HE Minister of Tourism Michel PHARAON signed a memorandum of cooperation with the President of Notre Dame University Father Walid MOUSSA – in the frame of the International Festival of Short Films annually organized by the university – during a press conference held at the Pierre Abu Khater Hall in Zouk Mosbeh Campus.
This initiative meets with the tendency of the Ministry of Tourism to revivify the cultural tourism in Lebanon, in several means including the encouragement of Cinema production. Thus, this cooperation seeks the support of artistic creativity & originality among Lebanese Youth whom we believe are capable of corroborating the efforts of the Ministry of Tourism to convey a positive picture about Lebanon and promote its tourism.
The meeting started by a welcoming word from the vice president of Notre Dame University for Culture and Public Relations, Professor Suhail MATAR, who said that the Minister of Tourism’s visit to the university “means us culturally; thus abducting him from the political mood to the cultural ambiance”. MATAR also wished that the meeting is fruitful for the future.
As for the Director General of the Ministry of Tourism Ms. Nada SARDOUK, she praised the activities of the university, believing that “this memorandum has a powerful symbolism since it crowns the serious academic work. Launching and starting this cooperation is an honor for the Ministry to motivate young people to be more present more in the World of Producers and Directors.”
The President of the University Father Walid MOUSSA, declared that signing this memorandum aims at “uniting the efforts towards improving the image of Lebanon; i.e. the Ministry of Tourism reflects the image of Lebanon, and in our turn we reflect the energies present in Lebanon.”
President Father also thanked the ministry for encouraging the students by giving them an award for the best film that reflects the cultural image of Lebanon.
As for HE Mr. Michel PHARAON, he expressed his permanent delight for the achievements on several levels, “at the level of the cinema sector growth; and here, according to HE there are two tracks: the first one politically tripped because of the paralysis hindering the constitutional institutions; and the second track about the civil society and the failure of creating a new dynamic.”
HE also spoke about the award allocated by the ministry for students through their participation in the private wing of the ministry in the festival of “Cannes” starting this year, provided that its activities are among the events organized by the Ministry of Tourism represented by its office in Paris.
The ministry will also present at the International Film Festival which will be held at Notre Dame University during the month of November 2015, a prize for the best short film showing images of Lebanon, its land, its people or its culture; and to be called “Land, People and Culture” – and enable the Winner/Holder of the award to participate in “Cannes” Film Festival, and where needed.
This is due to the importance of the Lebanese presence in “Cannes Festival”, because the ministry would like to focus on the development of this industry, despite the lack of budgets.
At the end, the memorandum was signed between Notre Dame University and the Ministry of Tourism.