In collaboration with the Lebanese Ministry of Tourism, LAU President Michel E. Mawad announced the launch of the Euro Mediterranean Intercultural Dialogue Forum, which will be held over three days on April 19-21, 2022 in collaboration with the Lebanese Ministries of Culture, Agriculture, Industry, Environment, and Foreign Affairs, as well as the European Institute of Cultural Routes. 

Dr. Mawad made the announcement in his address at the launching ceremony of the Intercultural Forum Cultural Tourism Roadmap for Lebanon, held at the Lebanese Pavilion – Expo 2020 Dubai in the UAE under the patronage of the Minister of Tourism Walid Nassar, who was represented by the Lebanese Ambassador to the UAE Fouad Dandan. 

In his speech, Dr. Mawad spoke about how “culture preservation and propagation has always been an integral part of our mission and a core value we uphold,” especially as the university hosts and supports the country’s only Center for Lebanese Heritage, the LAU Louis Cardahi Foundation (LCF) and the Centre for Lebanese Studies. “Between these three assets, hardly a week passes without a seminar, webinar, concert, or event,” he said.

Dr. Mawad went on to salute LCF Director Rachid Chamoun and his team whose efforts came to fruition with Lebanon’s accession into the Cultural Routes of the Council of Europe. “To us, this is a matter of identity, national pride, cultural preservation and scholarly pursuit,” he said.

Thanking the Council of Europe and the UAE Government, particularly the Emirate of Dubai, he further noted the support of Minister Nassar – an LAU alumnus – and commended his participation in the Expo 2020 Dubai. He also pointed to the pivotal moment of Lebanon’s accession to the enlarged partial agreement into the Cultural Routes. He described this as a fruit of the university’s collaboration with our partners and member states of the European Institute of Cultural Routes in launching “Smart Ways Lebanon by the Phoenicians’ Route.” 

“Our collaboration with international tourism organizations is focused on sustaining our institutional development of the cultural tourism roadmap for Lebanon in line with the ministry’s action plan and the strategies developed by the Phoenicians’ Route within the framework of the European Institute of Cultural Routes, Council of Europe,” added Dr. Mawad. 

He further explained that the Euro Mediterranean Intercultural Dialogue Forum is an ambitious initiative linking three continents that share Phoenician origins dating back to the 12th century BC.