Lebanese Identity and Belonging: Challenges and Opportunities

Last November, the “Lebanese-German Association for the Promotion of Culture”, otherwise referred to as the “Kulturzentrum”, contacted the Middle East office of the World Youth Alliance expressing an interest in collaborating together. Wanting to organize a conference on the national level, the Kulturzentrum were put in contact with the newly established Lebanese National Committee of WYA.

The result of this collaboration was a national conference titled “Lebanese Identity and Belonging: Challenges and Opportunities” that took place at the Lebanese German University on March 8, 2014. The conference was jointly organized by the University, the Kulturzentrum, and WYA’s National Committee. Among the speakers were:

  • Mr. Christian Clages, Germany’s Ambassador to Lebanon
  • Dr. Khaled Kabbani, Former Minister of Education
  • Dr. BahigeTabbarah, Former Minister of Justice
  • Professor Antoine Messarra, Member of the Constitutional Council

The conference focused on two panels that were moderated by WYA’s National Coordinator in Lebanon, Dr. Ghassan Bou Diab. The first panel focused on the challenges of national identity in a pluralistic society highlighting the comparative perspective between the Lebanese and the German experiences, while shedding light on the specificities and components of the Lebanese identity and related challenges. The second panel focused on identifying opportunities to safeguarding the concepts of pluralism and national identity through educational systems, social ties, and commitment to state building, while observing political systems reflecting the richness of Lebanon.

The Middle East office of WYA is proud to see the Lebanese National Committee leading, planning, and organizing this conference.