The Maronite Academy 2018 Educational trip to Lebanon
Many young Lebanese-descent Christians from different countries around the world visited Lebanon in August 2018, and partook in the Maronite Academy, an endeavor undertaken by the Maronite Foundation.
Carried for the 6th consecutive year, this initiative aims to bring the Lebanese diaspora’s youth closer to their roots and their country of origin.
After going through a series of comprehensive online courses tackling the history of Lebanon and the Maronite Heritage, the applicants (between the ages of 20 and 30, of Lebanese descent, living abroad) had to undergo a written Essay, based on research and on personal/family experience, assessing the reason why they would like to visit Lebanon with the Maronite Foundation, and if they were willing to contribute helping the Foundation by motivating the largest number of Lebanese living abroad among their communities, to recover their Lebanese citizenship.
Moreover, preference was given to those whose purposes, aspirations, and skills are most closely aligned with the mission of the Maronite Foundation in the World and the selection process will be highly dependent upon the levels of engagement, motivation, and thinking skills of the participants.
The successful candidates got the chance to live an unforgettable experience;a free two-week trip to Lebanon from August 4 till August 19, 2018, all expenses fully covered by the Maronite Foundation.
The winners’ stay in Lebanon spanned over two weeks during which they attended daily lectures held at the USEK University by prominent panelists and will visit various historical sites and landmarks.
This trip to Lebanon with the Maronite Academy was a unique experience. I was able to see my grandfather's house and meet few relatives... The variety of places and experiences gave me the opportunity to discover the fascinating country of the Cedars under a new light.
As Pope Francis stated: “You all, in a special way, are called to serve everyone as brothers, above all feeling like everyone's brothers. Supporting each other using what you've learned, act so that Lebanon always practices its vocation as a light for the region's people and a sign of peace that comes from God.” I hope we will keep up supporting each other’s so that future generations rejoice in Lebanon in peace and prosperity.
" First and foremost, I cannot begin to describe the gratitude that I feel for the organizing committee behind this wonderfully orchestrated two-week educational trip that I had the chance to be part of.
I wanted to take this opportunity not only to learn and appreciate Lebanon's culture but also to make an impact by contributing with a solid input from my part by assisting the Maronite Foundation in the future.
In all honesty, I feel that I have evolved into a more knowledgeable and cultivated person but more importantly, this renewed attachment to my roots really turned me into a better Lebanese.
Most notably, the places we visited in Lebanon such as Jeita, Byblos and Baalbeck have marked me just as much as the natural views I had the privilege to explore.
Especially, the churches and monasteries that we visited that truly highlight the religious side of Lebanon and will never be forgotten. In addition, the new bonds that I have fostered with my fellow peers from abroad throughout this journey will be dearly treasured.
On a final note, I wish that many more youth of Lebanese descent will have the chance to live this once-in-a-lifetime experience and share their testimonies and memories with their folks back home. "
The Maronite Academy trip has been such an amazing experience for me because it allowed me to learn about my country's history. The international connections and friendships we made were incredible.With participants from all over the world, we all became a family and got to share our Lebanese pride. This experience truly made me even more proud of my roots and enhanced my love for Lebanon with every site we visited, every conference we attended and every meal we shared.
It was a confirmation that Lebanese people are so welcoming and have an amazing joie-de-vivre. I would not have been able to fully experience the beauty of Lebanon without this trip! I need to thank the Maronite Foundation and the Academy team for offering this opportunity to us and I truly appreciate all the efforts towards this educational and fun initiative.
Lebanon is proud of you, be proud of your roots!
What an amazing experience to be able to see and learn about Lebanon with like-minded Maronites from all over the world. This program left me better equipped to educate others about the Lebanese citizenship and has instilled in me a deep longing to continue returning to Lebanon. Thank you to the Maronite Academy for this truly memorable experience.