Dr. Sfeir at LDE Oceania Conference
Posted on 07/03/2018
 
“Your excellency Mrs. Gladys Berejiklian Prime Minister
Your Eminence Bishop
Your  Excellency Gebran Bassil Minister of Foreign Affairs
 
Dear Friends,

Ladies and Gentlemen

Greetings from Lebanon

I am so delighted to be with you today.
It is a wonderful occasion to be among vibrant and inspiring people especially when the gathering is taking place in a beautiful country, a great friend of Lebanon: Australia

You may be thousands of miles away from our beloved country, but your countrymen always look for you for inspiration and assistance. 
It is true that the civil war ended some 28 years ago, but the country is still not at peace.
It is easy to rebuild buildings and pave roads, but it is very difficult to restore the civil society and weave back the social fabric that got ruptured during the war.

Lebanon needs your help to make the transformation from a stagnant society into a productive modern one.
The world is changing and it is changing fast. We need to keep up with the Pace and speed of knowledge. What used to take months to know now is one click away. Lebanon is rich with Human Resources the prerequisite to have an economy based on solid foundation, relying on new technology and people acumen.

If the Middle East were a hardware Lebanon should have been its software.
We all agree you are Lebanon’s ambassadors beautifully representing our country.
And Here in Australia, our community has once again proven its immense capacity for innovation and leadership.
We can agree that the government of Lebanon will tackle better every big task with you & your talent.
There’s a stark contrast when we compare the momentum of change between Australia and Lebanon.
You — our “Diaspora Energy” are helping to create the dynamic of change here in Australia which we so desperately need in Lebanon.
Bring your democratic experience and with what you have learned in this great nation, inject it into our lagging nation.
Last month I returned from Africa, another continent being transformed.
In Africa, our fellow Lebanese are also part of the transformation. We can see Africa’s transformation outpacing change in our homeland and in many ways that is thanks to “Diaspora Power”.

Sadly, important change is much too restricted in Lebanon. Why is this the case?
It is because our homeland is not unified, we are not unified in purpose, we are not unified in practice. It is because we do not put our nation above our narrow individual political, and confessional interests. Preserving our religious diversity should not be in conflict with our national unity.
Lebanon has so much potential!
Lebanon has exciting Oil & Gas reserves.
We have outstanding technologists and the demand is clear.
But today we live in a stalemate Prisoners of the Status Quo.
There is a need to rebrand Lebanon while keeping the same spirit of innovation and entrepreneurship your ancestors spread around the globe.
Because with your attention and your Energy, we can change outcomes in Lebanon.
And when we talk about energy, we cannot not refer to Minister Gebran Bassil who is trying to create venues to channel this energy to the benefit of the country.

But change requires new tools.
If we try to bring about change with the old political guard, we are certainly going to get the same outcome.
The name of the game is participation. I urge you to vote in the upcoming election this spring.
Dear comrades in the Love of Lebanon, I invite you to step forward to repatriate your innovations and your innovative ways back to Lebanon.
Thank you
God Bless You
 
 
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