Chapel Hill, NC – October 27, 2009.  Dr. Habib Chamoun, president of the newly incorporated Phoenician International Research Center (PIRC) announced the official establishment in Chapel Hill, NC, USA, of the center during his address to the 16th World Lebanese Cultural Union (WLCU) World Congress in Mexico City, Mexico that ended on Monday, October 26.

The center is a not-for-profit organization which researches the history and contribution to world culture of the Canaanite Phoenicians and Punic people from the dawn of history until our present day. Further, it supports ancient history student scholarships, disseminates information through, builds international and domestic relations with similar centers, publishes books on the subject, creates electronic libraries and databases, and promotes the preservation and protection of Phoenician antiquities and historic sites. 

The center has signed a cooperative agreement with Notre Dame University at Louaize (NDU), Lebanon, for the establishment of a locally independent chapter of the center for Lebanon and the Middle East headed by Dr. Clovis Karam as its Dean of Research.  Further, the center is in touch with scholars in Italy to promote collaboration with Italian, Tunisian and Spanish centers and scholars that work in this field. 

Further, the center plans to compile information about museum treasures of the same, audio-visual materials, fund and promote archaeological digs, be a watchdog over Phoenician treasures from illegal trafficking, and monitor Phoenician and Punic sites from looting and destruction by working with international and domestic bodies to expose dangers that such sites fall prey to. 

The idea was conceived by Dr. Nicholas Kahwaji, Secretary General of the World Lebanese Cultural Union, and executed by Salim Khalaf, author of the Encyclopedia Phoeniciana   The two working with Dr. George Haddy formed a Steering Committee that initiated the process, in association with the WLCU.  They elected Dr. Habib Chamoun president of the center. Dr. Chamoun is author of many books including Negotiate Like a Phoenician, Discover TradeablesTM  (see  Further, the committee worked with Dr. Clovis Karam, Assistant Professor at the Faculty of Humanities at NDU to negotiate and head its chapter in Lebanon. 

For further information, please contact Salim Khalaf at [email protected]

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