In line with its continuous outreach, Notre Dame University-Louaize (NDU) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the International Center for Human Sciences (CISH), Byblos, under the auspices of UNESCO, on Wednesday, June 15. NDU President, Fr. Bechara Khoury, met with CISH Director, Dr. Darina Saliba Abi Chedid, for the signing, following a presentation of CISH’s history and speeches given both by the President and the Director. The Dean of the Faculty of Humanities (FH), Dr. Kamal AbouChedid, and the Chairperson of the Department of English and Translation (DET), Dr. Maya El Hajj, took part in the ceremony.
Dr. Abi Chedid introduced CISH, citing this event to be the first of many cooperative steps with NDU. Founded by both UNESCO and the Lebanese Government in 1999, CISH has dedicated itself towards education, capacity-building, and research in the Human Sciences, embracing and promoting the role of the humanities in social dynamics, cultural advancement, and technology. The Center’s mission aligns with that of NDU in endorsing enlightened and global citizenship, particularly via increasing the national and global relevance of academia.
During his address, Fr. Khoury expressed his enthusiasm for the establishments’ collaboration, a conjoining of resources in pursuit of a cultural resurgence in Lebanon. “If an educational institution does not build bridges,” said the President, “this institution will remain limited.” It is necessary to consistently develop the meaning of culture, and this MOU “cannot be considered a target, but a starting point.”
Said starting point is set to kick-off a mutual development of the humanities, restoring its position as a focal point upon which a society is built. The present crises in Lebanon have hit the economy with a historical hindrance, any cultural movement subsequently fading into the background. However, with this MOU, NDU has set a priority that no dimension of society be left to stagnate in the efforts to strengthen Lebanon’s character, especially as today’s youth will be inheriting the nation’s leadership.
A reception was laid out to celebrate the signing, with Fr. Khoury and Dr. Abi Chedid cutting a cake to commemorate the event. As attendees enjoyed the beverages, food, and one another’s company, a live piano performance set the atmosphere of the gathering, an apt conclusion to this cultural progression.