lebanon

The United States Embassy in Lebanon shifted its focus from political and economic ties to cultural diplomacy Wednesday, throwing an event to honor the works of Gebran Khalil Gebran. The answer to why Gebran was chosen, according to the embassy’s Cultural Affairs Attache Kristin Smith, is that the poet functions as a symbol for the deep relationship between Lebanon and the United States. Gebran was born in Bsharri in the then Ottoman empire and died in 1931, aged 48, in New York.

By far the greatest burden of receiving Syria’s refugees has fallen not on the United States or on Europe, but on Syria’s neighbors: Turkey, Lebanon and Jordan. Together, these countries are hosting most of the five million Syrians. [...] The Turkish city of Gaziantep sets an example in treating refugees humanely. [...] Refugees are allowed to work and have access to free health care and schools, and the government has repeatedly committed to creating a pathway to Turkish citizenship.

U.S. Ambassador Elizabeth Richard joined Prime Minister Hariri on Thursday to launch the Diaspora Investment and Development platform, developed with the support of a $1,050,000 grant from the United States Agency for International Development (USAID).

Canada is combating terrorism by improving “social cohesion” in Lebanon, which is inundated with Syrian refugees. Can it possibly work? [...] It is a subtle weapon; social cohesion improvements lack the immediate impact of a bomb. But can good intentions, friendly smiles and linking words be an effective response to terrorism?

Alan Gilbert has chosen to celebrate the close of his tenure as music director of the New York Philharmonic on a political note, with a program called “A Concert for Unity.” BY inviting musicians from countries including Iran and Israel to join Philharmonic members on the stage on Thursday-Saturday, Mr. Gilbert is clearly trying to steer against the divisive winds coming out of Washington. But he is also interesting himself into a tradition of bridge-building musical events that reach back to the aftermath of World War II. Here are five memorable moments of musical diplomacy: 

BEIRUT: Prime Minister Saad Hariri on Sunday called for job creation across the Middle East to boost regional stability and counter extremist ideology. “This goal can only be achieved through the stimulation of economic growth and full partnership between the public and private sectors,” Hariri said, speaking at the 17th Doha Forum in Qatar.“In the age of globalization, extremism has become globalized, and so have terrorism and dangers,” he continued. “There is no way to confront them except by a globalized response.”

Thursday, March 3, Montreal, Quebec—As the sixth anniversary of the Syrian conflict approaches, Development and Peace—Caritas Canada is pleased to announce the continued support of Global Affairs Canada for the organization’s humanitarian aid and sustainability efforts in the Middle East.

I did make it to the North America Lebanese Diaspora Energy Conference. There I moderated a panel discussion on "Branding Lebanon: Buy Lebanon and Lebanese Cuisine". LDE promotes entrepreneurship in Lebanon and the support was certainly there. The line-up of expatriate participants [...] represented all that is good about the Lebanese migrant tradition.

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