Writtn by Rima Youssef
Translated by Daisy Khalil
NNA - Since the beginning of her architectural studies, Christelle Khalil dreamed, every day while passing by the building of Tele-Liban in Hazmieh, that the latter would regain its lost glory because of the conflicting policies of men in power.
Christelle felt she could start her career with a diploma project at "the Lebanese Academy of Fine Arts"; a project based on the rehabilitation and expansion of Tele-Liban through the construction of a huge media and production city to be rented by TV channels.
The National News Agency has been informed of the diploma project that Christelle Khalil has in mind. She explained in details the plan to rehabilitate and expand the buildings of the national television in Hazmieh.
Minister of Information, Ramzi Jreij praised the project and appreciated the ambition of Christelle who wished Tele-Liban could "reclaim its golden age, especially during a period marked by subjectivity."
"This television is the voice of the State. It wrote the history of Lebanon and the Middle East. I developed this project in the hope of achieving it. I will soon submit it to the concerned authorities and officials," she pointed out.
Pertaining to the reasons behind her choice, she said "this project would provide job opportunities for workers, engineers, technicians, journalists and others. It would also help reduce the migration of young people to the Arab and foreign countries."
As to the financial cost of the project, Khalil said it could reach 70 million dollars; a sum that the television could recover, in addition to staff salaries, over a period of eight years. She said that the proper management of this project could make it valuable, not only on the Lebanese scene, but also among Arabs.
Khalil explained that the TV building occupies a small space however, a vast area of 17.260 m2, overlooking Beirut, is located near the old building and it could be used for the construction of a new one.
"This project, which I submitted to the Minister of Information, Ramzi Jreij and to the CEO of the national television, Talal Makdessi, aims to keep the old building, in order to preserve the memory of the TV, all the while providing jobs for youth, limiting immigration, providing money to the Treasury and helping safeguard the TV's archive and glory," Khalil concluded.
For his part, Jreij said the project Ms. Khalil submitted sparked his interest, adding that "the establishment of a media city could, under normal circumstances, be beneficial for the country like the media city in Dubai, since Lebanon is characterized by its media."
"However, this project requires study and approval by the Cabinet and perhaps the Parliament," he noted.
The Minister stressed that the draft submitted by Christelle to keep the old building was excellent from a technical point of view, and that is why he encouraged her to go on with her vision.
"However, building such a media city requires the approval of the Cabinet, and a tender to get the best offer," Jreij explained.
As to the operation of a formal medium to private interests, the Minister said "first we have to determine the objectives and the means of funding, a responsibility to be borne by the administrative council of the Television."
"At present, Tele-Liban enjoys government support as the sole contributor, and in reality the cost of the development of the public channel exceeds the allocated budgets by the government. We must find other sources of funding," he concluded.
For Tele-Liban to remain a company known for the slogan "from father to son", we must provide serious efforts to strengthen the potentials of our national TV.