publications

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WLCU Archives

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United Nations(UN) News

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