NNA - The Lebanese Embassy in the U.S. in published on Friday the speech of the Lebanese Ambassador to Washington during the inauguration ceremony of Gibran Khalil Gibran honorary monument.
"On behalf of the people and government of Lebanon, I would like to thank you sincerely for participating in this very special event:
the formal inauguration on the premises of the Embassy of Lebanon in Washington of a monument in honor of Gibran Khalil Gibran, a native son of Lebanon who achieved worldwide and lasting fame as a poet. Finally Gibran has his natural warm home in the U.S.
It is gratifying and reassuring that in the years and decades ahead all kinds of people -- from all walks of life and hailing from countries across the globe will enjoy the opportunity to share in Gibran's presence as they enter this embassy.
The portal of an embassy is more than a mere physical structure; it also symbolizes an entryway to all manner of noble possibilities, including: new cultural understandings between peoples.
How appropriate, then, that Khalil Gibran will stand in perpetuity in this very location, not as a sentinel on guard against danger, but rather as a beacon inviting us all to enter those precincts of the mind and spirit that alone are the source of world-embracing concepts and world-changing ideas.
In a sense, Gibran's inspiration has influenced through the time the work of the Lebanese Embassy in Washington. Most significantly, in the 1940s and 1950s my distinguished predecessor as Ambassador, the great Charles Malek also serves as Lebanon's Ambassador to the United Nations. Ambassador Malek led the United Nations committee tasked with drafting the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
How fitting that the Embassy of Lebanon established and headed by Charles Malek - leading author of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights - will now feature a permanent monument to Khalil Gibran - leading poet of universal human rights.
The inscription that appears on the Gibran statue we dedicate today reads as follows:
Here I am, a youth, A young tree, whose roots were plucked from the hills of Lebanon, Yet I am deeply rooted here, and I would be fruitful. How grateful we are that the spirit and message of Gibran will now be rooted on these grounds, informing the work of this embassy to strengthen Lebanese - American relations, specifically, and Lebanon's presence on the world stage, generally.
As the Ambassador of Lebanon, I am deeply proud that I was able with the help and generosity of thoughtful Americans from Lebanese descent like Robert Andrews and the Gibran Foundation to install this beautiful monument at the entrance of the Embassy of Lebanon in Washington, the natural home for Gibran who will be a witness to the perpetuity of the human foundations upon which Lebanon was founded.
As we who enter this Embassy gaze on Gibran's visage, let us dedicate ourselves to advancing this inspiring vision, which is a treasure not only for Lebanese and Americans, but for all humanity."