Testimonies in favor of Issam FARES
Issam FARES is a unique man
(George W. Bush, President of the United States of America)
FARES, a Lebanese political personality with an international weight
(Patriarch Alexy II, Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia)
Fares is distinguished by struggles, ideals, and his attachment to national and moral principles, to the service of the community, and to helping generations
(Ex- US Secretary of State Mr. Colin Powell)
We praise the efforts of FARES to settle international conflicts and achieve justice and development
(H.E. the President of the Republic of Lebanon, General Michel Sleiman)
Issam FARES is a stand-alone institution. He has an exceptional reputation as a governmental official and as a humanitarian benefactor committed to peace and democracy in the Middle East and throughout the world.
(George Mitchell, Special envoy to the Middle East of the US President Barack OBAMA)
Dr. Manaf Mansour published a 208-page book entitled ‘Issam Fares, Stances and Achievements’, composed of an introduction delineating ‘the starting point of Issam Fares in favor of Lebanon’ and a conclusion to FARES ‘I don’t accept that my country remains lost in a political chaos; I don’t accept neither that people are abandoned’. The book also reveals that FARES insists on the fact that ‘Lebanon needs real men, not temporary leaderships’. For Issam Fares, building the State according to a realistic and practical perspective is a top priority, based on three pillars: the social and developmental pillar, the democratic and consensual pillar, and the future and international pillar.
The book comprises three parties:
-Issam FARES and building the State from inside
-Issam FARES and building Lebanon’s picture in the world
-Akkar, an example to move from deprivation to development
The conclusion of the book reveals how FARES “has given to his country without taking anything in return and how Lebanon would have been without the concerns of Issam FARES?”.
Within and outside Lebanon, Issam FARES, the man of initiatives and achievements
On the local and national levels, Issam FARES has given much to Lebanon without taking anything in return. He is a rare and unprecedented personality.
In light of the absence of the State, Issam FARES replaced the State with his generosity and his achievements, and opened the doors of development in the era of regression and chaos.
In an era where the officials promote their own personal interests, FARES insisted on helping everyone and for the sake of everyone.
In an era where politics became a synonym of verbal controversies and altercations and at a time where it witnessed a significant deterioration, FARES wanted to overcome religious communities and to be the man of initiatives, solutions and achievements, rejecting nepotism and favoritism.
In the stormy atmosphere prevailing in Lebanon and in the light of politics drowning into chaos and division, H.E. Mr. Issam FARES preferred to leave politics. However, he stayed beside the Lebanese people.
Fares endeavored to assume his responsibility, calling upon everyone to contribute to the state of freedom, justice and democracy, the state of the law, institutions and sciences, the state of conciliation between the public and the private sectors, the state of law and fairness. He has effectively reflected on the field his national commitment and called to set up a new electoral law that ensures a sound representation. He also called for the promulgation of a new law for parties and associations, based on his firm belief that “the salvation of Lebanon lies in the emergence of non-confessional parties.”
The contributions of His Excellency on the local level are numerous, among which we cite some examples related to the academic and cultural achievements. The institutes, centers and halls named after him are a sheer testimony of his achievements which have stamped history remarkably.
-Issam Fares Institute of Technology in Beino (Affiliated to the University of Balamand)
-Issam Fares Institute of Public Policies and International Affairs
-Issam Fares Foundation
-Issam Fares Center for Lebanon
-Issam Fares Center for Technology in the Antonine University
-Issam Fares Cultural Center in Hrar region
-Issam Fares Cultural Center in Sir Al Deniye
-Issam Fares Municipal Building in Halba
-Issam Fares Building in Al Qubayat Municipality
-Issam Fares Building in Bqarzala Municipality
-Issam Fares Building in Burj Al Arab Municipality
-Issam Fares Building in Gebrayel Municipality
-Issam Fares Building in Talbira Municipality
-Issam Fares Building in Daoud Karam Educational Center in Al Qura
-Issam Fares Conference Hall – Faculty of Architecture, Art &Design at Notre Dame University
-Issam Fares Hall at the American University of Beirut
-Issam Fares Conference Hall – American University of Technology
-Issam Fares Conference Hall- Council for the Development of Al Qura (under construction)
-Issam Fares Conference Hall at the National Orthodox School at Sheikh Taba – Akkar
-Issam Fares S conference Hall at the Lebanese University of Al Qubba – Tripoli (Faculty of Social Sciences)
-Issam Fares Conference Hall and Aqua Center for Physiotherapy at Nabih Berri’s Complex in Sarafand
-Issam Fares Conference Hall at the Medical Center of the American University of Beirut
-Issam Fares Cultural Room at the Municipal Palace in Rahbe – Akkar
-Issam Fares Conference Hall – Club of Orientation and Solidarity - Beino
-Issam Fares Municipal Palace in Beino – Qbula
-Issam Fares Municipal Palace in Rahbe
-Issam Fares Municipal Palace in West Tel Abbas
-Issam Fares Municipal Palace in Talbire
-Issam Fares Municipal Palace in Bqarzala
-Issam Fares Municipal Palace in Gebrayel
-Issam Fares Municipal Palace in Halba
-Issam Fares Municipal Palace in Al Qubayyat
-Issam Fares Highroad (rehabilitation project of Halba – Dahr Nassar road)
-Nijad Fares Street in Beino
-Issam Fares Street (Main street at the crossroads of Al Burj – Ain Yaacoub till Qbula – Beino)
-Issam Fares Street (road project between Beino and Deir Jennine)
-Issam FARES Street - Mar Chaaya, Brumana
-Michel Issam Fares Dispensary in Beino
-Mikhael Gerges Fares Dispensary in West Tel Abbas (created in 1987)
-Issam Fares Library at La Sagesse University
-Issam Fares Library (within Ajyal’s Educational Project in Kfarhata – Zghorta caza)
-Issam Fares Prize for Media Excellence
-Issam Fares Annual Prize for Scientific Research
-Issam Fares Prize and the Beirut Association for Heritage
-Issam Fares Educational Prize for Distinguished Students
-Issam Fares Chair at the University of Balamand
-Issam Fares Lecture Series at the University of Balamand (It started in 1999, with the first conference held by the Secretary General of the League of Arab States Dr. Ismat Abdel Maguid)
-Issam Fares Forum at the University of Balamand (Faculty of Literature and Human Sciences)
-Issam Fares Social and Sports Complex in Abi Samra
-Issam Fares Municipal Complex in Mashta Hassan
-Issam Fares Oasis for Development and Heritage at the Maronite Patriarchal Park of Diman
-Issam Fares Court and Garden – West Tel Abbas
-Issam Fares School (under the supervision of the Islamic al-Makased Association, in old Akkar)
-Issam Fares Primary Cchool: the Islamic Social Institution (Maan Karame)
On the international level, Fares’ achievements are numerous, since Fares toured all the world capitals, endeavoring to achieve three goals:
-Depicting the true picture of Lebanon
-Enhancing Lebanon’s role and position among neighboring countries and in the world
-Extending the scopes of developmental, cultural, and economic cooperation between Lebanon and friendly countries
In 2000, he was a granted an Honorary Doctorate. In 2001, he was honored by the UNESCO with the Acropolis Gold Medal as a testimony that Lebanon’s international stance is enhanced thanks to the efforts of its great men. In 2002, he inaugurated the Fares Center for Mediterranean Studies, which he created at the University of Boston in Tufts. He also took part in the World Economic Forum which was held in New York, to shed the light on the financial situation following the September 11 events. FARES had three interventions regarding the situation of minorities in the region, the Arab- American relations, and money laundering.
In 2003, he took part, with senior American President George Bush in Fares Lecture Series at Tufts. In 2004, he moved from London where he sponsored the commemoration of the 20th anniversary of the Center for Lebanese Studies in Oxford. He then talked about “Lebanon and regional problems” before heading to Boston to present US Senator Hillary Clinton. At a time when Lebanon was drowning into disputes and controversies, in November 2004, Issam Fares took the floor at the highest academic and university forum in the United States of America.
In April 2004, the American Task Force for Lebanon honored Issam Fares, granting him a well-deserved award for his remarkable achievements, since Fares represents global and human values, and for his political achievements and contributions as a successful and active businessman in the Middle East, America and Europe.
This was on the development level. On the orthodox level, he attended the 45th Conference of the Antiochian Orthodox Christian Convent in the United States, and the conference of the International Society for the Unity of Christian Orthodox in the Federal Republic of Russia.
On the international level, Fares met, through his rich political career which is marked by great impact and success, diplomatic representatives accredited in Beirut and senior officials who visited Beirut. He also paid visits to the world capitals, taking part in a number of Arab Summits, and representing Lebanon at the 59th United Nations General Assembly in an unprecedented event, given that, it is the first time since Lebanon’s independence for a Deputy-Prime Minister to represent Lebanon at the United Nations General Assembly. Within this frame, he met at the Waldorf Astoria Hotel Senior US President George Bush who was quoted as saying, ‘Fares is one of the family’s best friends’, thus highlighting the efforts deployed by Fares in his mission within the United Nations, aiming at defusing the burning crisis provoked by Resolution 1559.
In the United Nations, as in any other international forum, Fares endeavored to focus on the necessity to settle conflicts, anchor a fair and global peace, and implement international resolutions.
Also on the international level, Fares had a particular contribution to the farewell ceremony of His Holiness The Supreme Pontiff, the Pope John Paul II, and took part in the ceremony of sanctification of the blessed Nemtallah Hardini. He represented Lebanon as well in the farewell ceremony of the Prince Rainier of Monaco. He also held separately two meetings with the US presidents George Bush (senior) and Bill Clinton.
The tribute paid by the International Crisis Group, on October 28, 2009, in New York with the two former US presidents, Bill Clinton and George Bush (senior), is a testimony of the role Fares plays in anchoring peace in the world. At this occasion, Waldorf Astoria Hotel was filled with political, diplomatic, academic and media officials working in favor of peace, among who figured many Americans of a Lebanese origin coming from all the United States of America to take part in this ceremony.
As for Fares developmental, cultural, educational, agricultural, environmental, and sports achievements through the Fares Foundation, they represent a sheer example of the generous contributions offered by His Excellency Mr. Fares to Lebanon in order to enhance trust in the future and in the State. Upon the instructions and directions of His Excellency Mr. Fares, the Fares Foundation strived to help Akkar overcome its deprivation and experience modernity, opening roads, introducing modern technology into agriculture and industry and into educational means and centers to enhance the level of education and promote educational opportunities to emerging generations. The achievements of the Fares Foundation are innumerable, among which we cite for example:
-Protecting the rights and production of farmers through holding seminars, launching agricultural field campaigns, and organizing festivals on the Day of Farmers in Akkar and conferences on the development of agriculture in Akkar. The Issam Fares Center for Agricultural Development and the Committee of Agriculture are active in this regard.
-Creating health centers, launching health campaigns, awareness-raising campaigns and immunization campaigns, in cooperation with the Ministry of Health and the Red Cross, providing medical assistance through Fares Halba office, establishing medical centers, holding medical conferences, raising awareness regarding medical issues, and organizing training seminars for young men and women working in the field of health care.
-Offering Issam Fares grants for outstanding students and full or partial annual school grants to more than 50 thousand students, supporting the Computer Lab in public schools in Akkar, in cooperation with the UNESCO’s regional office and the State of Kuwait, organizing enhancement sessions for brevet and baccalaureate students in public schools in several villages, building a teacher institute in Hrar under the name of “Issam Fares Cultural Center”, let alone the support of universities working in Lebanon.
-Encouraging culture through the creation of Issam Fares Cultural Center in Jurd Al Qatih, Issam FaresCultural Center in Hrar, Issam Fares Cultural Center in Sir Al Deniyeh, supporting cultural activities, providing assistance to clubs, organizing painting exhibitions and musical concerts, upholding musical heritage, reviving handicrafts, restoring the Bazerkan Souq, which is the most important market, and looking after archeological sites and excavations.
-Supporting the developmental and social sector, creating social establishments and halls and equipping them, organizing seminars on the growth of construction and its horizons in Akkar, and founding an Information Technology Center connected to the whole world through Internet and satellites and supplied with modern and high-tech communication means.
-Promoting municipal activities through the rehabilitation of internal roads in more than 35 villages and localities, supplying them with electricity and water through artesian wells, rehabilitating roads, creating many municipal buildings and palaces in Rahbe, Halba, West Tel Abbas, Burj Al Arab, Gebrayel, Al Qubayyat, Bqarzala, Talbire, Mashta Hassan, Qbula, Beino, and other places.
-H.E. Mr. Issam Fares also devoted particular attention to the protection of environment. He turned Beino into the capital of beauty and generosity. He thus created Issam Fares Reserve and lake in Beino, and Issam Fares Oasis for Development and Heritage at the Maronite Patriarchal Park of Diman. He also organized forestation campaigns and contributed to the embellishment of the sides of the new opened roads in Akkar.
Issam FARES, whether within or outside Lebanon, emerged as a rare, exceptional and unprecedented personality in the era of consumptive politics. Issam FARES came to enlighten a blaze of trust in the nation, the human being, and the future