CELIBAL: Was officially introduced in Costa Rica in November 2013.
The Latin American Center for Lebanese Studies (CELIBAL), was conceived in Argentina, founded in Mexico, but had its existential baptism in Costa Rica last November during the International and regional meetings of the World Lebanese Cultural Union.
CELIBAL, organized its first symposium on Lebanese Identity with a half day program of lectures that included 4 speakers presenting four different perspectives of the Lebanese Identity. Mr. Daniel Asade of Argentina, explained the origins of the unique identity that Lebanon inherited from the Phoenicians and the different empires and occupants that came and went throughout the ages until the independence of Lebanon.
Mr. Sergio Jalil, also from Argentina spoke about the events that concluded in the independence from France and the different perspectives of Lebanon within the Lebanese religious communities which, with the establishment of the Independence and the National Pact in 1943, determined the birth of a LEBANESE NATIONAL IDENTITY representing united, multi confessional, democratic, republican and sovereign country. After explaining the threats and consequences of the multiple and diverse attempts by other nations to undermine and dissolve the Lebanese identity since the independence, he dwelled on the risks of the influences of ideologies such as Panarabism, Pan-Syrianism, Pan-Islamism defined as a threat of Lebnanism.
He provided a detailed sequence of events of the foreign interventions of Egypt, Syria, the Palestinians and Israel.
The Third Speaker was Mr Juan Jose Nassar, from Costa Rica who explain the particularism of the Lebanese customs, and traditions and typical characteristics and personality of the Lebanese people.
Intervention of Mr Antonio Trabulsi President of “Instituto Cltural Mexicano Libanes”.
Finally, Mr Antonio Trabulse, in a very emotional finale, talked about the circumstances that the Lebanese emigration faced once abroad and despite being considered Turks, or Arabs or Syrian-Lebanese, maintained and defended their identity, national cause and attachment to the mother land: Lebanon.
Dr Nick Kahwaji of WLCU- BC council, Canada, offered two books at the closing of the events to the members of CELIBAL in recognition for their efforts and to encourage them to continue the path of the young and promising organization.
The Symposium offered an important cultural and educational opportunity for the participants from all over the world and the relationship between the two institutions promises to enhance the academic, formative and cultural aspect of the WLCU which embraced CELIBAL as a provider of knowledge, culture and education for its members and the general public.
CELIBAL is continuing with its work which includes dissertations about the Lebanese Identity in the cities of Mexico and in Cordoba and Tucuman in Argentina. Also a program in Montevideo, Uruguay, all during the months of November and December. There is an ambitious program for 2014 which includes more presentations in Argentina, Chile, Mexico and Colombia and the organization of a University level seminar and courses about Lebanon in a Chilean university and an on-line distant learning project.
CELIBAL also plans to distribute the video recorded during its first Symposium in Costa Rica and print its lectures in a single book.