Hajji Naaimeh hanging tobacco leaves out to dry in Houla (NOW/Myra Abdallah)

Stories from River Road. A walk through Mar Mikhael’s oldest tales, By Ana Maria Luca.

The Lebanese Diaspora: A Civil Solution for Extreme Choices”
By Raed H. Charafeddine, First Vice-Governor – Banque du Liban

Global migrations have contributed, throughout the ages, to reinforcing the opportunities of trade, development and acculturation among peoples. The disintegration of political borders before commodities and ideas is the most salient manifestation of globalization
in recent decades. This disintegration transformed into a filter for selecting the qualified and talented and rejecting the rest – even should they drown at sea in illegal immigration. This situation has played a part in choking poor countries with millions of young people in search of life, work and hope – a chokehold that will turn into deadly conflicts in several regions of the world and lead the hopeless to adopt extremist and desperate methods in a mock religious guise. Conversely, the Lebanese setting presents a promising model, whether due to the properties of Lebanese society in the home country or to the wide scattering across the world. It is a diametric alternative as it embraces integration, interaction and cooperation.
This model deserves further examination given the marked accomplishments of expatriates in innovation, medicine, literature, business and more.
People of Lebanese descent hold critical positions in host countries and international organizations, making them well-placed to play a key role in bridging between peoples
and influencing the decisions touching on peace, development and human affairs. Such manifest or latent vitality constitutes what we call the virtual Lebanese-universal civil society – a society that was launched from the ancestral springboard without entirely leaving it, rather went into the world with confidence and passion. It is a society that sometimes took clear organizing frameworks, such as committees, associations and
conferences, and often moved in host communities, as in Lebanon, in the shape of vibrant, regenerating energies seeking justice, freedom and better futures.

Read more:The Lebanese Diaspora: A Civil Solution for Extreme Choices”

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