Under the Patronage of H.E the Minister of Industry, Mr. Ghazi Zaiter, the
Industrial Research Institute - IRI and the Euro-Lebanese Center for Industrial
Modernization - ELCIM organized a Gala Dinner at Habtoor Grand Hotel on
Thursday, October 9th, 2008.
The event was attended by H.E the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr. Fawzi
Salloukh, H.E the Minister of Agriculture, Mr. Elie Skaff, H.E Ambassador
Patrick Laurent, Head of the Delegation of the European Commission to Lebanon,
H.E the Ambassador of Denmark, Mr. Jan Top Christensen, H.E the Ambassador of
Belgium, Mr. John Verkammen, and a large number of stakeholder representatives,
along with industrialists from various fields.
The Gala Dinner was intended to honor a representative group of pioneers from
Lebanese industry, people who have been toiling for so long and deserve
The event commenced with the National Anthem, after which the Director General
of IRI, Dr. Bassam Frenn, spoke about new IRI services to industry, and the role
ELCIM has been playing in that regard as a member of the IRI family. Dr. Frenn
was followed by H.E Ambassador Patrick Laurent, who spoke about ELCIM’s role in
modernizing the Lebanese manufacturing sector. Last but not least, H.E Minister
Mr. Ghazi Zaiter, spoke about the role of the Ministry and IRI in promoting
growth in the industrial sector.
Guests enjoyed their dinner. After which, Appreciation Awards were bestowed by
H.E Minister Ghazi Zaiter and Dr. Bassam Frenn on 18 pioneers who have worked in
industry for many years.
The pioneers were: Mr. Nabil Ladki, Mr. Toufic Mrad, the late Marwan Nasr, Mr.
Jamil Mansour, Mr. Serge Hochar, Mr. Chafic Ghandour, Mr. Joseph Ghorra, Mr.
Samir Jamaleddine, Mr. Ibrahim El Kadamani, Mr. Samih El Yaman, Mr. Nizar
Choucair, Mr. Garbis Markarian, H.E. the late Georges Frem, the late Emile
Cortas, the late Reda Ghaddar, the late Ahmad Kabbara, and the late Hisham
Ghandour. Finally, an Appreciation Award was presented to H.E. Patrick Laurent
for the efforts he has undertaken for Lebanon and Lebanese industry.
During the event, a documentary, “Living Industry,” which ELCIM
produced as a tribute to Lebanese manufacturers, their workers and their craft,
was shown. With the help of the very talented Director, Ms. Carole Mansour,
ELCIM tried to tell the “story” of industry in Lebanon a little differently,
through the recollections of practitioners who spent a life-time being
productive….and building, along the way, the foundations for our future and the
future of our children. .
Moreover, a short presentation was made on one of ELCIM’s experts, Mr. Ali Wehbi,
who also happens to be an Extreme Marathon runner. Mr. Wehbi has surmounted
immense challenges, crossing deserts and climbing mountains in pursuit of his
dream of raising funds for cancer research, in memory of his late mother.
The symbol of the IRI-ELCIM Gala dinner was the olive tree because the majestic
olive tree is a symbol of endurance. Despite harsh conditions, it continues to
grow, proud and strong, bearing a fruit that nourishes, heals and inspires.
Therefore, ELCIM collaborated with the Association for Forests, Development and
Conservation (ADFC), an NGO, on planting 500 olive trees in the Upper Metn, as
part of a drive for re-forestation after devastating fires.
Consequently, the banquet hall was decorated with beautiful orchids and branches
of olive trees; each guest received two bars of olive oil soap as a souvenir.
Finally, on their way out, each participant received a certificate of
appreciation in their name from ELCIM and AFDC..