The Cultural Association in Tripoli launched the forty-ninth annual book fair under the auspices of Prime Minister Najib Mikati, represented by the Minister of Culture, Judge Muhammad Wissam Mortada, and in the presence of the Minister of Information, Eng. Franjieh, represented by Barfly Diab, the deputies: Dr. Ihab Matar, Jamil Abboud, Dr. Haidar Nasser, and representatives of the deputies: Karim Kabbara, Ashraf Rifi, Faisal Karami, Taha Naji, Michel Moawad, former deputy Rami Feng, Secretary-General of the Future Movement, Sheikh Ahmed Hariri, represented by Mr. Nasser Adra, Director General of Public Security, Brigadier General Elias Al-Bisari, represented by Lieutenant Colonel Talal Hamdan Representative of the Swiss Embassy, Consul Jihad Maraachli, Chairman of the High Commission for Relief, Major General Muhammad Khair, President of the Union of Fayhaa Municipalities, Hassan Ghamrawi, Mayor of Tripoli, Eng. Sayings and a crowd of political, judicial, human rights, social, economic, academic, educational, cultural, security, military, artistic, elective, health and civil figures, associations and youth and scout bodies, in addition to a large audience building the city and the north.
First, the Lebanese national anthem, then the speech of the presenter of the ceremony, Dr. Rafif Dandachi, followed by the speech of the head of the Cultural Association, journalist Ramez Al-Fari, who started it by calling for a minute of silence for the souls of the martyrs in Palestine and the Arab and Islamic nations, and he said: Once again we meet today in the cultural association to open the book fair The annual exhibition is in its forty-ninth season. This exhibition, which has become a cultural and national phenomenon, is awaited by the Lebanese in general and the northerners in particular, every year. The exhibition comes this year to confirm once again the insistence of the Cultural Association in Tripoli on its role and mission towards the cause of the homeland and the human being in Lebanon.
This is because our homeland today suffers from crises at all levels and levels, and the human being in it is still burdened by the burden of economic, social, financial, educational, health and political distress, and because we understand cultural activity as a commitment to human rights, freedom and independence of the homeland and an orientation towards creativity and prospects for a bright future, we must follow up The march, the march of real confrontation with all attempts and forms of obliterating our Lebanese existence and our national identity, and with all forms of oppression and injustice, and the annual book fair is only an annual station in this march of ours, therefore it dedicates a comprehensive national and popular necessity that dozens of volunteers are recruited to organize, and it is attended and participated in by the widest crowd of those interested in the culture of the word And believers in cultural resistance and the weapon of the situation.
Those holding the coals today, their gathering has come together and their ranks have rallied, for they are on the annual date to practice the act of faith, with the longing and excitement of the believer. Today, we renew the meeting between the reader and the book, between the sane and the reasonable, between the gnostic and the knowledgeable.
I say that those who are clutching at the embers have become complete… because whoever believes in reason, love, freedom, word and thought these days… is grasping at the embers.
Al-Fari added: We trust the word and believe in the book, and we find that these bad days do not call for surrender and frustration, but rather oblige us, the living in the fields of ghosts, to increase knowledge and strive to reformulate life and society, because people do not die and because the makers of life, Never are they victorious…
The book we meet to honor today, here in the association whose name was derived from culture, we deeply believe in the mind, the word and freedom. A land of dialogue and love, a land of independence and dignity. We know culture in thought and honour. There is no value for culture without the honor of the culture and the intellectual, and there is no value for an intellectual who is not separated into society and into the depths, to be the pulse, heart and action of this society.
Then the representative of the Prime Minister, Najib Mikati, Minister Muhammad Wissam Mortada, delivered his speech, in which he said:
The people of the villages, and many of you among them, know that the wedding of the oaks is greeted by the birds, who are delighted to find shade and dwell among the branches and green leaves.
While the oaks rejoice that it rustles on the horses of the breeze, swaying with the sweetest chirping, it is a close spring era similar to the one held in Tripoli with the book fair that houses its father every spring, shelves of books and swarms from libraries, publishing houses, forums, and weddings for various cultural forums.
It is not surprising, my beloved ones, for Tripoli is the oak of countries steadfast in the face of the wind.
Mortada added: For half a century, Tripoli has held a fixed annual appointment with the book, in addition to its daily appointments, with thought, culture, creativity and steadfastness, and that is only because its people are aware that knowledge is the path of all human beings to awareness, which is the first and last goal of every knowledge activity.
And that the book is one of the most important means of knowledge and planting awareness in the minds, and the truth.
And he continued: We in the Ministry of Culture have made awareness-raising a motto for us and a platform for action, confident that the times of crises require both officials and citizens to have the highest degree of general awareness of what surrounds them, and descends upon them, and to look at their reality with a very insightful look, in which science and sound analysis flashes. and accurate understanding. So that they are able to overcome what they are in to reach the aspiration, and this applies to all fields in politics, culture, economics, and others.
Is there a way, my beloved ones, to make awareness more than the word and its writing, and the book and its opposition?
The basis for what we seek is that the book is not a possession that adorns the homes, but rather it is the source of knowledge, and for this reason Tripoli and other Lebanese regions as well have been surrounding the book fairs that are held in them with a group of cultural activities in which a group of interested people gather and it is also a means to spread the awareness that we call for. .
This is so that no one thinks that these high-end events are only buying and selling markets, while what is required is that they be enlightenment platforms.
And he continued: Perhaps the most informative lesson dictated to us by the rule of awareness is meeting. Yes, beloved ones, it is high time for us to meet on an authentic understanding of the crises befalling us, in which the role of the outside supports us with the fragmentation of the inside, so the boundaries are difficult.
States have interests that seek to implement them, even at the expense of the peoples of the world. Therefore, we see fluctuating standards in dealing with one issue and another on describing the interests of those countries.
What is happening in Palestine, my dear friends, is a stark example where the victim is humiliated and the criminals are acquitted. The Zionists bomb Gaza with their modern planes and kill women, children, the elderly and the innocent. This is a war against terrorism. As for a child spitting in the face of a rapist soldier, this is terrorism. The resister who wields a knife is a terrorist, and the entity that kills people, destroys homes, bulldozes lands, and destroys crops and udders is a civilized state that defends itself. How amazing are these equations that can only be denied and dispelled by awareness resulting from will and deepening the study of problems with scientific minds far from fanaticism, bias, and fear.
From here, the book is the cornerstone of building the individual, society and the state, with reference to the fact that God Almighty in His decisive revelation called us to meet on a common word to teach us that the word is the best title for meeting between people.
And you ask, beloved ones, about our political, economic and living conditions. This also applies to them. It is obligatory to illuminate the path that indicates dialogue, and to search for the available exits in the light of what is happening in the region in terms of Saudi-Iranian reconciliation, and the Israeli war on patient Palestine. The awareness that we call for is necessary. If we all adopt it, then it will lead us to the shore of safety. As for intransigence, control, intolerance and hatred, they are not good in anything, as the teacher Boutros Al-Bustani said.
Minister Mortada concluded: I return to Tripoli, my beloved, I return to it, and it is the one that has in my heart what you know, Tripoli will be the capital of Arab culture, for the year 2024, and I assure you that the administrative structures for good management of this important event will see the light very soon, and we hope that an exhibition will be The next book is an important part of this activity.
Blessed are all your efforts, organizers and participants, especially the efforts of the Cultural Association in Tripoli, the organizer of this exhibition.
Then Minister Mortada, Minister Makari, the deputies, the Mufti Imam and the president of the association cut the traditional ribbon and toured the exhibition, which will continue until Sunday, May 21.