Notre Dame University



LERC welcomes coordinator of German cultural center

Wednesday 28th April 2009, LERC, NDU
Reported by Elie Nabhan

Mrs. Astrid Fischer Khalifé, a Swiss national and coordinator at the Kulturzentrum, a cultural center founded and sponsored by Germany, paid a visit to the Lebanese Emigration Research Center at Notre Dame University.

Mrs. Fischer Khalifé is also the President of the club Les Amis de la Suisse in Lebanon, founded in 2008 (  The club continues to enjoy the support of the Swiss Embassy in Lebanon.

The main objective of the Les Amis de la Suisse is to become a cultural showcase for Switzerland in Lebanon through the organization of concerts, exhibitions, film shows, conferences, excursions and dinner parties. These cultural activities are growing in the hope of promoting peace in Lebanon.

Germany’s Kulturzentrum, which is supported by Germany, aims at “promoting the exchange of cultures and languages not just from Germany but from Europe and the world, and to make access available to those interested in learning the German language.”

In the light of LERC’s interest in the cultural face of migration and the heritage of the Lebanese migrants in Europe and the world, LERC Director Ms. Guita Hourani welcomed Mrs. Fischer to the Center’s premises. At her side was Mr. Roberto Khatlab, Researcher and LERC’s Latin America Liaison Officer.

Having married a Lebanese Air Force officer, Mrs. Fischer has been residing in Lebanon for over thirty years. She is currently the Kulturzentrum’s coordinator. The Center itself is located next to the téléphérique in Haret Sakhr in Jounieh.

Discussions were centered mainly on Lebanese migration in general and the experience of immigrants in Lebanon and in particular that of Swiss Nationals and Mrs. Fischer herself. The possibility of future cooperation between LERC and the Kulturzentrum was also discussed with the aim of participating in the extension of the Lebanon and Migration Museum's collections at NDU.

Mrs. Fischer was then introduced to the Lebanese Emigration Archives and database by Mrs. Liliane Haddad and taken on a tour of the Lebanon and Migration Museum at NDU.



Mrs. Astrid Fischer (right) pictured with Mr. Roberto Khatlab at the Lebanon and Migration Museum at NDU (Apr 2009).