Lebanon's Ministry of Information on Tuesday evening launched the activities of "Beirut the Capital of Arab Media 2023" during a ceremony held at the Middle East Aviation Center in Beirut, under the auspices of Caretaker Prime Minister, Najib Mikati, represented by Caretaker Minister of Information, Ziad Makary.
The opening ceremony of this event was attended by Caretaker Ministers of Tourism, Walid Nassar, Public Works and Transport, Dr. Ali Hamieh, Finance Dr. Youssef Al-Khalil, Tele-Communications Eng. Johnny Corm, and National Education Abbas Al-Halabi, in addition to MPs Qabalan Qabalan, Fadi Alameh, Michel Moussa, Ibrahim Al-Mousawi, and MP Tony Franjieh.
The opening ceremony was also attended by a number of Arab and foreign ambassadors, representatives of diplomatic missions operating in Lebanon, Information Ministry's Director General, Dr. Hassan Falha, National News Agency (NNA) Director, Ziad Harfouche, Radio Lebanon Director, Mohammed Gharib, Director of Studies, Khoder Majid, Information Ministry's Studies' Department Head, Khodr Majed, in addition to scores of media and cultural figures.
In his delivered speech, the Assistant Secretary of the League of Arab States, Ambassador Ahmed Rashid Khattabi, said: 'It is a great honor to attend this evening to represent the League of Arab States at the 'Beirut Capital of Arab Media 2023' ceremony, under the slogan 'Here's Beirut'... That picturesque cosmic middle city that carries the fragrant of history and human civilization, which has proven in all circumstances to be a symbol of pride and challenge, defying difficulties and misfortunes.'
Ambassador Khattabi also indicated: "I am confident that Beirut, the heart of Lebanon, will remain faithful to its ancient identity, the roots of the cedar tree, and a space for pluralism, love and harmony."
Afterwards, a short movie entitled, "Here's Beirut", prepared and directed by "Phenomena", was screened during the opening ceremony.
In his inaugural speech, Caretaker Minister Makary said: 'Beirut, 'the capital of Arab media for 2023,' a well-deserved title! Beirut is the capital of Arab media for all years. Here is "freedom of the press", Here is 'Free press', and here is success, distinction, brilliance, openness and creativity!.'
Makary added: "Beirut, the capital of Arab media," is not only an occasion for demonstrating our leadership, nor an occasion for demonstrating our culture only. "Beirut, Capital of Arab Media" is an occasion to manifest our Arabism and purify it from its impurities. Therefore, I launch an appeal to all our Arab brothers, to render this year a year of media openness between our Arab capitals, be a year in which we can demonstrate our living culture, with its motto 'a culture that unites us, not ignorance that separates us'.'
The Minister concluded: "We want this celebration to be a window of hope, and a gateway for the return of Lebanese-Arab relations to their natural course. Here is Beirut, Here is 'the mother of journalism,' 'the mother of culture,' 'the mother of laws,' and 'the mother of legislations'.'
Later, 11 media professionals from various local media outlets read out the articles of the "Beirut Document", which stated: "It aims to define the Lebanese vision for the function of the media, its role and objectives, and to recall professional postulates based on the "Beirut Capital of Arab Media 2023" event, and based on the principle of belief in public freedoms. We hope that this document will be a local road map based on the principles and ethics of journalistic and media work."
It is to note that the idea of choosing 'a capital for Arab media' was launched by the Council of Arab Information Ministers during its 47th regular session back in 2016, with the aim of shedding light on national media work within member states.
Source: National News Agency - Lebanon