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Address by the President of the Lebanese Republic General Michel Aoun at the Fourth Edition of the Lebanese Diaspora Energy Conference

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How beautiful it is for the grandfathers, the fathers and the children to return to the lap of their mother, to the warmth of the motherland to which they belong. And here you are, returning, even for a short visit, and you are being received by relatives, siblings and friends, with utmost joy and happiness. So welcome to the meeting of the beloved which gathers every year the Lebanese spread in the four corners of the world.

 

My fellow Lebanese coming from the world of Diaspora, 

You belong to a small country on the coast of the Mediterranean Sea, whose geographical area on the world's map is not enough to write its name; but the expansion of its human elements has covered the globe, and they have upheld its name throughout the whole world, contributing efficientl¬y to the development of the new societies a part of which they have become, carrying with the¬m the values of theirmotherland, namely ¬freedom, tolerance and the acceptance of the other, and its history which is a continuity of consecutive civilizations, and which helps them adapt wherever they are, and allows them to leave its own mark in its new society.

 

Lebanon has a long and painful history with emigration. In every house, there is a son, brother or relative who is absent, missed by the parents and siblings, missing the family occasions and celebrations, and having the young ones grow while he is away.

This is an emotional tax that our families have been paying ever since we turned into a country that exports its citizens rather than exporting its production.

Some may think that the road of emigration is lined with roses and jasmines, for no one knows the suffering of the emigrants but those who experience emigration, especially during the first years. Being ripped off the nation itself is not at all easy, and adapting to a new environment, with all the differences it may bear in the customs, culture and language, is not easy either. It has absolutely not come from a luxury or a whim, but rather from a difficult political, social and economic situation that has driven our children outside the nation's embrace.

Since the mid-nineteenth century, and with the eras of oppression and tyranny, and the calamities they have entailed, the Lebanese started to abandon their homeland. And with every crisis or war, the numbers of emigrants increased, in the hope of a better life, till the number of the Lebanese spread throughout the world has become many times the number of the Lebanese residing in Lebanon.

 

Dear children in the world of Diaspora,

New nations have taken you in. You have become a part of them, and you may have held their identity. Their economic and political situation may be better than that of your motherland today, but never forget that you carrythe heritage of a great civilization.

You are the children of a civilization which has given to the sound an image and to the image a sound It invented the letter, stored thought and science, and securing their proliferation and their inheritance till the day.

Your original language was the Aramaic, but you spoke and wrote all the languages of the civilizational eras. In Greek, you wrote downthought, philosophy and sciences. In Latin, you drafted canons and taught laws, and Beirut was dubbed the “Mother of Laws”, accommodatingthe most reputable law school in the early Christian centuries.

You mastered the Arabic language and enriched it with literature, thought and philosophy, promoting through it the Arab nationalistic thought. You preserved it with its authenticity in its strongholds during the Ottoman period, and it is your mother tongue today.

This is the civilization to which you belong, which is the essence and blend of numerouscivilizations, and which is at the origin of your fast integration in the new communities.

 

Esteemed audience,

To travel temporarily, in quest of a better education or a job opportunity which is unavailable here, this is a good thing; but to migrate in quest of a new nation and a new identity, it is an alarm which is being sounded! Have we asked ourselves why our children seek an alternative country?

Why do they sacrifice their identity and beg for another to which nothing links them?

Why do they bear the pain of being apart from family and friends, from the home, neighborhood and street of their cgildhood?

Why do they bear the hardships of adapting to a new environment where everything is different from them?

I am confident that with the true answers to these questions begins the edification of the State.

 

Fellow Lebanese spread around the world,

If the economic situation had driven you out to the world of emigration, or if the spirit of rebellion and freedom which has marked you made your land seem tight for you during the eras of injustice, your attachment to your motherland remains remarkable and great. Although you have been physically absent, the country has never been absent from your hearts.You are at the very foundation of its economy and you have the credit for your families' welfare.

You are the pride of your country, and your achievements in the four corners of the globe tell your story. You have ensured outreach and civilizational progress between the East and the West, so you have become the heart of a dry West and the mind of a dreamy Orient.

As you have the duty of loyalty to the States that have hosted you and provided you with a better life, to whose development and prosperity you have contributed, you also have the duty of loyalty to the mother-nation which calls on you to contribute to its development and prosperityas well. Rest assured that your country’s heart is always open for you whenever you decide to come back, for the nation can only be built by the arms of its children. The construction workshop has been launched, and I am confidentthat your arms will participate in lining the first course.

 

Dearly beloved,

Be ‘Lebanese dimensions’ wherever you are, and keep your identity because it representsyour history and your roots.




آخر تحديث في تاريخ  04/05/2017 - 06:29 ص
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