Thursday, January 19, 2012

The Electronics and Commercial Arts Center in Baalbeck Welcomes the New Year with a Fundraiser

The Electronics and Commercial Arts Center (ECC) in the City of Baalbeck had organized a fundraiser on the eve of the 31st of December of 2011 to pay farewell to 2011 and greet 2012 in an effort to raise funds for the Center’s operations and expansion efforts in the coming year. The fundraiser, which hosted over 200 guests, started at 10:00 pm in evening and lasted until the late hours of the morning of the first day of the New Year. Hadi Rifai, the event’s Disc-Jockey, welcomed guests to the celebration and launched the party with a parade of Oriental and Western tunes under which the Al-Sharq dance troop performed popular Lebanese folklore dance routines. Cotillions, raffle drawings and prizes, and a Baytna Restaurant-catered full course meal were among the key features of the evening. Managed by LOST in 2011, ECC is headquartered in Baalbeck in the Bekaa Province of Lebanon.

With “More Than Vocation Training! A Job Opportunity” as its slogan, ECC aims at granting local residents the qualifications necessary for them to become active participants in the economy of the Baalbeck-Hermel Region and at aiding them in realizing their full potential. The Center offers courses and diplomas in photography, computer, floral design and work, accountancy, presidency of accountancy, engineering and architectural drawing, hairdressing and makeup, and secretarial work. In addition, it offers BP, BT and TS specialties in kindergarten education, construction and general work, information management, nursing and information technology. ECC is located in the Lakkis building on the Ras-el-Ain Avenue in Baalbeck. For more information, contact the Center at +9618370882.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Al-Jadeed Television’s Former Reporter Talks Women’s Rights at a LOST Forum in Hermel

In line with the scheduled programming of the Women’s Political Empowerment (WPE) project, LOST organized a forum on the topic of Women’s Rights in the Workplace starring the Lebanese journalist and Al-Jadeed Television (NEW TV) reporter Ogarit Dandash at the Hermel branch of LOST in the presence of WPE participants and LOST staff.

Welcoming participants and the guest speaker, the director of the Hermel branch of LOST Ahmad Alsaheli delivered the opening remarks of the forum and emphasized the importance of the latter in fostering dialogue among local women about their issues and in initiating a social movement to shape the social and political institutions of the region to resemble the ideal of a democratic society characterized by justice, liberty and opportunity. 

Dandash, who is a native of the city of Hermel in Northern Bekaa, spoke on the status of women in Lebanon. She insisted that despite women’s willingness to and aptitude for work, their immeasurable contributions to their families and to society and their deep-rooted yet institutionally repressed spirit of giving, women in the region continue to lack their basic civil rights and especially their rights to take an active role in the local marketplace and in public life.

After Dandash’s speech, participants engaged in a question and answer session with the guest speaker and focused on the topics of women’s rights and of women’s independence and productivity.

The forum is among the key elements of the WPE project which was launched in 2011 and aims at empowering 100 economically-disadvantaged and politically-disenfranchised women from the Baalbeck-Hermel region of the Republic of Lebanon politically via a curriculum encompassing education on the civil rights of women and practical experience organizing community projects on local governance matters. WPE is fully-funded by the government of the Kingdom of the Netherlands via its Embassy in Beirut.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Yemeni Non-Governmental Organization Visits LOST

 PARTNERS-YEMEN, a Yemeni Non-Governmental Organization, visited the headquarters of The Lebanese Organization of Studies and Training (LOST) in its round of visits to Lebanese organizations and projects involved in the field of Conflict Resolution and Peace-Building, thereby exchanging expertise and strengthening their ties with LOST.

PARTNERS-YEMEN delegation’s visit aims at studying LOST’s organizational culture, strategy and operations, learning about and from its strategies and projects and ultimately adopting the theoretical and practical lessons which best suit PARTNERS-YEMEN’s circumstances but most importantly vision and mission in the Republic of Yemen. Also, it aims at sharing with LOST its experiences and knowledge gained from years of activism in Yemen.

LOST’s Executive Director and founder Ramy Lakkis delivered a welcome address where he greeted the delegation and welcomed their initiative to learn from LOST and its programming in the Conflict Resolution/Peace-Building domain and to share with his organization their experience in Yemen. In acquainting PARTNERS-YEMEN with LOST, Lakkis elaborated on LOST’s programming in the concerned field but especially on LOST’s youth programs which constitute the primary machine for implementing the organization’s Conflict Resolution/Peace-Building agenda.

In his welcoming remarks, Lakkis acknowledged the fact that “Lebanon suffers from sectarian and religious divisions which come in the way of development and represent the latter’skey impediment. Adding to the dilemma is the structure of family in Northern Bekaa which alleviates this division and unbalanced development. It is for this reason that LOST strives to lessen the severity of such factors via its various programs and to uproot these factors via its research-development and knowledge-sharing efforts.”
Abdel-Halim Afeiry, PARTNERS-YEMEN’s Deputy Executive Director, and four trainers representing four provinces in Yemen, comprised the delegation. “Despite the sectarian diversity in Yemen, our country hasn’t witnessed any divides or clashes, sectarian or otherwise, yet for we approach our differences in a manner that is civilized, progressive and respectful,” remarked Afeiry; “Our organization is attempting to spread the idea of individual freedom which is already spreading across our country and it is this very element that is contributing to the elimination of existing problems which impede the path of development therein.” At the end of his speech, Afeiry presented LOST’s Executive Director a memorial shied in recognition of LOST leadership in the Conflict Resolution/Peace-Building domain in the Middle Eastern region and for LOST’s warm welcome of the delegation.

PARTNERS-YEMEN is a Yemeni branch of PARTNERS-INTERNATIONAL, a Non-Governmental Organization established in 1989 in the United States and with presence in 20 countries around the world. The organization’s purpose is to develop the capacity of organizations and of civil frameworks around the globe and to enhance their role in development in general and in democratic development in particular. Also, it aims at emanating skills and knowledge of conflict management and consensus-building around local issues. For further reading about PARTNERS-YEMEN, please visit the organization’s web site at