By Edward J. Alam, Ph.D
Executing Officer/Director of Lebanon: Land of Dialogue
Notre Dame University-Louaize, Lebanon (NDU)
A very exciting and interesting Initiative began in June 2013 whereby several prominent Lebanese businessmen and academics met and selected Notre Dame University-Louaize (NDU) to lead an Initiative devoted to gaining United Nations (UN) recognition of Lebanon as a Land of Dialogue Among Civilizations and Cultures (LDC) by petitioning the UN mainly through an electronic petition among other instruments. The initiative posits that Lebanon has an eternal vocation to be a land of freedom, plurality and conviviality.
This unique goal — to petition the UN to officially recognize Lebanon as such — cannot be accomplished except via both institutional and organizational commitment and alliance and sincere engagement by the Lebanese communities and their friends in Lebanon and abroad.
Our strategy is to stimulate the engagement of Lebanese youth, students, academics and professionals in addition to civil society activists and the general public to lobby for Lebanon’s Dialogue Initiative and to motivate people of goodwill to join hands with us for the UN recognition of Lebanon as a Land of Dialogue.
This will not only be done through engagement of important business people and diplomats, internationally recognized academicians, and multi-cultural Liaison Officers, but also by engaging Lebanese, people of Lebanese descent, people who believe that Lebanon has this vocation, as well as people who believe in dialogue around the world who believe in Lebanon’s vocation of freedom, plurality and conviviality.
This Initiative is a unifying cause for all Lebanese who believe in Lebanon’s vocation. It is a tool to have the UN member states to designate Lebanon as a land for dialogue in an act of International solidarity with Lebanon.
We call upon each one of you to sign the petition (http://chn.ge/SVwBrc), to inform, persuade and encourage family members, friends, and acquaintances around the world to sign the petition and to appeal to your representatives in the UN to vote “Yes” for Lebanon.
Dr. Edward Alam Biography
Edward J. Alam is a Full Professor at Notre Dame University-Louaize, Lebanon, in the Faculty of Humanities, where he has taught philosophy, cultural studies, and theology since 1996. He was Director of International Academic Affairs at Notre Dame from 1999-2004. He is presently Secretary/Treasurer of the World Union of Catholic Philosophical Societies and General Secretary of the Council for Research in Values and Philosophy (www.crvp.org) while recently opening a new CRVP center at his home university in Lebanon. He has given key-note and plenary addresses at international conferences in Rome, Cape Coast, Bangkok and Chicago, and major papers at international conferences in Beirut, Tehran, Qom, Shanghai, Phnom Penh, Hai Phong, Madrid, Uppsala, Siracusa, Washington D.C., Taipei, Ibadan, Awka, Addis Ababa, and Iasi. He has participated in both organizing and giving papers at, international conferences in, Poland and the Ukraine and has traveled extensively in India, East and West Africa, Southeast Asia, and the Middle East promoting philosophical seminars that seek to address contemporary challenges by cultivating perennial values in various cultural heritages. He is founder and chairman of the Communio study group in Lebanon, and has published on Metaphysics and Mysticism in the Communio journal—one of some 30 published articles in international journals around the world; he has published two major books; one on the philosophical contributions of John Henry Newman, and another introductory work on the history of philosophy. He led the 2009 CRVP five-week intensive philosophy seminar in Washington, D.C., on the theme of the Sacred and the Secular, with a 12 member group of international philosophers, and gave a series of week-long lectures on Eschatology at the Wyoming School of Catholic Thought in 2005, as well as the key note address in their nationally acclaimed lecture series in 2010. Edward is a native of Salt Lake City, Utah. He is of Lebanese descent and a member of the Syriac Maronite Church, the oldest Eastern Catholic Church in the world. His wife is Lebanese and they are the proud parents of four children.