here to view the speech in Arabic
Prime Minister Rafic Haririís Speech at the American
University of Beirut
of the American University of Beirut,
is characterized by its capabilities that show in all
circumstances. It is also characterized by freedom and
democracy where all people can express their views frankly,
freely and without any fear.
is how things are supposed to be. If there were no students
protesting about something and students who supported the same
thing, this would no longer be the American University of
Beirut and Lebanon would cease to be Lebanon.
we fear is a Lebanon with only one view that believes it is
the right one with the only right understanding of things.
human being has a monopoly on the whole truth; the truth
belongs to all people and is seen by each individual from his
or her perspective. It is important that we handle things in a
civilized, ethical and decent way. It is equally important
that we listen to one another and engage in a dialogue.
Lebanon is passing through a sensitive stage of its history on
all levels. In some cases we are in a state of limbo. Some
people do not want a dialogue and do not want to listen. They
want to listen to their own views only and believe that their
views are right and any other views are wrong. Other people
are ready for dialogue and discussion. They want to take the
initiative and to give advice and listen to advice.
believe that Lebanon is a country of dialogue and democracy.
We have to adhere to this against all odds and despite all
pressures. I say this while our country passes through a stage
that will determine the countryís direction for a long time
to come. The country will either be subjected to a single
view, a single thought, and the truth of some influential
people, or it will continue its process toward intellectual
pluralism and true democracy and freedom that cannot be
downsized, excluded or controlled by anybody.
fully believe that the Lebanese love freedom, breathe
democracy and respect the law and true Lebanese traditions
which, despite all historical calamities, are still
appreciated by us all.
we celebrate the launching of a new business administration
faculty. Why today? Why this faculty? And why did we
contribute to the project?
believe that this university plays a key role in encouraging
Lebanonís role in the region.
is Lebanonís role in the region?
people say that Lebanonís old role is over but do not take
the trouble to describe Lebanonís new role. We believe that
countriesí roles do not end. They change and take new shapes
according to circumstances and stages. Officials are supposed
to help in identifying the role of the country.
believe that Lebanon is the beacon of freedom and democracy in
the Arab East and that it should retain this role despite the
defects infesting our freedom and democracy. We have to remove
these defects instead of convincing ourselves that there is no
freedom or democracy. We have to decry all the time any act
that violates democracy and freedom. We have to establish a
belief in freedom and democracy in our country.
role is to disseminate culture. Lebanon has a pivotal role in
the Arab culture. It has a key role in education, as well as
acting as a financial, economic and commercial hub in the
was the hospital of the East and must regain this role. It was
the chief tourist center among the regionís countries and
must regain this role.
can we translate these slogans into reality? We have to carry
out projects on a large, medium and small scale that will all
help Lebanon boost its role in the region. It is not enough to
raise slogans, we have to put them into practice and not act
against them. Our slogans and actions must be in harmony.
faculty and this university contribute to Lebanonís role as
a financial, economic and commercial hub in the Middle East.
We have to establish this role and develop it by developing
the American University of Beirut and all universities and
institutes, especially the Lebanese University. This
university in particular carries a heavy burden because of the
law, the large number of students and the low fees it
collects. That is why it is imperative to develop the
universityís curricula and educational capabilities. This
will insure that the universityís level will become more
advanced and the university will provide services to more
curricula and providing university education to more students
are the basic requirements for developing Lebanon, enhancing
its openness to other civilizations, and allowing it to become
a cultural, financial, economic and commercial center in the
you all know, we are facing a major crisis that we all want to
see resolved in the coming years. But this cannot be done
without deliberate work and a clear vision of what we are
supposed to do. We have to shoulder our responsibilities and
meet the challenges.
a deaf ear to our countryís problems will not solve these
problems. Provoking unrest will not solve these problems.
Creating an unstable situation in the country will not solve
solve these problems, we have to identify them and put forward
hope we will meet up again, God willing, and depending on the
enthusiasm of those responsible for this project I hope that
we can inaugurate this key educational center in a few years.
I am sure it will be inaugurated and we will see students
studying in it.