August 20, 2019 – His Beatitude Mar Bechara Boutros El Rahi, Maronite Patriarch of Antioch and all the East awarded the Maronite Patriarchate Medal to Dr. Guita Hourani, Director of the Lebanese Research Center for Migration and Diaspora Studies, and Assistant Professor at the Faculty of Law and Political Science at Notre Dame University-Louaize (NDU).
Dr. Hourani was awarded the Maronite Patriarchal Medal by H.B. Patriarch El Rahi, in a ceremony which took place in the Maronite Patriarchate’s Summer Residence in Dimane, in the presence of Fr. Samir Ghsoub, Vice President for Administration, representing Fr. Pierre Najem, President of NDU; H.E. Former Ambassador Antonio Andary; Advisor to the Ministry of Education and Higher Education in Lebanon, Suheil Matar; and the Honorary Consul of Lebanon in Vancouver, Dr. Nicolas Kahwaji.
Dr. Kahwaji opened the ceremony by expressing his gratitude to H.B. El Rahi for honoring Dr. Hourani, going over some of Hourani’s accomplishments. Dr. Khawaji said that Hourani has rendered prodigious service to the Maronite Church and to the Lebanese diaspora alike. He asked the Patriarch to bless her, her journey and her lifetime of dedication: “Dr. Hourani in her dedicated and often silent work has established herself as a major reference on the Maronites in Lebanon and the Lebanese Diaspora, establishing the Maronite Research Institute in Washington, leading the Lebanese Center for Migration and Diaspora Studies at NDU – the university that Your Beatitude founded, acting as Advisor to Bishop Boutros Gemayyel in the Liturgical Committee for the Diaspora, as well as in conducting research on the veneration of St. Maroun in Syria, Jordan, Kuwait, Egypt, Antioch, Cyprus, Italy, Russia, and Finland, among others.”
Presenting the Medal to Hourani, H.B. El Rahi said “This Patriarchal Medal of Honor represents the greatest token of appreciation and love for what you have done in service of the Maronite Community in Lebanon and in the Diaspora. We hope that Our Lady of Qannoubine blesses your accomplishments and your journey in order for you to continue on your path of devotion and greatness.”
In her acceptance speech, Dr. Hourani humbly thanked H.B. El Rahi for this remarkable honor, and extended her sincere appreciation to Honorary Consul Kahwaji and the Honorary Consul of Lebanon in Halifax, the Honorable Wadih Fares who nominated her for this honor. “While in migration, my attachment and understanding of my Maronity grew to an extent that I was determined to establish the Maronite Research Institute and the Journal of Maronite Studies in Washington, D.C.” Dr. Hourani said. “This endeavor was the most significant and the greatest satisfying of all the endeavors I undertook.”
Dr. Hourani closed by saying: “I will endeavor with all the talents that the Lord has given me to use them in the service of my Church, my people, my homeland, and humanity.”