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Published on : Wednesday, July 8, 2015
A startling Lebanese-Australian day was marked at the typical Lebanese village “Hayda Lebanon” in the region of Zaarour, in the presence of Australian Ambassador to Lebanon, Glenn Miles and the Maronite Bishop of Australia, Antoine Charbel Tarabay.
The remarkable day also took place in the presence of Tourism Ministry Director General, Nada Sardouq, National News Agency (NNA), Director, Laure Sleiman Saab, and scores of Lebanese expatriate community in Australia.
The ceremony included the unveiling of plates carrying the names of Lebanese villages, with the expatriate George Ghosein representing his hometown, Hadath Jebbe, expatriate Fadi Alzouki representing Rashaya Fukkhar, expatriate Farid Rahi representing Minieh, expatriate Sarkis Nassif representing Harf Erdeh, and expatriate Nazih Nicola Qunat.
In his delivered sermon, Bishop Tarabay expressed appreciation of all the assistance that Australia has offered to Lebanon and to the Lebanese living in Australia, indicating that the Lebanese people have truly loved the hospitable nation of Australia and many of them have succeeded in building safer and better future for them and their families.
Ambassador Miles, for his part, said, “It is a privilege to have been invited to raise the Australian Flag this wonderful morning at Hayda Lebanon. And in such scenic surroundings – the mountains serve as an amazing back drop while the view across to the Mediterranean is nothing short of spectacular.”
The Australian envoy went on to say, “Lebanon has much to offer, particularly when it comes to tourism – both domestic and international. And the tourism sector is important for Lebanon – as it is for Australia. Tourism contributes to national income, creates jobs and accounts for a significant portion of the labour market. In 2014, the tourism sector was estimated to contribute to over 3 billion dollars to the economy, or almost 7% of the GDP. This is despite the regional turmoil which has decreased tourists’ number to the region and to Lebanon.
The Ambassador concluded, “So, today the tourism industry relies on the large number of Lebanese living abroad, who return regularly to the country during the summer season. And that’s why I feel privileged to be able to raise the Australian flag here at Hayda Lebanon – because despite the physical distance between our two countries, our ties are strong.”
It is to note that the Austrian flag was raised at the model village last week in the presence of the Austrian Ambassador and the Austrian community in Lebanon.
A Lebanese-Cypriot day will also be taking place at the Hayda Lebanon exemplary village next Saturday, July 11, 2015, in the presence of the Maronite Bishop in Cyprus, Joseph Sweif and Cypriot Ambassador to Lebanon.
Tags: Lebanese-Australian day