Academic and cultural figures gather at LAU Byblos for a conference titled “Trinity State: Homeland, Citizen, Citizenship.”
Academic and cultural figures made an appeal for Lebanese to invest in education and culture to help build the intellectual strength of the country, during a daylong LAU Byblos conference on April 28.
The three-session conference, titled “Trinity State: Homeland, Citizen, Citizenship,” was jointly organized by LAU’s School of Arts and Sciences; the Lebanese Cultural Dialogue Circle, an organization concerned with Lebanese and Arab culture; and the Alumni Association of the Lebanese University’s Institute of Social Sciences.
“Lebanon is not built solely on politics or economics or military superiority, but rather it can only excel through its adoption of culture, thought, creativity and writing,” said Dr. Nidale Daccache, assistant professor of Arabic studies at the Department of Humanities at LAU Byblos, who was the event coordinator.
“Industrial countries have developed with the help of their creative citizens and other countries have failed to develop due to the lack of education among their citizens,” added Daccache, who is also a member of the Cultural Dialogue Circle.
In his introductory speech, LAU President Dr. Joseph G. Jabbra emphasized the themes of patriotism and equality among Lebanese citizens under the authority of the law.
“The Lebanese people’s hopes for their country can only be realized when their work can serve the country,” Jabbra said. “How can the Lebanese be proud when Lebanon is ranked last on their list of priorities? How can we pride ourselves in living above the law?”
Jameela Hussein, chair of the Cultural Dialogue Circle, said the concept of citizenship is not innate and must be incorporated into the academic programs.
“The true form of citizenship takes shape through a social contract between the individual and his or her country,” Hussein said. “This contract specifies the rights and responsibilities for both the citizen and the country.”
Dr. Nadeem Mansouri, president of the Alumni Association of the Lebanese University’s Institute of Social Sciences, said that Lebanese citizens must reflect on the current circumstances of their faltering state, hoping that the country can be steered away from familial and sectarian divides.