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‘Francophonie’ Month in Lebanon Kicks Off at National Museum | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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Beirut- Lebanon has inaugurated its annual celebrations of the “Francophonie” month, which will run throughout March. The event was opened by Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri in a musical concert held at the National Museum.

Culture Minister Ghattas Khoury and Ambassadors of countries that are members of the Francophone Organization attended the event, which commenced with the Lebanese national anthem. Before the event, Hariri toured the new hall opened in the museum six months ago which features 520 historical monuments from different eras.

Khoury marked the occasion with a keynote and said: “This is Lebanon that survived despite all the difficulties it went through; Lebanon of ambition and initiative has always been a pioneer in its entourage and the world”.

Khoury added: “Today, Lebanon has embarked on a new era led by President Michel Aoun and PM Saad Hariri,” hoping the country would maintain its cultural and humanitarian message.

Lebanon’s participation in the Francophonie month will be marked by two events: the Museums Night set to be held on April 7, and the Francophone Games, which will take place in the Ivory Coast/Abidjan in July.

Activities held to mark this month include the “Francophone discussion contest” on March 17 at the Pine Residence, Beirut; “the Forum of French Language and Francophonie” at the Conference hall in the French Institute (Damascus Road). The city of Tripoli will also witness such events, with a similar forum at the Chamber of Commerce and Industry. Back in Beirut, the Music Hall will host Algerian Jazz singer Souad Massi at the Liban Jazz Concert.

On March 20, to commemorate the International Francophonie Day, the Francophone Organization and in cooperation with embassies of its member states, organizes an event tackling art and its new techniques at the Station, Mar Mikhael. The event will feature exhibitions, artistic shows, lectures, and round tables to focus on the outbreak of social media and other topics related to the digital world.

For its part, the US Embassy in Lebanon will have a role by organizing a symposium on Bacchus Jilalian, and his contribution to promoting music in Lebanon at the Armenian Volunteer Corps (AVC)’s headquarters on March 8.
Embassies of Belgium, Canada, Romania, Mexico, and Switzerland will also have special contributions by holding different cultural events.

According to the World Francophone Organization’s official page, 274 million people speak French worldwide; 72 million out of them partially speak this language. It is noteworthy that the French language ranks nine among the most spoken languages in the world, while it shares the first place with the English language as the most pronounced languages in the five continents.