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Welcome Note

“Everyone is more or less permanently in transit ... Not so much ‘where are you from’ but ‘where are you between?’ ” James Clifford
  • In a region as culturally diverse and politically complex as the Middle East, abounding with a historical legacy of discarded and layered divergent communities, creeds, and ethnicities, it is no wonder that this part of the world has continually witnessed its youth settle tentatively and then move away, each leaving behind some signs of who they were and why they were in that particular place at that particular time. 

    This age-old phenomenon persists today; sometimes they are forced to leave, sometimes they leave voluntarily, and sometimes they never leave but remain trapped in a seemingly hopeless state. 

    All of those youthful groups — living or departed, rich or poor, educated or ignorant — have stories to tell and an inner voice driving them to struggle for freedom; stories that can be collected, conserved, celebrated, and used as a tool to shape a better society. 

    The articulation of those stories can effectively contribute to the planning process by preserving, challenging, and inventing a community identity. It is at this juncture that our role as trusted community-based academic institutions comes into play and our duty begins to protect and support them, as a key to the advancement and preservation of arts, culture, and heritage.

    The Notre Dame University-Louaize International Film Festival (NDUIFF) mission is anchored in the University mission statement, which actively promotes protecting and preserving this entire heritage and diverse culture. 

    Sam Lahoud
    Founder, Director