Message from the Chairman:
On behalf of the British Lebanese Association I should like to welcome everyone coming to this very special event, held in the magnificent surroundings of the Banqueting House, as the climax of the BLA’s 25th Anniversary celebrations. There could be no better place than here to celebrate our silver jubilee.
We are deeply honoured that the University of Maryland has chosen the BLA’s jubilee celebration as the occasion for launching in Britain, in the presence of a highly distinguished audience, the Arabic translation of the first volume of HRH Prince Charles’s selected speeches.
The BLA is also very pleased that it has been possible to stage, as a backdrop to our celebrations, this remarkable Exhibition of Paintings. These have been inspired by the work of Khalil Gibran, Lebanon’s inspirational poet, and jointly produced by Lebanon’s internationally acclaimed artist Emmanuel Guiragossian and the renowned Lebanese calligrapher Mourad Boutros. This exhibition represents all that is admirable and artistic about modern Lebanon and constitutes a worthy complement to the architecture of Inigo Jones and the painted ceiling by Peter Paul Rubens under which it is displayed.
Proceeds from the event will go to the BLA’s established charitable and humanitarian causes, not least those relating to education, orphans and drug addiction which the BLA has helped in the past, and above all to the BLA’s scholarship fund which assists deserving Lebanese students to follow postgraduate courses in the UK which are not available in Lebanon. Everyone visiting the Banqueting House on this day will enjoy a unique opportunity not just to celebrate 25 years of the British Lebanese Association, but also to marvel at Lebanon’s deep reservoir of talented artists and inspirational writers, as exemplified by her great poet Khalil Gibran, to reaffirm the importance of abiding cultural values in times of violence and political uncertainty and to salute Lebanon’s exceptional contribution to literature, art and civilisation.
The BLA would like to thank all those many individuals whose efforts and support have contributed to the success of our activities during the last twenty-five years and we look forward with confidence to carrying on the good work in the future.
Sir David Miers