The Fareses in a memorable photo with Mr, George H.W. Bush, the 41rst President of the United States of AmericaExcerpts from the Fares’ address:There are few leaders on the world stage today who can speak with greater clarity and vision on international issues that President Bush. From his days of bravery during the Second World War, for which he was decorated with the Distinguished Flying Cross award, he was destined for a career of greatness. Through the years, he served his country and the world as a congressman, United Nations ambassador, chairman of the Republican National Committee, ambassador to China, and director of the C.I.A. Then came his twelve auspicious years in the White House – first for eight years as vice president to Ronald Reagan, and then for four years as the 41st president of the United States.It was during his presidency that the world witnessed the collapse of the Berlin Wall, the emergence of democracy in Eastern Europe, the rise of a new world order, and the launching of the Middle East peace process.As a Lebanese with strong friendly ties to the United States, I feel reassured that American will continue to back the peace process and that it will move forward. For centuries, the Holy Land has been a threatening theater of conflict and violence. An opportunity to reverse this state of affairs now exists. Let’s seize it.My country, Lebanon, is now rapidly recovering from the ravages of its long war. It is working closely with Syria to grasp every opportunity to ensure that a just, comprehensive and stable peace in the region will be achieved. With peace, Lebanon will regain its natural recognized role as the conveyor of the ideals of freedom, democracy and coexistence in the Arab world.We need your help in this process.
Excerpts from the Bush’ address:President Bush; Issam believes in strengthening the links between our countries President Bush’s address, entitled “Retrospective on the Gulf War and its impact”, dealt with his observations on America’s position regarding that momentous regional conflict. The excerpts selected below are confined to his remarks concerning Mr. Fares as a philanthropist and also express his continued interest and confidence in Lebanon as a major force in shaping the future democratization of the Arab Middle East.I would like to honor this exceptional man and worldwide benefactor, whose sagacity made our gathering here tonight possible.In the United States, Issam Fares invested his money in major development projects, thus opening up job opportunities to thousands of Americans. He also made generous donations to universities and associations working in the domain of research and contributed to a number of charitable organizations in a bid to strengthen people-to-people ties and build a lasting bridge of understanding and friendship between Lebanon and the United States. In Europe, where he has important interests, Issam also invested his money in projects of economic development, as well as in organizations that work on encouraging cultural understanding among the peoples of the world.In the Middle East, Issam Fares is regarded as a very important figure in social affairs. He has been doing much for his homeland, Lebanon, through helping its people in their efforts to rebuild the future. I will be selective in enumerating what he has done for Lebanon, but I will try to be accurate. He contributed to the establishment of the new Balamand University and funded the Issam Fares Building for Medical Meetings at the American university of Beirut. He also assisted the Islamic Hospital in Tripoli and established clinics, schools and social centers in Akkar and other rural regions. He financed agricultural projects and small enterprises, as well as communications installations, and is still fully supporting these activities. His Foundation has also funded the education of some 40.000 students and more than 50.000 people have received medical care through his generous assistance.Dear friends, this is what private initiative means. It is called personal action. And this is how nations are built. His son Fares Fares – a Tufts university graduate who is present with us tonight – inspired the idea of holding this series of lectures to help us better understand the Middle East. He discussed it with his father, who listened to him and enthusiastically agreed. This is an example to all fathers; and we therefore extend our thanks tonight to both father and son. Issam believes in strengthening the links between our countries and also believes that Lebanon needs us to reach a just peace in the Middle East. But we, too, need Lebanon to disseminate freedom, democracy and plurality in the Arab world. President Clinton’s initiative to visit Syria is an essential element in further the peace process. Syria’s role is important to American interests, in particular regarding the regional peace we are endeavoring to achieve. In the past, Lebanon had a constructive role to play in the region and it will always hold that role. And in the future, in the hoped for era of peace, Lebanon will always remain a nation of freedom, democracy and free private initiative. Once Lebanon recovers its sovereignty and full integrity, Beirut will again assume its position as the strong, free, economic and financial center in the Middle East it once was. This is what the United States has to support.