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The Issam M. Fares Chair in Balamand University
The Issam M. Fares Building at Balamand University
The Issam Fares Forum in Balamand University
The Issam Fares Institute for Technology
The Issam Fares Institute for Public Policy and International Affairs
The Issam Fares Center for Lebanon
The Fares Foundation
WEDGE Real Estate S.A.L (Lebanon)

The Issam M. Fares Chair in Balamand University
Ushering from the impact of the Issam M. Fares Chair on International Affairs at Tufts University, I responded to the request of the University of Balamand to establish a similar chair in Balamand. The Chair in the United States attracted heads of states like President George Bush (father), President Bill Clinton, President Giscard D’Estaing, Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher. While the political situation in Lebanon and the region did not permit the University to invite world leaders, largely for security purposes, the first speaker under the auspices of the Chair was Ismat Abdel al-Majid, Secretary General of the League of Arab States, who took the floor before an audience of ministers, parliamentarians, heads of political parties and civil organizations, faculty, and students.

A scheduled Lecture by Mr. Gorbachev, the Former President of the Soviet Union, had to be cancelled in view of rising tensions in the region.

The University decided to give the Chair, under existing conditions, an academic character. Accordingly, the first to perform this role was Professor Edgar Choueiri from Princeton University. A leading international scientist from the village of Kfarhata in al-Kurah, Dr. Choueiri is working on the fuel that will boost the rocket to Mars in 2020. His lecture attracted a wide audience from Lebanon’s scholarly community, from virtually all universities, and from Tripoli and the neighboring villages.

Major lectures were given by the world authority on Byzantian and the early Near East, Dr. Irfan Shahid, Professor at Georgetown University. His highly professional lectures were attended by a select group of scholars, faculty, and students. Lecturers on the cosmos, on sciences, and the human brain are planned for the immediate future.
The Issam M. Fares Building at Balamand University
This was amongst the first buildings in the University at a time few philanthropists were ready to invest in the new university on the Balamand Hill. In the first years of the University almost all classes were held in it.

The Building consists of an elegant lecture hall, classrooms, language laboratory, and offices for the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences. The central hall is often converted to a major stadium- like format accommodating major lectures by visiting dignitaries. The President of Greece, Mr. Constantinos Stephanopoulos gave a major speech there, donating half a million Dollars to the University.

This hall is also used by the Balamand students for some of their plays, for Christmas events, and also for students’ activities during national and religious holidays. As my donation for the creation of the building was among the first, it encouraged other philanthropists to come to the support of the University. A few months after the rise of my building, a number of donors came forward.
The Issam Fares Forum in Balamand University
The Issam Fares Forum, perhaps the most elegant building on Campus, is a Cathedral-type building connecting the main core buildings of the University. The Forum is where students generally congregate as they prepare to go to classes, or meet with their advisors, or attend a concert in the hall nearby. It is actually the main entrance to the University, and a most impressive structure.

It is 11 meters in height ,10 meters in width ,27 meters in length. Its spectacular walls await appropriate attention after the Forum is officially inaugurated. The walls will exhibit paintings appropriate to the University and will serve to advertize major events on Campus.

Students also use the Forum for club activities requiring extensive space. As students in a University learn as much from interaction with each other as they learn from the classrooms, the Forum has served as locus for dialogue, not only amongst students, but also between faculty and students.
The Issam Fares Institute for Technology
The famous Balamand University, located in Northern Lebanon, is developing this year one of its most important and remarkable programs through the Issam Fares Institute for Technology. The said Institute shall be headquartered in Akkar, next to my hometown Bayno.

This Institute represents the largest donation to the University to date. I have responded to the urgent request of the University to fund this Institute in Akkar, the first such venture by the University in that region, and therefore donated 100,000 m2 in Bayno and in Cheikh Zneid to build the Institute. The said Institute shall offer a diploma equivalent to the Bachelor of Sciences and shall admit its holders to enter the graduate Engineering Program on Campus. The Institute will offer to start with programs in Engineering Technology, Business Management Technology, Computer Technology, Agriculture Technology, and Aeronautical Engineering.

Work on erecting the two or three buildings of the Institute is expected to start in the summer of 2009 after the completion of the architectural drawings.

The program on aviation is expected to grow rapidly in the near future as the University expands its work in aeronautics in cooperation with the Lebanese State in the use of parts of Quli’at Airport. The Institute will be managed, within the University of Balamand, by a Board of Directors as specified by the decree authorizing its operation.

This initiative and this contribution emanate from his firm belief that technology is a key pillar of modern life and has become the cornerstone of the development of civilization, enhancing the human being’s life. Realizing the key importance of having programs dedicated to the applications of technology, I took the decision to establish an institute of technology. Based on the decision, a government license was requested. The Lebanese Government honored the request and issue Decree No#1946 dated December 30, 1999. This Decree entitled the University of Balamand to provide a technology education leading to a DUT degree.

On December the 20th, 2008, the cornerstone was laid in Bayno for the establishment of the Issam Fares Institute of Technology in a big reception that hosted a great number of political personalities and religious dignitaries. The event took place under the sponsorship and in the presence of His Beatitude the Patriarch of Antioch and All the East Ignatius IV Hazim.

By launching this educational project, I pin high hopes on lifting the banner of Lebanon the Culture, Lebanon the Education, a goal he relentlessly endeavored to attain.
The Issam Fares Institute for Public Policy and International Affairs

Since its inception till nowadays, the Issam Fares Institute for Public Policy and International Affairs has set a series of key goals to achieve, in my strong belief that the promotion of public policy and international affairs is a primordial necessity for Lebanon and the Middle East region. Thanks to the frantic efforts provided by the Institute’s Director General Mr. Rami G. Khoury and the Executive Editor of The Daily Star newspaper and the 18-member research team, the Institute endeavors to attain its main objectives:

Bring the power of knowledge, research, and critical thinking to inform, promote good governance in the various fields of public policy and international affairs to better serve the interests of the people of Lebanon and the Arab world, make a significant contribution to more informed policy-making and governance in Lebanon and the Arab world, become a regional focal point for expert research and advising on issues of public policy and international affairs, and develop a large reservoir of knowledge on policy issues in the region.

Established in 2006, the Institute is a dynamic, civil, and open space where people representing all viewpoints in society can gather and discuss significant issues of the day and heated issues on the local, regional, and international scenes. It acts as catalyst and connector between the AUB, other Arab scholars, and the global research and policy community. This includes collaborative work with colleagues around the region and the world through ongoing partnerships with other universities, think-tanks, research centers, and institutions in both the public and private sectors. It targets multiple audiences: academic scholars, students, policy-making, civil society, and scholarship. The Institute hosts public conferences, workshops, symposia, and other gatherings that bring together policy officials, private sector, and civil society leaders.

By establishing this Institute, I look forward to enriching the quality of interaction among scholars, officials, and civil society actors in the Middle East and abroad and raising the quality of public policy-related debate and decision-making in the Arab world and abroad. The Issam Fares Center for Lebanon

The Issam Fares Center for Lebanon is a Beirut-based American think-tank, a non-aligned institution, the mission of which is to advance a balanced and realistic understanding of major global regional and domestic issues affecting Lebanon. It looks forward to contributing to the development of Lebanon as a hub for freedom and cultural renaissance and to the development of political thinking in the Arab region.

I have established this Center with the aim of influencing decision-making, increasing participation in the decision-making process, promoting peace, justice, development, security, and unity in Lebanon, in its capacity as a regional center for the evolution of political thinking in the Arab and Middle East region, and contributing in making of Beirut a capital of interaction. It devotes special attention to reforming as a key axis for its activities and an everlasting goal to attain.

The Center organizes a series of forums to discuss the current heated topics. It hosts a great number of key speakers and participants and scores of experts and specialists to contribute to the deliberation of topics and formulation of policies that guarantee a successful communication that secures the people’s interests.

The Center also hosts a series of dialogue that gather Arab and international intellectuals for the purpose of widening the circle of discussions over topics raised on the local, regional, or international scene. In my firm belief in the value of dialogue as being the way towards the nation’s revitalization, and viewing Lebanon as a bridge for interaction between the East and the West thanks to dialogue, I have decided to establish a Center that devotes a great part of its activities to dialogue and that contributes to the crystallization of the reforming projects and to the transformation of Lebanon into a modern state.

I have turned the idea into a vital project that is translated into action, in cooperation with a number of institutions I hold under my auspices and to which I extend continuous support in order to serve Lebanon’s interests and sustain political reforms in Lebanon.

Also in my strong belief that media plays a pivotal role in safeguarding the national interests and fundamental freedoms, I established the Issam Fares Prize for Media Excellence which consists of a series of multiple annual prizes awarded to the best articles and media reports or subjects related to the goal and mission of the Issam Fares Center, like the Pulitzer Prizes awarded to US journalists.
The Fares Foundation:

The Fares Foundation is a private, non-profit institution registered under number 117, 15 August 1987, in the Lebanese Ministry of Interior. It acquired “Public Interest Status” through Presidential Decree #5308, 26 June 1994. I have founded it in order to organize my donations and contributions and ensure their continuity.

The Foundation is active in the fields of human and social development in Lebanon. It pays particular attention to underprivileged groups, communities, and regions, and includes programs and services in health, education, humanitarian aid, culture, infrastructure, research, and conferences. A large part of these activities are prepared and implemented by the staff of the Foundation and another part is implemented by other organizations and institutions in cooperation with the Foundation.

In its first years, the Foundation focused on meeting the urgent humanitarian and emergency needs of the Lebanese population. After the war, it started to divert its attention to the support of social, educational, and health institutions, and sustainable development.

The Foundation’s key aim is to participate effectively in human, social, and civic development through programs in health, education, humanitarian aid, culture, infrastructure, research, and conferences.

Through its varied programs, the Fares Foundation is committed to always playing a major role in the development of Lebanon and in building the citizen of the future in a society in which social justice and equal opportunity prevail. WEDGE Real Estate S.A.L (Lebanon)
WEDGE Real Estate was found in 1985. It deals with the possession, the purchase, selling, or hiring of built and non-built properties, the administration of real estate, the construction and partition of buildings into apartments, the construction of residential units, and the partition of lands for residential purposes, with the agreement of the urban planning or relevant municipalities.

In general, the corporation deals with the trading and investment of real estate, the construction works, and all works that are directly or indirectly related with the abovementioned activities. Not to mention also the construction sector since the corporation invests large parcels of agricultural territories, mainly in the plain of Akkar, and deals as well with the building, investment, and administration of all industrial and agricultural projects, and with the industrialization and marketing of all their products.

WEDGE Real Estate has the right to take part in, contribute in, or merge, in any form whatsoever, with companies or projects carrying out similar activities. It is also entitled to acquire shares and quotas in the established companies. WEDGE Real Estate has contributed in the foundation of a number of sister companies and two affiliated companies in which it owns the majority of shares: Porto Barbara S.A.L and the Green WEDGE S.A.L.

WEDGE Real Estate founded Porto Barbara in 1995. The company undertakes the same activity as the mother company, in addition to focusing on the possession, construction, and investment of remarkable tourism projects and huge constructional centers in all the Lebanese territories and overseas. Green WEDGE S.A.L
I have established Green WEDGE in 2004 in order to develop and enhance the agricultural, animal, and industrial sectors in Akkar. To this end, large parcels of lands have been invested for the production of Lucerne, wheat, grapes, and citrus fruits. The project was resumed with the construction of a farm for the livestock imported from Dutch and French cows.

The plan was completed by developing the industrial force in the area, through the construction of a high-tech dairy factory to assist the farmers to sell their dairy production, increase their income level, and transfer the foreign expertise in dairy production to Lebanon in order to contribute in the development of both the agricultural and the industrial sectors.

The building of ‘Fromak’ factory was resumed in April 2005 thanks to the expertise of Italian and French experts. The necessary equipment was selected and purchased from Italy and Europe, in conformity with the available high-tech criteria, and in line with the highest international standards. ‘Fromack’ is the first dairy factory in Lebanon that abides by the I.S.O. 9001: 2000 (The International Organization for Standardization which is the world’s largest developer of international standards) and the HACCP (The Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points) which is internationally accepted as the system of choice for food safety management.

The dairy factory is located in the central part of the plain of Akkar, far away from the polluted industrial areas. The factory was designed in a way to prevent the pollution emanating from the environment and to abide by the internationally-adopted environmental terms and conditions.