"The 2nd Cultural City" at the LIU KHYARA campus- WESTERN BEQAA

Inauguration of "The Cultural City" at the LIU KHYARA campus- WESTERN BEQAA, was held on May 2012, under the auspices of Minister of Culture, Engineer Gaby Layyoun represented by Counselor Ghassan Abou Chaqra, and in the presence of former MP Fayssal Daoud, leader of the Syrian Social Nationalist Party Abdulla Wahab and numerous representatives of national and Islamic movements, Ambassadors, consuls and first secretaries of several embassies in Lebanon, Vice President of the Sahl Municipalities Union Ibrahim Badran in addition to political, social and cultural figures and universities professors; President of "The Union Party" former minister Abdel Rahim Mourad inaugurated the 2nd annual LIU Cultural City at (LIU).

The Cultural City set the grounds for a new LIU tradition "which embraces cultural diversity," according to Abdel Rahim Mourad, Its aim is to promote cultural awareness about the world and to create a local culture that welcomes differences.

"It isn't enough to just live in our Lebanese comfort bubble," says Mr. Mourad, "The well-rounded individual needs to be aware of global issues and conflicts in order to become a responsible global citizen." He stresses the event's potential is to "administer social development through participatory, non-political and non-religious approaches."

In his speech at the inauguration, Director of the Gibran Museum Mr. Joseph Geagea, representing the President of the Gibran National Committee Dr. Tarek Chidiac, conveyed the importance of the event and emphasized on the fact that "the event is the first of its nature". The location of the event also served to "show that even the most rural venues are qualified to host and organize an event of this great magnitude". He hoped that this event will expand through the years to come.

The two weeks long program consisted of an unprecedented display of Lebanese and international cultures through a myriad of outlets consisting of plays, movie screenings, art exhibitions, music, dance, book signings, poetry recitals and an exhibition of Gibran Khalil Gibran's Paintings.

Participants included the Netherlands, Turkey, Columbia, Brazil, Venezuela, South Korea,Cuba, Palestine, Sudan, Kuwait, Kazakhstan, Syria, Iran, Philippines, Indonesia, and Romania during the opening ceremony, represented their respective countries at their national stands. Each stand contained pictures, booklets, giveaways, and a little something from each culture.

The other half of the gathering was filled with pure Lebanese talent: designers, artists, and craft workers showcasing their work for the two-week program.