CERD with the embassy of Italy organized the celebration on the day dedicated to the Italian Language Teaching Project in Lebanon at Casino du Liban in 19-10-2015. That celebration was sponsored by His Excellency, The Minister of Education and Higher Education, Mr. Elias Bou Saab represented by the President of CERD, Dr. Nada Oweijane. The celebration was attended by the Ambassador of Italy in Lebanon, Mr. Masimo Maroutty, the Director of The Cultural Center of Italy, Mr. Edwardo Krezafolli, representatives from CERD, public schools’ principals and the Parents’ Council, teachers and students.
The celebration was initiated by the National Lebanese and the Italian anthems followed by the speech of the project coordinator for teaching the Italian language, Ms. Daed Kassem, who confirmed that the whole world is celebrating today (on that day) the week of the Italian language under the title of “Music Speaks Italian”. Ms. Kassem also assured that the Italian language is music, pointing to the fact that music is a global language that all people understand; it is a human need and a human nature. She added that students in secondary schools and in public schools in general have learnt Italian first by music. As a proof, she added, a 7th grade student in Hassan Khaled Public Secondary School will sing Italian today, knowing that the student hasn’t learnt the Italian language yet. She also claimed that that student has learnt the song words in 4 days and he rehearsed and understood the song’s meaning.
The speech of His Excellency, the Ambassador of Italy in Lebanon, Mr. Masimo Maroutty
In his speech, the Ambassador of Italy in Lebanon, Mr. Masimo Maroutty claimed that he is pleased to announce the opening of the fifteenth week of the Italian language in the world. This event sponsored by the president of Italy, is taking place today in 90 countries worldwide. He added that the event is aiming to establish better cooperation with schools and foreign universities in the five continents. “Best regards and respect to CERD especially for the president of CERD and the coordinator of the project”, the Ambassador said, “for its continuous effort to publicize the Italian language in Lebanese schools. Ambassador Maroutty claimed that the project of teaching the Italian Language as a second language, which has positive results on the schools and students, is supported by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Italy and the Italian cooperation. He assured the continuous support to the project by the Italian Embassy and the Italian Cultural Center. He also pointed that the Italian is the language of Opera and music which is the title of the Italian Language week. It is also the language of fashion, design, arts and particularly the language of commerce. The Ambassador clarified that Lebanon is the second partner to Italy in commercial exchange and the Italian language, has a rich history and cultural heritage. He explained that the first university established in the west was Italian and it included those who are creative and innovative. He summed up saying that the Italian language is always productive and is considered today as the second well spread spoken language and the language most taught in the world.
The speech of the president of CERD Dr. Nada Oweijane
The president of CERD, who represented His Excellency the Minister of Education and Higher Education, Mr. Elias Bou Saab said it was a pleasure to be with the audience on that occasion to celebrate the Day dedicated to teaching the Italian Language as a second foreign language in Lebanon at public and private schools. She said, that she has the honor to head CERD as an essential partner in this important cultural project and she has more honor to represent His Excellency the Minister of Education and Higher Education, Mr. Elias Bou Saab, the minister of honesty, transparency and credibility.
“The minister sends greetings of love and appreciation to the Italian people and the Italian government wishing permanent sparkling and success to them.”
Dr. Oweijane added that she thanked His excellency, the ambassador of Italy and the director of the Italian cultural center for the moral and material support they provided for the continuity of the project and called on them to work together to activate that support to widen its spread in our schools by:
The president of CERD finally called for more efforts to sign the executive program of the convention on cultural, technical and scientific cooperation. She repeated her congratulations on that special educational, cultural day, called for more cooperation between the Lebanese and the Italian governments for the sake of culture, specialization as well as human, economic and social relationships.
The Director of the Cultural Mission, Mr. Edwardo Krezafolli
In his speech, Director of the cultural center of Italy thanked the audience in Arabic and announced his appreciation for the students’ achievement and the work they did with excitement and perfection, which made him pursue his work in Lebanon even after the end of his term. Then he greeted the schools’ principals, students and the audience.
During the celebration, dancing shows of Lebanese and Italian folklore were presented and Italian /French or French/ Italian dictionaries were distributed to students who won the prize of the Milano Exhibition “Interactive Education, Cultural Diversity and the competition of the school of peace in Rome.”