COVID-19 Vaccine: when we will have one ?


Rami Bechara

At least 35 groups, 7 pharmaceutical and biotech companies, Pasteur Institute and 7 different Universities including Oxford, Imperial, and Pittsburgh are working on COVID-19 vaccines, at a pandemic speed … 3 trials begun.

Across the world, countries continue to combat the deadly coronavirus. We witnessed different approaches including social distancing, massive testing, quarantine and isolation, and even contact tracing. However, according to a study by Ferguson et al, it is likely that transmission will quickly rebound if interventions are relaxed in the near future (Fig.1). Thus, there is a major unmet need for an effective strategy to eradicate SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). Therefore, the development of COVID-19 vaccines is a priority for ending this pandemic. Indeed, over the past century, some of the most important medical breakthroughs were linked to the development of vaccines to protect humans against viruses such as polio and smallpox. More recently, an H1N1 influenza vaccine was developed relatively rapidly to respond urgently to epidemics of H1N1 influenza. Here, I will describe the state of art of COVID-19 vaccines with some encouraging news in trying times.


Fig.1 Principles of vaccination & social distancing applied theoretically for COVID-19

Vaccination - a quick refresher
Vaccination is an approach designed to artificially help the body to defend itself by generating, usually, an expanded army of pathogen-specific memory lymphocytes. In principle, a vaccine against infection is a modified form of a natural pathogen, which may be either the whole pathogen or one of its components. Following exposure of the immune system to an antigen, pathogen-specific lymphocytes are “primed” and often continue to circulate in the blood (and also reside in the bone marrow) for many years. When the natural pathogen attacks, these memory cells respond very rapidly by producing antibodies to reestablish protection. This is what we call “active immunity”.

  • Antigen
    • Substance capable of inducing an immune response

    • Protein produced by B lymphocytes to help eliminate an antigen

    Active Immunity
    • Protection produced by the person’s own immune system
    • Often lifetime

COVID-19 Vaccine Tracker: Over than 40 candidates
Different worldwide organizations, pharmaceutical companies and universities have called for targeted efforts to develop therapies against COVID-19. Consequently, at least 40 COVID19 candidates were described so far and, by the time I was writing this article, three of them have entered “Phase I” of clinical trials, the first of three stages of human testing before drug approval. More precisely, during Phase I testing, researchers test the safety of the candidate vaccine but we won't know if it's effective – if humans will develop enough virus-neutralizing antibodies – until Phase II is studied. This is clearly the result of scientists with different expertise working together and being able to respond quickly.

We should keep in mind that vaccine development, similarly to other medications, is a very lengthy and expensive process. However, during this pandemic many steps of vaccine design are executed in parallel before confirming a successful outcome of another step, hence resulting in shortening manufacturing-time while at the same time increasing financial risk. For instance, mRNA-1273 candidate vaccine was rushed to human trials before it was even tested in animals based on previous data related to other coronaviruses, such as severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) and Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS). Additionally, the company is hopeful that their vaccine may be available by fall 2020 mainly for vulnerable groups.

Ad5-nCov is another promising candidate by CanSino, China. Phase I testing is underway in China. It is worthy to mention that CanSino has already produced a nearly identical vaccine to protect against Ebola. ChAdOx1 is also a top front-runner vaccine for COVID19. Interestingly, the vaccine will be simultaneously tested for both safety (Phase I) and efficacy (Phase II).

    • Candidate: mRNA-1273
      Company: Moderna biotech-USA
      Ingredient :Genetic materials (mRNA) that codes for the spike protein of the virus
    • Candidate: Ad5-nCoV
      Company: CanSino - BiologicsChina
      Ingredient: Recombinant engineered coronavirus
    • Candidate: ChAdOx1
      Company: Oxford Vaccine Group – University of Oxford
      Ingredient: Inactivated (non-infectious) virus

Old but gold

Different epidemiological studies have pointed to a correlation between the rates of COVID-19 morbidity and anti-tuberculosis vaccination (BCG). Researchers in different countries, including Pasteur Institute-France, are investigating whether BCG could reduce the intensity of SARS-CoV-2 infection. Indeed, previous studies showed a non-specific protective effect of BCG against infections, particularly respiratory infections.

PittCoVacc is a “highly-scalable” potential vaccine developed by the University of Pittsburgh. It is essentially made using lab-made pieces of viral protein integrated into the original scratch method used to deliver the smallpox vaccine to the skin. When tested in mice, PittCoVacc generated enough antibodies against SARS-CoV-2. However, we still don’t know the potential duration of the acquired immunity.



Despite all the efforts described above, Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the U.S. National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), predicts a vaccine “is going to take a year, a year and a half, at least.” Indeed, there are many challenges to take into consideration during vaccine development. Determining the dose to administer, the side effects and manufacturing problems can all cause delays. Additionally, the potential duration of immunity against COVID19 is relatively unknown. Thus, whether a single-dose vaccine will confer immunity is still elusive.

Taking into consideration all the above mentioned points, I can’t tell you exactly when the vaccine is coming…Nevertheless, the beginning of trials is just one bright light in some devastating news across the world.

Ferguson NM, Laydon D, Nedjati-Gilani G et al. Imperial College COVID-19 Response Team Impact of non-pharmaceutical interventions (NPIs) to reduce COVID-19 mortality and healthcare demand. https://www.imperial.ac.uk/media/imperial-college/medicine/sph/ide/gida-fellowships/Imperial-College-COVID19-NPI-modelling-16-03-2020.pdf


SOMATOTYPES: a Myth or a Reality?

Elissa Naim

Dr. Elissa Naim

In the 1940s William H. Sheldon, an American psychologist, introduced the concept of morphotype. Since then, nutritionists, physiologists and even doctors have used it to develop individualized fitness plans. Some argue that knowing the morphotype will guide you to the best way of choosing your diet and even your exercise program. Is categorization by morphotype a myth or a reality?



It has started with an observation: humans have varied morphologies: Is there a cause and effect relationship between morphology and eating habits? Morphotypes are a taxonomy to classify the human physique according to the relative contribution of three fundamental elements which Sheldon called "somatotypes": Ectomorph, Endomorph or Mesomorph.




Little body fat as well as little muscle, people with the ectomorphic morphotype are flexible with thin bones and long limbs. They can eat what they want without gaining weight. They have a fast and efficient metabolism, as well as difficulty gaining weight. Ectomorphs are hyperactive and strive to increase muscle mass. Models, ballerinas and basketball players generally belong to this group.
Although ectomorphs tend to be highly valued, it should be remembered that they have their own problems. Hence, males struggle to gain muscle mass and may appear stiff. Females tend to have flat breasts and may complain that they look masculine. These people have to work very hard to achieve their goals.
Worthnoting that with age, the ultrafast metabolism of ectomorphs slows down and, as a result, they sometimes gain weight if they are not used to exercising and monitoring their calorie intake.



An average size, mesomorphs can easily develop muscles and little fat. They are generally strong and muscular, without excess weight. They are characterized by a strong athletic body. Men have often wider shoulders than their hips and women tend to have an hourglass figure. Mesomorphs can have no trouble eating what they want because they can easily lose weight. Mesomorphs could be considered genetically lucky people. Generally, tennis players, skaters and bodybuilders are part of this group.



Pear-shaped physique, people with an endomorphic morphotype have a curvilinear physique with the characteristics opposite to ectomorphs. They have a slow metabolism, gain weight easily and have to work hard to lose body fat. Endomorphs most often have a larger size and have hips wider than the shoulders. They have a higher percentage of body fat with less muscle mass. They are very often heavier, but not necessarily obese. No stress! Some of the sexiest and most beautiful singers and actresses as well as many heroes of action movies are endomorphs.






Ectomorphs are effective in converting carbohydrates into energy and their rapid metabolism means that they burn fat easily. The downside is that they have trouble gaining muscle because their muscle fibers are underdeveloped. No worries! To become more muscular, they must minimize cardio sessions and focus on intense workouts using compound exercises to maximize the release of growth hormone. They are advised to eat every two to three hours.They also need to consume about 3,000 calories per day, including a large amount of starchy carbohydrates and whey protein, possibly in the form of supplements.



Mesomorphs have the best body type for gaining muscle. However, they tend to take their naturally athletic forms for granted, which can lead to diluted workouts and poor nutrition. Maintaining optimal physical condition means following a progressive plan that will make you stronger by increasing your power without becoming too bulky.To fuel your workouts, you should eat lots of whole grains, while limiting your total fat intake. You can indulge in exercises like sprinting, high jump and boxing.



The endomorph is the most difficult body type to manage in terms of weight and fitness management. For a more balanced physique, you need to focus on developing the shoulders and removing excess fat from the lower body. A low to medium intensity cardio program will help you get rid of fat. Although aerobics is recommended by specialists, weight lifting training is preferable too because it can burn calories long after the last exercise. The best diet for your body type may therefore be a higher percentage of protein and fat and a lower percentage of carbohydrates. This diet can help you lose body fat while maintaining your energy level.

Remember that somatotypes are just a way to describe your body constitution, but the truth is that you have to design your training program and diet based on the goals you want to achieve. No matter what the scale says, if you’re in a healthy body-composition range, you’re doing well!


The COVID-19 Dilemma: 2 Strategies, Which is Worse?


Maggie Mhanna


There seem to be two strategies to fight coronavirus: The ‘contain’ approach & the herd immunity strategy.



The ‘contain’ approach

The first strategy is to try and completely contain the virus longer and perhaps long enough for a treatment to emerge. This strategy seems to be adopted by the authoritarian government of China, which has applied some of the strictest control measures and responded by massive lockdowns and extreme digital surveillance. The impact of these measures has been remarkable. In Hubei Province alone, over 60 million people were placed under lockdown and most factories were shut completely. The economic costs are enormous. About one-third of the medium-sized businesses surveyed said they had only enough to survive for a month.

In Singapore, Taiwan, and Hong Kong, outbreaks were brought under control without resorting to China’s draconian measures. These countries reacted only a few days after the Wuhan Outbreak by implementing mass testing, retracing every step and contact of suspicious cases, and imposing mass quarantines & isolations.

In Taiwan, a specialized unit has collected national health insurance, customs, and immigration databases, generating data to trace people’s travel history and medical symptoms. It also used data from mobile phones to track people coming from areas with the virus, who were then quarantined.

The South Korean government has published the movements of people who presented a potential risk, retracing their steps using their GPS phone tracking, credit card records, and surveillance videos.

At the individual level, the SARS experience in eastern Asia has helped to prepare people to voluntarily exhibit a tremendous amount of self-discipline.


While the ‘contain’ approach has proved to successfully control the outbreak rate, the nature of the methods used, such as collecting phone location data and using facial recognition to track people’s movements, cannot be readily replicated in many other countries, especially ones with institutional protections & data regulations for individual rights.

On the other hand, many countries do not have the necessary infrastructure to implement these strict containment measures, which include widespread testing, quarantines, production and distribution of medical & protective supplies… This will divide the world into red zones and green zones, and travel will be restricted between the two zones until adequate therapy is found.

On the economic level, it seems that the lockdown approach could take long. Scientists fear that as soon as the strict measures are lifted, the virus will repropagate again. With a long-term containment, many businesses might be forced to close. With such economic instability, will we be seeing a growing societal & political unrest triggered by confined people with little means of survival?

Herd Immunity

Herd immunity is a theory normally used when large numbers of children (around 60 to 70%) have been vaccinated against a disease like measles, reducing the chances that others get infected, and therefore limiting the chances of propagation.

The supporters of this strategy believe we can let the infection spread through the entire population until we have herd immunity, and just space out the infections over a longer timespan by implementing some mitigation measures without resorting to the severe lockdowns occurring in China. With such lighter measures, they hope to slow down the spread of the disease, instead of containing it, to flatten the curve (a popular curve trending on social media lately) in order to slow down the spread rate so that our medical system is not overwhelmed and that our mortality rate remains reasonable. This strategy also means a less drastic impact on the economy.

The US, Germany, France and especially the UK seem to be the main advocates of this strategy. It can be sensed when Merkel gave the Germans a hard truth saying that 60% to 70% of German people will be infected and when Macron used the word “slow down” in his speech instead of “contain” the epidemic.


This tactic in fighting against a pandemic for which there is no vaccine is novel and alarming as we do not know yet how long this immunity lasts. The virus could evolve. We have already seen multiple strains of the virus in Italy and in Iran and will probably see many more, as a result of a large number of carriers.

Another worrying reason is that flattening the curve is not that easy. What’s dangerous about these curves is that they don’t have numbers on the axes in a way that the used scale suits the advocates. If we set some estimates on the axes of these curves and compare the “with protective measures” curve and the “without protective measures” curve, we find out that the difference is huge. Dampening the infection rate to a level that is compatible with the medical system capacity means that we would have to spread the epidemic over more than a decade (Ref.).

An estimated Curve for the US (Ref.)

Based on today’s data, we can estimate that about 20% of the cases are severe and require hospitalization. If the propagation rate fails to divert below the medical system capacity the way it’s intended following such a risky strategy, we would surely witness a much higher mortality rate.

Even under the most optimistic assumption that countries will be able to control the spread rate the way they desire and provide more medical resources & infrastructure, it seems like the western leaders have found that the best strategy is a one for which 70% of people gets infected (47 million in the case of France) and 3% dies (1.4 million for France).


Editorial Mars - Le Cèdre: Home Away from Home


Dana El Batal
Corédactrice en chef du "Le Cèdre"

Seven months have passed, and I still vividly remember the first day I came to the Fondation Maison du Liban at Cité Internationale Universitaire. The night before flying to Paris, I had packed my luggage, and bid my friends and family goodbye. I had no idea what was awaiting me. All I knew was that my childhood friend was picking me up from the airport and dropping me at my so-called “new home”. It never occurred to me that I would ever be able to attribute the noun “home” to a place lacking my family and friends, who are the main reason I’m staying in France to pursue my master’s degree.  

It was the 4th of September at exactly 19h35 when my plane landed at Aéroport Charles De Gaulle. After picking up my luggage and getting my passport stamped, I met my friend who was very excited to see me. She hugged me tightly, helped me with my luggage and drove me to my “new home”. Except that my “new home” felt nothing like “home”. Everything was so strange to me: the plain room, the common spaces and the new faces welcoming me. Although the Maison du Liban and I are defined by the same country – Lebanon –, I never felt so homesick, I wanted to go back to the warmth of my mother’s and father’s arms. At that moment, I knew I wasn’t going to spend the night alone in such an unfamiliar place, that’s when – thankfully – my friend proposed that I would stay with her for the night.

The next morning, I had already grasped the idea that in order to embark on this new chapter in my life I had to face my fears and head down alone to Maison du Liban, the place where I will be living for the next year or more. At my arrival, Zigor, the receptionist, greeted me with a warm smile and showed me around the Maison: my room, the kitchen, the bathroom, the basement, the laundry room, the study area, the hang out area and finally the patio. “Indeed” I thought to myself, “this place isn’t that bad after all!” Later that day, I decided to pass by Mrs. Atié’s office, the vice-manager of the Maison du Liban, for administrative procedures. I was greeted and welcomed warmly, but one thing caught my eye other than Mrs. Atié’s amiability and soft voice: Her office is a living proof of her love and loyalty to Lebanon as well as an evidence of students' admiration for her, especially through paintings, pictures, gadgets and teddy bears they've gifted her throughout the years. I suddenly felt relieved and knew that I was in safe hands.

Days went by and I became accustomed to my room and to my new life. I started attending classes and made new friends at university. I even roamed Paris’ beautiful streets endlessly - what a charming city! Back at the Maison du Liban, I kept meeting a lot of students coming from different regions of Lebanon as well as international students. Ironically, I actually learned a lot more about my country meeting these amazing and diverse people than I ever did in the 25 years I spent in Beirut. I slowly started developing some habits, which is a clear consequence of familiarization and adaptation. Whenever the opportunity arose, I made sure to strike a conversation with the Maison du Liban’s staff, be it with Marguerite, one of the lovely housekeepers, Khalifa, or even Olmedo. I even had the chance to speak with Mr. El Ghoul, the manager of the Maison du Liban during several events organized by the Administration or the Comité, a very pleasant and charismatic man, who’s very open alongside Mrs. Atié to every idea we share and to every project we wish to implement. In fact, Dina Al-Ahdab (the adorable Founder and Co-Editor in Chief) and I wouldn’t have created the Revue de Presse - Le Cèdre if it weren’t for their continuous support.

Although Maison du Liban started slowly feeling like home, I still wasn’t convinced that “home” can be a place far away from my family until I met three amazing people: Amir, Oussama and Tracy. One thing is for sure, they’re making my stay at Maison du Liban very memorable. They stand by me whenever I feel homesick, and I’m certain that the memories we’re creating will be forever engraved in my heart. That said, it is only natural then for me to feel at home, surrounded by people who are all honest, light-hearted, passionate, and intelligent.

My stay at the Maison du Liban is teaching me valuable lessons, among them: Home is not merely four-square walls. It is somewhere where you are loved, respected, and cared for. When you look at it from the outside, home is just a house. A building. But on the inside, it’s a lot more than wood and bricks. The saying “Home is where the heart is” says it all. And my heart is definitely at Maison du Liban.

elie antoun

أين تجد لبنان في فرنسا؟


إيلي أنطون

هو في مساحته ضيّق وفي إنتشاره واسع، في إمكانيّاته ضعيف وفي طموحه شجاع. هكذا هو لبنان، إنّه لكلّ مغتربٍ بعيد، ولكن أقرب إليك ممّا تتصوّر، فكيف إذا كنت لبنانيًّا مغتربًا في فرنسا؟ ستجد لبنان في كلّ شارعٍ من باريس، ربّما تجده أكثر من مرّة. لا، هو الّذي يجدك، فلا تمرّ في شارعٍ من هذه العاصمة إلّا وتباغتك كلمة "لبنان" مكتوبة في إسم مطعمٍ ما، أو على شكل أرزةٍ مرسومةٍ فوق أحد المحّالّات... فهل تساءلت يومًا أين تجد لبنان بعلوّ أرزه وتميّز مطبخه وعبقريّة أبناءه في فرنسا؟ في ما يلي دعوة تشاركيّة لوضع قائمة بأبرز المعالم الّتي تَرُدُّنا من فرنسا إلى لبنان. كنّا أوّل من لبّى الدّعوة، فوضعنا هذه القائمة المصغّرة لتشاركنا أنت المعالم الّتي تعرّفت عليها على هذا الرّابط، فتطول القائمة وتتقلّص المسافة بينك وبين بلدك لبنان

في تجذّر أرزه متعلّقان بأرضهما كما ومنطلقان نحو كلّ العالم، اللّبنانيّ والأرزة تراهما متلازمان أينما كنت، وفرنسا ليست بإستثناء. يتجذّران ليتشبّثا أكثر، وإن انكسرا ينموان من جديد، فلا عواصف الأزمات ولا تقلّبات الأيّام استطاعت إلّا وأن تزيد عودهما قساوةً. من باريس إلى معظم المدن الفرنسيّة ينتصب أرز لبنان بعلوّه وثباته على نحو الأرزة اللّبنانيّة الأقدم المنتصبة في باريس في الـ “Jardin des Plantes” منذ أكثر من 285 سنة. كذلك في مدينة “Tours”، شلوح الأرزة تظلّل ساحة متحف الفنون الجميلة في المدينة منذ سنة 1804




في صدى أجراس كنائسه أصاب من قال أنّ لبنان "قطعة سماء"، فحدوده الضّيقة لم تتّسع يومًا فضاء طوائفه الواسع، ذلك لأنّ السّماء أقرب من الأرض إلى اللّه وتحمل الصّدى إلى أبعد من حدود الأرض. تحمله إلى حيث يعيش كلّ لبنانيّ ثابت على إيمانه، مسيحيًّا كان أم مسلمًا... ففرنسا، بلد الحرّيّات واحترام المعتقد والإختلاف، احتضنت الطائفة المارونيّة المشرقيّة من الكنيسة الكاثوليكيّة السّريانيّة الإنطاكيّة منذ سنة 1893 بتشييد كاتدرائيّة “Notre Dame du Liban” في باريس في 15 - 17 Rue d’Ulm, 75005. تمّ تدشين الكاتدرائيّة في 13 أيّار 1894 لتكون ملتقى اللّبنانيّين في باريس أيّام الآحاد. كنيستان مارونيّتان أخريتان في فرنسا تمّ تشييدهما تحت إسم “Notre Dame du Liban” في مدينتي Marseille وLyon


المصدر https://www.patrimoine-histoire.fr/

في طيبة مبادراته أن يغرق لبنان بمشاكله السّياسيّة والإقتصاديّة هو لأمرٌ محزن، ولكن كما يُشاع في خضمِّ كلِّ نقمة تولد نعمة. فاللّبنانيّ الرّازح تحت ثقل مشاكله وهمومه في غيابٍ تامٍّ للدّولة لم يجد يد العون إلّا في طيبة أخاه اللّبنانيّ. هي مشاكل البلد نفسها الّتي أظهرت طيبة الآخر وقدّستها. فمن تشارك وأخاه الهمّ، أراحه. هذه هي طينة اللّبنانيّ الحقيقيّة! ما من أرضٍ وطأها اللّبنانيّ إلّا ولم يسعه سوى نشر فيها طيبته واهتمامه بالآخر. أمسى هذا جزءًا من ثقافتنا. هذه الثّقافة نشرها اللّبنانيّ في فرنسا من خلال مبادرات عدّة وأعمال إنسانيّة وخدمة للمجتمع في أكثر من مجال. أكان في الصّليب الأحمر الفرنسيّ أو في جمعيّة "أنت أخي" فرع باريس، لا يوفّر اللّبنانيّ من طاقته ليقابل المجتمع الفرنسيّ بجهده وطيبته. الصّورة من ماراثون جمعيّة "أنت أخي" لدعم حقوق ذوي الحاجات الإضافيّة في Bois de Boulogne بتاريخ 13 أيلول 2015


المصدر https://www.lorientlejour.com/

في إنتشار مصارفه لا يُخيّل لك أن تمشي في شارعٍ من شوارع باريس ويطالعك فرعٌ من فروع بنك عودة في الشّارع المقابل. تستغرب بادئ الأمر، ثمّ تستذكر أنّ المصارف اللّبنانيّة معروفة بإنتشارها الواسع الّذي تخطّى حدود لبنان. أصبح لكلّ مصرفٍ لبنانيّ وجود في معظم دول العالم. نستذكر من مجمل 63 مصرف لبنانيّ المصارف الثّلاث الأكبر الّتي افتتحت فرعًا لها في العاصمة باريس لخدمة زبائنها اللّبنانيّين والفرنسيّين على حدٍّ سواء. فرع بنك عودة متواجد في 73 Avenue des Champs-Élysées, 75008، أمّا بنك بيبلوس فعلى مقربة منه في 15 Rue Lord Byron, 75008. كذلك بنك بلوم فقد إتّخذ من 21 Avenue George V, 75008 عنوانًا له


المصدر https://www.audi.fr/

في شهيّة مطبخه تحاول جاهدًا في فرنسا أن تتناسى شهيّة المأكولات اللّبنانيّة لتُعفيَ نفسك من عذاب الحرمان منها. لكن تخذلك رؤية صورة ما لطبقٍ لبنانيّ، وهي كفيلة لتعيد إليك الرّغبة بالعودة إلى لبنان لتستلذّ بالمطبخ اللّبنانيّ. لكن مهلًا، فقد يكون إيجاد مطعم لبنانيّ في فرنسا أسهل ممًا تتصوّر. ذلك لأنّك لست وحدك من يحبّ المأكولات اللّبنانيّة، بل الفرنسيّون أيضًا ومختلف الجنسيّات عمومًا. لأنّ تعدادها يكاد لا ينتهي، نذكر مطعمًا واحدًا في باريس يقدّم فنّ المطبخ اللّبنانيّ في أطباقٍ شهيّة. هو مطعم “L’Artisant Libanais” بفرعيه في 91 Rue de Belleville, 75019 و46 Rue Oberkampf, 75001 الّذين إفتتحهما مايكال وشارلي، إثنان من محبّي المطبخ اللّبنانيّ التّقليديّ الممزوج بلمساتٍ من مختلف المطابخ


المصدر http://artisan-libanais.com/

في قدسيّة رموزه للبنان رموزٌ حملها اللّبنانيّون معهم إلى كلّ العالم، فجعلوا منها أداةً للبننة أماكن عيشهم الجديدة. حافظوا من خلالها على شيء من ذاكرتهم الجماعيّة، خاصّةً في ممارسة شعائرهم الدّينيّة بكلّ تجلّياتها وقدسيّة رموزها. في بازيليك Lisieux للقدّيسة تريزيا الطّفل يسوع، لا تزال كتاباتٌ محفورة على سقف المذبح تشهد لأهمّيّة أرض لبنان ببعدها الرّمزيّ المقدّس من خلال عبارة “Veni de Libano sponsa” باللّغّة اللّاتينيّة، وهي تعني بالعربيّة "هلمّي معي يا عروسةً من لبنان" (من سفر نشيد الأناشيد 4:8). في هذه العبارة إشارة إلى أنّ أرض لبنان هي أرض التّنعّم والسّلام والقداسة، والدّعوة موجّهة للانطلاق بالجهاد الرّوحيّ من هذه الأرض اللّبنانيّة المقدّسة إلى كلّ العالم. تتّخذ الرّموز اللّبنانيّة في فرنسا أكثر من شكل، ففي بازيليك Fourvière أصبح لتمثال سيّدة لبنان - حريصا نسخة طبق الأصل، أصغر منه بعشرة أضعاف. هذا التّمثال للسّيّدة العذراء ما هو إلّا رمزٌ لبنانيّ بتنفيذٍ فرنسيّ، للنّحّات Frédéric Musy سنة 2011


المصدر https://www.routard.com/

في براعة فنونه الفنّ وليد المعاناة، والمعاناة قدر اللّبنانيّ منذ عقود. فبالرّغم من تأزّم أوضاع بلده وانحسار رزقه وتضييق معيشته، لم يضع القلم جانبًا يومًا بل أكمل الكتابة، لم يرمِ الرّيشة بل ثابر على الرّسم، ولا تخلّى عن الإزميل بل تمسّك بالنّحت. فهذا الفنّ يسكن في قلب اللّبنانيّ وإن سكن هو خارج لبنان. والدّليل أنّ فنّانون كثر من أصول لبنانيّة برعوا في فرنسا، منهم في العزف، أو في الرّسم، أو في مجالات أخرى... شارل صقر إسمٌ من بين الأسماء الكثيرة الّتي تعيش لفنّها ومن فنّها، فله في 7 Quai Voltaire, 75007 كاليري لأثاثٍ منزليّ من توقيعه، متأثّرًا بالتّصاميم الإيطاليّة من القرن السّابع عشر


المصدر http://www.charles-sakr.com/

في أفقيّة دكاكينه الدّكاكين اللّبنانيّة هي من يوميّات سكّان البلد، وذكريات من يسكن خارجه. فمن منّا لا يتذكّر أن تسلّل في صغره إلى دكّان الحيّ ليشتري منه ما طاب له من أنواع الماركات اللّبنانيّة، الّتي وإن وجدْتَ إحداها في فرنسا، عادت إليك بسمة بسيطة وذكرى قديمة من لبنان. ما لا يعرفه القادم حديثًا إلى فرنسا أنّ معظم الماركات اللّبنانيّة قد تجدها هنا في إحدى المحّالّات الّتي تبيع منتجات لبنانيّة أو عربيّة. نذكر منها “Les Délices de l’Orient” المعروف بين لبنانيّي باريس في 52 Avenue Emile Zola, 75015


المصدر http://lesdelicesdorient.com/

في نجاح علاماته التّجاريّة هي علاماتٌ تجاريّة طبعت نمط الحياة اللّبنانيّ، فأصبحت مرادفةً للبنان. إن رأيتها في مكانٍ ما، تذكّرت أنّها من لبنان، وإن أردت أن تخبر عن لبنان، لا بدّ لك وأن تردها في سياق كلامك. "بوظة بشير" هي واحدة منها. ومن فروعه المنتشرة في لبنان فرع الأشرفيّة، الدّكوانة، طريق المطار... لكن أن تعقب عبارة "بوظة بشير" بـ"فرع باريس" فهو ما لسنا معتادين عليه. إلّا أنّ "بشير" موجودٌ فعلًا في العاصمة باريس بعنوان 58 Rue Rambuteau, 75003 حيث يقصده اللّبنانيّون لتذوّق بوظة عربيّة بمذاقٍ لبنانيٍّ لذيذ


المصدر https://bachir.fr/fr

في روعة أبناءه بينك وبين لبنان تفصل آلاف الكيلومترات من أراضٍ وبحار. إن حاولت حصرها، حاصرتك بشساعتها وبمدى بعدك عن بلدك لبنان. لكن ماذا لو توقّفت عن البحث عن لبنانك في المحسوس والمرئيّ، ووجدته في فرنسا في أقرب لبنانيٍّ إليك؟ نعم، عندها تدرك أنّ الوطن ليس في أرضه بل في شعبه، في أبنائه المنتشرين في كلّ مناطق فرنسا. عندها فقط تدرك أنّ الوطن لبنان يعيش فيك أكثر ممّا عشت فيه. ولو خذل طموحاتك أو خيّب آمالك، لم تنكفأ عن الدّفاع عنه حتّى في ساحات فرنسا. أروع ما في لبنان هي روعة أبنائه! إن بحثت يومًا في غربتك عن لبنان، فاعلم أنّك ستجده في أقرب لبنانيٍّ إليكَ


المصدر: البيت اللبناني في باريس


The effect of getting “on board” with gender diversity on corporate social responsibility performance: a literature review

Rim Khayat

Corporate social responsibility has become one of the important concerns to the business world. It has come up as a significant subject matter in the international business community. It is no longer defined by the amount of money a company contributes to charity, but it is the involvement in activities that improve the quality of people’s lives. Businesses that ignore this responsibility run a serious risk that may affect their existence. Despite the fact that gender diversity is acquiring considerable importance, most research has focused on analyzing how it affects the financial performance of the firms. A critical review of the existing literature on the impact of gender diversity in boards to test its effect on the Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR), confirms a positive relationship between board gender diversity and corporate social responsibility.

In fact having women on board of directors positively improves the social strategy of a company, because women tend to be more sensitive towards corporate responsibility issues (William, 2003). For that reason, the European Commission tooked in 2012 some measures to ensure a good representation of women on board. They proposed a directive to have 40% women out of the total number of board members. Even if in actual application, the number did not reach 40% in most of the countries (European Commission, 2018).

“We should highlight the potential value of team diversity as a practical tool for architecting decision-making processes,” said Harvard Business School Professor Francesca Gino. The results show that teams outperform individual decision makers 66% of the time and the decision-making improves as team diversity increases. It is showed that the decision-making process while having age+gender+geographic diversity is the best scenario. So, additional research linking gender and geographic diversity with the decision-making process and in particular CSR decisions can be done.


Source: Bloomberg – diversity and inclusion research

In order to have an actual greater participation of women in the corporate senior management positions actions should be taken on 3 different levels: in society, in corporations and in individual mind-sets.

Every person should start from changing the stereotypes and the unconscious bias that is present in the mind-sets.

The corporations have to play an important role to provide a supportive environment for women’s development.
In the society, the government can help with policies and infrastructures, creating childcare facilities for example, which is an essential factor that enable a big number of women to participate in the workforce and in particular occupy management positions.

I believe that the progress we have seen over the last ten years is important but not enough. A big number of corporations think that they have achieved gender diversity by having one woman at their top boardroom. Commitment to diversity does not stop at one, women need to be seen at board level not as a “female director” but simply as a “director”. Women can perform as well as or even better than men.

The remaining problem is that each woman leader is competing with maybe 10 men to get there, so she should be exceptional to get to the top. However, many people think that this competition is not fair, and companies need to create a culture of equality in the workplace. It is mainly a matter of empowerment, and companies should create that supportive equal culture.

However, I believe supporting quotas only when they drive the objectives of the company. It should never be only about just making up numbers. What is important is to focus on the competences and skills that women do not become tokens but really sit in the boardroom because they deserve to be there.
One thing I would change in the approach is to start thinking about gender balance as being more than a women’s issue. We need to see it more as a business issue and as a societal issue. Gender balance and fairness is beneficial for men and women alike.


Récital de Piano - PENTA DIVAS

Samedi 29 Février, Maison du Liban, Salle Khouzami 19h
Cinq Pianistes libanaises se rencontrent autour du romantisme classique,
avec des œuvres de Beethoven, Chopin, Lizst et des Artistes contemporains.
Dina EL Ahdab
Maria El Ghaoui
Diana Mahfouz
Alice Assi
Patricia Jeitani

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Orthorexia : When overthinking about healthy eating becomes the culprit!


Dr. Elissa Naïm



Everyone is searching for a brand new miraculous diet, an appropriate one to lose quickly some Kg gained during holidays, vacation, and stress period. We have already seen different types of diet since the mid of the last century. Nevertheless, a big part of these trendy diets have their pros and cons taking into account the period following each one of them.

Thus, in order to overcome the disadvantages of extreme diets and to improve their wealth, some people simply decide to turn to a healthy eating pattern across their lifespan. Yet in some cases, this turns into obsession.

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According to Dr Steven Bratman, MD, MPH, “Orthorexia” is an unhealthy obsession with eating healthy food. As defined in 1996, the term is derived from the ancient Greek word “orthos,” which means “right,” or “correct,” and is intended as a parallel with anorexia nervosa. People with orthorexia become so fixated on so-called ‘healthy eating’ that they actually damage their own well-being. It mainly concerns the quality of food more than the quantity.


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  • Compulsive checking of ingredient lists and nutritional labels with a focus on additives, preservatives and food colors.
  • Considerable time spent thinking about food and planning the meal
    Cutting out an increasing number of food groups (all sugar, all carbs, all dairy, all meat, all animal products)
  • Showing high levels of distress when ‘safe’ or ‘healthy’ foods aren’t available
  • Obsessive following of food and ‘healthy lifestyle’ blogs on Twitter and Instagram
  • A sense of guilt linked to the transgression of strict dietary recommendations
  • The search for self-esteem and spiritual fulfillment through the control of food intake
  • The feeling of satisfaction and pride in eating healthy to maintain health and bodily purity
  • Contempt for those who do not respect the dogmas of dietetics
  • A tendency to hold moralistic and rigid talks on healthy eating
  • The conception of food as a medicine to the detriment of taste. The notion of pleasure is completely absent
  • Abstaining from eating foods bought or prepared by others and the fear that eating out of your home will make it impossible to follow the diet
  • The abuse of food supplements.
  • The pretext of food allergies not diagnosed to justify that we avoid certain foods.


Physical effects:

This condition will probably cause the same medical complications as other eating disorders: A lack of essential nutrients can lead to malnutrition, anemia, an abnormally slow heart rate, problems with digestion, hormonal imbalances or even bone health.

Psychological effects:

Orthorexic people can experience an intense frustration. For them, breaking the self-imposed food rules is liable to provoke a feeling of guilt, a self-hatred or an impulsion to purify themselves by means of cleanses or fasting. Therefore, they will spend a lot of time checking if certain foods are sufficiently clean or pure: Does it contain pesticides, hormones, artificial flavors or preservatives?

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Social effects

People with orthorexia often follow strict rules imposed by themselves, which foods can be combined or eaten at particular times of the day. Such rigid eating habits can complicate social activities accessing food such as lunches and dinners or invitations to weddings or other events. In addition, eating only the right foods gives a person with orthorexia a feeling of superiority over others. This can severely strain relationships with family and friends which becomes less important than the master of his eating habits. These strict rules and his beliefs in food can lead him to isolate himself socially and to experience a depression of anxiety attacks or panics in extreme cases. The worsening of emotional symptoms is an indicator of the evolution of the disease towards a serious eating disorder.

Are you excited to follow a healthy food diet? That’s great! However, be careful and reasonable in your choices and don’t let it turn into a primary source of happiness and meaning or interfere with your relationships or work, friends or family.

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Public du théâtre d’ombres turc Karageuz au Liban de 1850 à 1918


Jean Youssef

Fait intéressant, le public du théâtre d’ombres turc Karageuz, avait connu son apogée au Liban durant la période de colonisation Ottomane d’une grande partie du Proche-Orient entre les années 1850 et 1918.

Qu’est ce qui caractérisait le théâtre d’ombres en général au Liban du milieu du XIXe siècle jusqu’au début du XXe siècle, et quel public avait-il attiré ? Quelle originalité le théâtre turc Karageuz avait présenté, et est-ce que son public était différent de celui des autres types de théâtre d’ombres ?

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Ce théâtre prenait sa source en Asie, puis c’était répandu dans plusieurs parties du monde (dont les pays d’Anatolie et les pays arabes) grâce aux Mongols. En raison de la conquête Ottomane d’une grande partie du Proche-Orient, un type de théâtre d’ombres particulier appelé “ Karageuz” était apparu [2]. Les traces Ottomanes dans les textes arabes et libanais de ce théâtre étaient bien notables. Ses metteurs en scènes ont ainsi pu laisser des traces dans le théâtre d’ombres.


Le théâtre d’ombres Karageuz, qui signifie en turc “les yeux noirs”, avait commencé à l’époque du sultan Oran (1326-1359) en Turquie [3, 4]. Il s’agit de l’histoire de deux personnages réels qui sont Karageuz et Iwaz, tous deux bâtisseurs. Ces derniers étaient tués à la demande du sultan Oran, en raison de leur échec dans l’édification d’un château dont ils avaient reçu la commande. Pour éprouver ses remords, le sultan décidait plus tard de leur rendre hommage à travers le théâtre d’ombres Karageuz. Le sultan avait commencé à s’intéresser de plus en plus à ce genre de spectacles, qui avait alors connu un succès considérable. C’est ainsi que ce théâtre était diffusé tout au long de la coté méditerranéenne, de la Grèce en Europe jusqu’en Algérie en Afrique, en passent par le Liban en Proche-Orient. Il a même dépassé les frontières de l’Empire Ottoman jusqu’en Iran en Asie de l’ouest. Dans ce théâtre, les acteurs, dont le visage et le corps étaient voilé et caché par un costume, respectivement, n’apparaissaient pas sur la scène. Cachés derrière un rideau, ces acteurs manipulaient des marionnettes et leurs gestes se reflétaient à travers ce rideau grâce à une bougie placée à côté d’eux, créant ainsi des ombres [5]. Cette forme d’expression n’était pas seulement visuelle, les spectateurs pouvaient aussi entendre discourir les personnages. De plus, les marionnettistes prêtaient leurs voix à travers des dialogues. Ils émettaient également des bruits et des sons afin de rendre plus vivant leur spectacle. Finalement, le théâtre d’ombres turc Karageuz avait cessé d`es le démantèlement de l’Empire Ottoman.


Pour le Liban, la diffusion géographique du théâtre d’ombres turc Karageuz n’était pas homogène dans toutes ses villes. En effet, comme mentionné précédemment, le Liban est un pays multiculturel comportant des communautés religieuses différentes. Ainsi, dans les villes côtières comme Tripoli, Beyrouth et Sidon, où la culture des habitants est purement musulmane sunnite (c’est à dire la même que celle des Ottomans), le théâtre d’ombres turc Karageuz y était très bien accueilli. Par contre, dans d’autres villes côtières comme Tyr et Naqoura, où la culture des habitants est purement musulmane chiite, le théâtre d’ombres turc Karageuz n’existait pas. De plus, la connaissance populaire de ce théâtre n’était pas identique dans toutes les villes qui l’accueillaient.
En effet, dans la plupart des villes, les spectacles étaient souvent joués dans des restaurants, où les gens de différents âges, surtout les commerçants et les marins, se rassemblaient pour écouter des histoires, des contes et des légendes. Néanmoins, dans quelques villes comme Sidon, le théâtre d’ombres turc Karageuz était très connu et considéré comme un véritable art de divertissement, et ses réalisateurs ´étaient de bonne réputation. En conclusion, la religion représentait un facteur majeur dans la diffusion géographique au Liban du théâtre d’ombres turc Karageuz.


Comme pour la géographie, les spectacles du théâtre d’ombres turc Karageuz étaient très variés entre les différentes villes du Liban. Plusieurs histoires, dans lesquelles les deux personnages Karageuz et Iwaz étaient exclusivement présentés, étaient créées et mises en scènes. Les sujets des spectacles étaient essentiellement des critiques à l’encontre des dirigeants politiques (hormis le sultan) et sociaux. Pour les spectacles à Sidon, Abou Izzat Al Karageuzati venant la Syrie présentait plusieurs spectacles jusqu’`a l’indépendance du Liban en 1943. Il se produisait dans un restaurant, et les gens lui donnaient de l’argent à la fin de son spectacle selon leur volonté. Tous les soirs, il ouvrait sa tente dans un coin du restaurant, allumait sa lampe à l’huile et sifflait pour annoncer le d´début du spectacle. Les gens savaient qu’il ´était professionnel par la façon de manipuler les personnages avec ses mains. Il mettait deux marionnettes sous son bras, prêtes `a l’emploi, s’il y avait plusieurs personnages. Les habitants de Sidon se souviennent toujours qu’il faisait des publicités, à la manière du Karageuz. Les enfants étaient très influencés par cet homme, l’imitaient et créaient des marionnettes et des petites scènes pour amuser leur entourage. Abdel Raouf Al Ansari (1896-1942), pâtissier de Sidon, avait appris le Karageuz simplement en assistant aux spectacles d’Abou Izzat Al Karageuzati. Il avait effectivement commencé par l’aider, puis par le remplacer lorsqu’il était absent. Mohammed Al Samara, pâtissier et musicien (joueur de flûte orientale) de Sidon, avait appris le Karageuz comme Abdel Raouf al Ansari, après avoir assisté aux spectacles d’Abou Izzat Al Karageuzati. Pour les spectacles à Beyrouth, Rachid Bin Mahmoud était l’un des artistes à avoir travaillé dans le théâtre d’ombres turc Karageuz, qu’il avait appris en regardant ses spectacles.


Comme les spectacles du théâtre turc Karageuz avaient souvent lieu dans des restaurants, le but du public était donc, à part regarder ces spectacles, de profiter des repas. C’est ainsi que ce théâtre était plus apprécié et recommandé par les différentes catégories de la société libanaise. En d´début d’apparition de ce théâtre, celui-ci était destiné à un public plutôt adulte vu que son but principal était de rendre hommage aux deux bâtisseurs Karageuz et Iwaz, comme ´évoqué précédemment.
Les poètes étaient parmi les plus intéressés à ce théâtre. Omar Zeeni comparait dans un de ses poèmes le théâtre d’ombres turc Karageuz au d´début du xxe siècle au cinéma où, selon lui, les sujets étaient banals. Les chercheurs ont également ´été attirés par ce théâtre. Pietro Perolari-Malmignati avait décrit le théâtre d’ombres turc Karageuz qu’il avait regardé `à Beyrouth en 1875. Enno Littman avait publié un ouvrage sur le théâtre d’ombres arabe contenant des pièces libanaises et syriennes (publiées en lettres latines avec leur traduction en langue allemande) qu’il avait regardées à Beyrouth en 1900. Ces actes sont Al chahadoun (Le mendiant), Al Ifranji (Le Français), Al Afyouni (Le fumeur d’Afiyoun), Al Hammam (Le Hamman), Al Sahrah (La Soirée) et Al Khachabat (Les Bois). Des particuliers, notamment ceux qui ne connaissaient pas du tout ce type de théâtre, avaient commencé à créer leurs propres pièces. Enfin, les enfants avaient eux aussi commencé à imiter le Karageuz en inventant des petites scènes. Cela montre bien que le public du Karageuz était assez varié. Cependant, le succès du Karageuz d´dépendait uniquement de l’animateur. Pour certains animateurs, les salles du restaurant étaient remplies, alors que d’autres animateurs n’attiraient pas beaucoup de public lors de leurs spectacles. La plupart des animateurs profitaient de cet ´état de réception pour faire aussi de la publicité pour certains produits de commerce. Cela montre qu’`a cette époque, le Karageuz était très populaire et les commerçants l’utilisaient pour leurs profits commerciaux.


Ce travail porte sur le public du théâtre d’ombres turc Karageuz au Liban de 1850 à 1918. Ce théâtre était initié par les Ottomans durant leur colonisation du Liban. La diffusion géographique de ce théâtre n’´était pas homogène dans toutes les villes libanaises, en raison de la diversité religieuse et culturelle de leurs habitants. Les spectacles de ce théâtre, portant sur une variété de sujets, avaient lieu en majorité dans les grandes villes côtières. Son public était en général une confession musulmane sunnite, mais comportant une diversité de catégories sociales (poètes, chercheurs, commerçants, marins, particuliers et enfants). Les particuliers étaient tellement inspirés par ces spectacles qu’ils avaient créés eux-mêmes des histoires et les mettaient en scènes. Finalement, Le théâtre d’ombres turc Karageuz avait cessé dès le démantèlement de l’Empire Ottoman. Cependant, on en trouve aujourd’hui quelques traces dans le théâtre des marionnettes libanais.

Editorial – Le Cèdre : Revue de presse de la Fondation Maison du Liban.

Dina profile

Dina El Ahdab
Fondatrice et Corédactrice en chef du « Le Cèdre »

© Mona Barake

“Le génie, comme le cèdre du Liban, pousse sur les cimes, il grandit et se renforce dans la tempête et non dans les bas-fonds.” – Mariano José de Larra

“Le Cèdre” : un même mot, trois ambitions

“Le Cèdre” du Liban - ou Cedrus libani - se caractérise par son port conique durant ses trente premières années, puis son évolution tubulaire par la suite.

Pour les Libanais, le cèdre est un symbole d'espoir, de liberté et de mémoire. En 1920, un des textes de la proclamation du Grand Liban déclare : « Un cèdre toujours vert, c'est un peuple toujours jeune en dépit d'un passé cruel. Quoiqu’opprimé, jamais conquis, le cèdre est son signe de ralliement. Par l'union, il brisera toutes les attaques ».

Bien que “Le cèdre” du Liban pousse au-delà de 1500m d’altitude dans son étage montagnard, cet emblème national, que l’on retrouve notamment sur le drapeau du pays, s’est également épanoui au cœur de la capitale française.

En effet, le premier cèdre du Liban introduit à Paris par Bernard de Jussieu, en 1734, se trouve près du labyrinthe du Jardin des Plantes. Par ailleurs, deux cèdres du Liban âgés de 250 ans marquent l’arrivée à l'aéroport Paris-Charles-de-Gaulle. Malheureusement, celui qui jouxte la ligne du RER B, malade, a dû être abattu en juin 2019. Deux de ses branches maîtresses étaient tombées en 2012 et 2017.

Mais le « cèdre » du Liban n’est pas uniquement une espèce d'arbres conifères. C’est également un pavillon essentiel de la Cité Internationale Universitaire de Paris, dont la première pierre fut posée le 24 Janvier 1961 et l’inauguration célébrée le 8 Mai 1965 par le président de la République libanaise Charles Hélou, qui accueillent des Libanais de haut niveau d’études.

“Le journalisme, c’est le contact et la distance” – Alexis Levrier

“Le Cèdre” est désormais également une revue de presse dont le but n’est ni de déplaire ni de complaire, mais de remuer la plume dans la plaie. Il ne s’agit pas de tremper cette plume dans un encrier mais plutôt directement dans la vie, pour que son bec peigne la chevelure d’une multiplicité de sujets qui s’inscrivent sous différentes rubriques : Sciences économique et politique, Science et Technologie, Santé et Environnement, Art et Culture, Vie étudiante...etc. Comme tout libanais en France, “Le Cèdre” s’exprime en trois langues : le français, l’arabe et l’anglais. Sans ciseaux ni colle, cette revue se loge en ligne, intégrée au site officiel de la Fondation Maison du Liban. Elle sera diffusée deux fois par an sur support écrit. Sans doute, la Maison du Liban est habitée par une immense vie culturelle et une connaissance révolutionnaire au niveau de tous les domaines. Ainsi tous ses résidents, actuels et anciens, ainsi que leurs camarades brassé(e)s dans les autres Maisons de la Cité, sont invité(e)s à y partager leurs expériences, leurs idées et leurs perspectives sur des sujets qui les intéressent, tout en veillant à toujours garder le sens de la modération et du discernement. Notre plume, qui prend aujourd’hui la forme d’un micro et d’une caméra, s’évertuera à faire la synthèse et l’analyse des évènements, nationaux et internationaux.

À l’image de l’Association culturelle franco-libanaise (ACFL) ; marraine de la MDL, le but de cette plateforme d’expression se repose sur le fait de porter haut la voix des jeunes et de contribuer au rapprochement des élites universitaires de toutes les nations ainsi qu’à la diffusion de leurs paroles au sein de la CIUP, et pourquoi pas, au-delà ?

Cher(e)s ami(e)s, ceci est un appel à considérer cette revue de presse comme témoignage écrit de votre passage à la maison libanaise à Paris. Ceci est une invitation à épanouir vos passions et vos ambitions par votre propre pinceau ; une opportunité pour s’exposer à la communauté. Finalement, ceci est l’estrade pour promulguer votre savoir, dans le temps, aux générations actuels et du futur.