ACT NOW: Petition the UN for Lebanon

IMG_0047By 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 (, 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 ( 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. 

PHOTOS: House of Lebanon participates in LA Block Party

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(LOS ANGELES, CA) — House of Lebanon participated in the 35th Annual Brookside Block Party in Los Angeles, CA on June 23. According to House of Lebanon’s Facebook page, the event allowed them to “meet our new neighbors and be part of the community where we purchased our new Lebanese American cultural center.”

Brookside Block Party is “LA’s longest continuously running block party.” Funds obtained from sponsorship are used to support community safety, historic preservation, disaster preparedness, and activities like holiday caroling with a horse-drawn wagon in the Brookside neighborhood and Movie Night in the Park.

“It is important for House of Lebanon to be part of events that benefit the community we are part of,” said Ferris Wehbe, Board Member. “We have moved to our newly purchased cultural center just last year and this is our second year being sponsors at the Brookside Block Party.”

Photo courtesy of House of Lebanon, Lebanese American Foundation, Inc. All rights reserved. For more information, visit

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Casey Kasem: How Lebanese culture influenced his storytelling style and life outside radio

By Lara Akl, Communications & Marketing Manager at House of Lebanon

(Los Angeles, CA) — He is known as the iconic voice of American radio. For decades, Casey Kasem brought millions of listeners together across the country through his nationally syndicated countdown radio show American Top 40. With his warm unique voice, he was able to connect on an emotional level and build distant relationships with millions of followers.

House of Lebanon is saddened by the loss of not only the iconic radio legend, but also the Lebanese American figure, whose legacy brought pride to the Lebanese people-casey-kasem (1)and Arab American community. Becoming a famous legendary radio host and a national American figure, Kasem never forgot about his Lebanese heritage. His cultural background influenced his presentational style as a radio host, was present in his children’s upbringing, and incented him to become a passionate advocate on Lebanese Americans and Arab Americans causes.

As a radio presenter, Kasem was known for short stories he told in between songs during his show. People not only excitedly awaited to learn the number one song, but they looked forward to listen to his feel-good narratives. Kasem used storytelling in his show drawing on his Lebanese background and upbringing. “I was drawing on the Arabic tradition of storytelling one-upmanship,” he told the New York Times in 1990. “When I was a kid, men would gather in my parents’ living room and tell tales and try to outdo each other. I couldn’t understand the language, but I was fascinated…. I was doing trivia before anyone was doing trivia.”

Casey and KerriOn a family and personal level, Kasem was a proud Lebanese American. Born in 1932, Kemal Amin “Casey” Kasem was the son of Lebanese immigrant parents. He was raised in Detroit, Michigan, and had a large extended family. As a Lebanese American father, he wanted his children to learn about their background. Interviewing his daughter Kerri Kasem on March 5, 2014, she told House of Lebanon how “growing up, we used to go spend our summers in Michigan and Detroit with my grandparents. I, my brother, and my sister were surrounded by our large extended Lebanese family. As a family, we regularly gathered around Lebanese food, played cards and danced.” She finished by saying how “family and cultural ties are extremely important for my father. He wanted us to learn about our heritage, our Lebanese Druze culture, and where his family came from. He wanted us to keep attached to our roots.”

Kasem wanted his culture, history, and heritage to be known to everyone. That’s why he supported a Lebanese American organization like House of Lebanon and foresaw the value of establishing the first Lebanese American Cultural Center in Los Angeles. He showed his commitment to our cause by donating to House of Lebanon several times. “We are deeply saddened to lose an active figure like Casey Kasem,” expressed Judge James Kaddo, Chairman of House of Lebanon. “He was a man of conscience, a humanitarian, and an advocate not only for the Lebanese American Community, but also for the Arab American community as a whole.”

As a Lebanese American public figure, Kasem advocated for Arab Americans cause. He was against American mainstream media’s depiction of Arab Americans. In James Zoghby’s words, president of the Arab American Institute, “no one has done more in Hollywood to challenge the negative stereotypes of Arabs in the media than Casey.” Kasem promoted the accomplishment and contributions of Arab Americans. He wrote a brochure published by the Arab American Institute entitled “Arab-Americans: Making a Difference.”

Casey Kasem will be greatly missed. Our condolences to all of his family and children. House of Lebanon is committed to continue working hard on establishing the first Lebanese American Cultural Center that Casey Kasem supported.


About House of Lebanon

House of Lebanon is a non-profit organization located in Los Angeles. Its mission is to preserve, communicate, and celebrate Lebanese heritage and culture.

For more information visit

Lara Akl is the Communications and Marketing Manager at House of Lebanon.

Lebanese Cultural Reception Co-Hosted at House of Lebanon


House of Lebanon opened its doors on May 7th, at 6:00pm and welcomed International Visitors Council of Los Angeles (IVCLA) for a spirited evening celebrating the arrival of twelve honored guests representing four major Universities in Lebanon.

The universities represented include Beirut Arab University, Notre Dame University of Beirut, Haigazian University, and Holy Spirit University of Kaslik. The representatives, who hold high managerial positions at the mentioned institutions, are participating in the USAID Expand Your Horizons project on Higher Education.

“We are happy to be able to support IVCLA and its guests from Lebanon and contribute to the cultural reception”, said Judge James Kaddo, Chairman of Board of Directors.  “House of Lebanon supports IVCLA’s mission, which is to create international understanding through professional meetings and cultural activities.”

A number of House of Lebanon Board Members attended the event to welcome the special guests and to support their program.

Article written and provided by House of Lebanon. For more information, click here.

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