A big thanks to the Maronite Foundation for this amazing experience. The opportunity to discover Lebanon and reconnect with my roots is invaluable. Not only did I discover the land of my ancestors, but I reconnected with my family. Although I was not born here, I feel like home. Lebanon is really beautiful and having the opportunity to discover it with other Lebanese youth, share and combine our knowledge of our dear land is absolutely impressive. I take a piece of Lebanon with me and leave a piece of my heart in it. Thank you to all the members of the Maronite Foundation for making this dream possible.
I simply thank you for this opportunity that I didn't expect. It was incredible to share it with people my age, people who share the same religion and origins. I am very happy to have finally gotten to know the land of my ancestors and my roots. Everything was incredible. I love Lebanon, it was my first visit, but I promise I’ll come back when I can. Thank you so much everyone.
What can I say but thank you for all of your time and effort in making this amazing and lifetime experience comes true? When I look back to our trip to Lebanon, I cannot imagine it to be better than it was, and I wish nothing but to be back again someday. I was amazed and astonished by the stunning natural landscapes, the wealth of history, the fascinating culture and the even more beautiful people there. Now I feel I have a stronger sense of my roots, of my own identity, and of my own me. My connection with Lebanon and its people is now greater than ever. As Michel Moawad said in one of the lectures we attended: “Just like our ancestors before us, we are asked today to hold on to the values of freedom, pluralism and modernism”. This is our mission and I’m sure we will fully commit ourselves worldwide for the Lebanese cause. I will always keep this beautiful land in my heart and in my soul. Honestly, no words can ever truly describe how grateful and appreciative I am for this opportunity. From the bottom of my heart, once again a HUGE thank you!
I am of Lebanese descent. My grandfather Nassif Elias Abi Cheble, who was born in Wadi El-Set, Chouf district - Mount Lebanon, came to Argentina in 1950 looking for new job opportunities to help his family. He fell in love and married my grandma Corina. I should say my grandpa is an incredible man who worked hard and helped many people here epitomizing Gibran Khalil Gibran’s quote " Lebanese children are those who migrate with nothing but courage in their hearts and strength in their arms but who return with wealth in their hands and a wreath of glory upon their heads, they are the victorious wherever they go, LOVED and RESPECTED wherever they settle."
I'm so proud of my grandfather; he and all the Lebanese people are an example of hard work and fortitude, and I thank God for having been blessed with him and my family.
I'm sure all of you feel the same about your ancestors so let's join our voices and shout from the top of our lungs: WE ARE REALLY PROUD OF OUR ROOTS!!
I felt so excited about the possibility of visiting the land where all the fairy tales my granddad used to tell me about took place!! I used to dream of Lebanon!
Words cannot express how exceptional this experience was for me. The Lebanese group of Academy participants was wonderful and the organization admirable. Thank you for giving me the opportunity to get to know my family and my roots.
A wonderful experience, I am very grateful for the opportunity that has been extended to me. The places I visited exposed me to the rich historical, cultural, political and religious significance of this country. Conferences were insightful especially that of Michel Mouawad.
I am so fortunate to have been part of the 2014 Maronite Academy trip. The conferences were very interesting and the speakers of a high caliber. The places we visited represented the best Lebanon has to offer and with father Fadi Kmeid as our guide I have developed a much deeper understanding of Lebanon, its Maronite community and the message it embodies.
I would like express my sincere gratitude to all those involved in making this trip happen.
As an Australian Lebanese I had been quite disconnected with Lebanon and today I am prouder than ever of my Lebanese roots.
I have been completely overwhelmed with all the aspects of our journey together, especially the conferences’ educational level, and I would like to briefly express my feelings towards this topic.
Michel Edde was purely inspirational, I feel Lebanon needs more men like him; he truly is a wise man and an amazing role model for our nation’s youth. I feel his wisdom resonated with each and every one of us. I would like to thank him for his generosity and for making this happen.
Marcel Ghanem spoke very passionately and I could feel his passion in my blood. I have never experienced this level of passion and patriotism in Australia and I was deeply moved by his discourse.
Salim Edde and Gilbert Ghostine gave us wonderful examples on how to be better human beings, stronger individuals, not settle for mediocrity, strive for greatness, and constantly keep on learning, motivating and improving ourselves.
I can’t express enough gratitude for the blessing of being here. I have been truly inspired by everyone who's spoken to us over the course of these two weeks. I would like to tell you that this trip has made me aspire to help Lebanon and be an active part in the rebuilding of our nation.
I would love to discuss with you my plans to help the Maronite Acadamy in the future and ways to remain actively involved in this wonderful organization.
I thank the Maronite Academy for providing us with this incredible opportunity of getting to know our motherland in a way that could not have been possible had we traveled Lebanon alone. Despite Lebanon's continuing struggles, it is amazing to see that diaspora's hope is still alive for the Christian epicenter of the middle east. Thank you for helping me become proud of Lebanon again.
My experience with the Maronite Academy this year has been extremely educational and enjoyable. This trip offered me the gift of Lebanon, the gift of the freedom of existence, ex<x>pression and democratic values that I hold close to my heart. Lebanon is more than just a country; it’s a way of thinking, a way of life.
I have greatly enjoyed my experience in Lebanon. I have acquired a wealth of knowledge about Lebanon's history, heritage, politics, and social demography. I now feel that I better understand the purpose and the mission of the Maronite Academy and I am very excited to be part of it.
I have finally had a chance to take in those amazing two weeks that I spent in Lebanon. All I can say is... WOW! I have been to Lebanon before, but never have I experienced it like this. Never have I seen Lebanon in this light before. I am absolutely blown away! To me Lebanon is not only naturally beautiful but also historically and culturally rich and diverse. These two weeks have renewed and deepened my connection to my roots in a way that makes me proud to be Lebanese. I can't stop boasting about everything Lebanon has to offer. Even my non-Lebanese friends want to visit with me next time... and I think they will be just as surprised as I was!
I just want to say thank you to the Maronite Academy for all the hard work and efforts they put into making the 2014 session a success. Thank you to Mr. Michel Edde, the Choueiri family, Mrs. Hiam Boustani, to all the founders and members of the Maronite Foundation who worked passionately every day to make this happen. This trip would have not been possible without the hard work of all these amazing people.
I am blessed to say that I was one of the lucky ones chosen to attend the Maronite Academy 2014. Connecting with Lebanese youth from 17 different countries and creating bonds that will last a lifetime was a life changing experience. Lebanon is a treasure in the Middle east, and even the world, that needs to be protected and we can all play a part in this by continuing the work of the Maronite Foundation. This trip has really empowered me to start making a change! There is so much work to do ahead of us but if we work together, hand in hand, everything is achievable!
Congratulations to the Maronite Foundation on all your success thus far and thank you from the bottom of my heart for everything! May God continue to bless you everyday so that you keep up the amazing work that you do! No words can ever truly describe how grateful and appreciative I am of this opportunity. Thank you!
This year I was privileged to be part of the Maronite Academy’s Youth. The conferences and trips were very educational; they’ve built up my knowledge about Lebanon’s history and culture. But I’ve also learned a lot from my Lebanese peers during the free times we shared.
This trip has truly been the trip of a lifetime. It exceeded all of my expectations; we learnt so much, saw so much and met so many people from all over the world. I was surprised by how much of Lebanon I hadn't seen. The conferences were very insightful, some better than the others. I really felt a connection with my homeland and I look forward to pursuing the mission of the Maronite foundation in Australia. Thank you for this trip, we all had so much fun and are sad to leave after having built such a connection with Lebanon. I feel so blessed and grateful to have attended the 2014 Maronite Academy.
Thank you for this opportunity. I am so grateful to have been part of such an experience. I would love to assist and participate in the work of the Maronite Academy. Hopefully I will be able to come back next year and the years to come. My love for Lebanon has grown and I now understand my duty towards my country.
I feel grateful and blessed because I had this opportunity to get deeper in touch with my roots, my blood, and my beloved country.
This event has been the pinnacle of the best moments I have lived. Being Lebanese is a gift. I finally had the chance and the opportunity to properly visit my country of origins. I was lucky and honored to be part of this event. I recommend every Lebanese to visit Lebanon the way we did. Thank you so much for this amazing experience and for bringing me back to my roots.
This was my third time in Lebanon. However at many times during this trip I felt like it was the first. And many times I felt like I've always belonged here. I came back to Brazil with lots of fresh ideas, lots of new feelings and lots of beautiful new memories (also a lot of arak in my luggage), and you made that all possible. I have no words to thank the Maronite Foundation, the whole team and all my peers for this amazing experience. Can't wait to see you all again!
I had a wonderful experience. I had lost all ties with Lebanon until I came here and fell in love with it. I feel somewhat anxious when I see the Lebanon I love, its culture, nature, and people disappearing year after year. Meeting with people who shared this love and concern with me has been relieving and comforting. A big thank you to the Maronite Foundation and Father Fadi.
The experience was more than I expected. Everything was amazing! Before I came to Lebanon I didn't know much about it. Now I can say I am Lebanese and I am very proud! I created a connection with Lebanon and I'm in love with this country. I'm planning to soon return here with my family.
I would like to thank you for this wonderful opportunity and for all the effort you put in this endeavor to communicate to us the depth of your love for Lebanon.
The experience that the Maronite Academy enabled us to live was amazing. I want to thank Mrs. Hiam and the whole Academy’s team for their efforts and dedication. I am part of the third generation of Lebanese immigrants in Brazil and have lost all contact with my roots. I reconnected with my country and the land of my ancestors through this amazing trip, the educational conferences and the historical site visits.
Thanks to this trip I reconnected with the land of my ancestors and met my relatives in Bentael.Today more than ever, Lebanon is in my heart!
I am fully committed to doing my best to achieve whatever the Maronite Foundation might ask of me.
Once again, thank you for this once-in-a-lifetime experience.
It was an amazing experience. I discovered Lebanon in a way that I had never imagined. I met amazing people from different countries and cultures and we are now connected as brothers. The Lebanese culture and the Lebanese people will always be in my heart.
I had a great time. I fell in love with Lebanon. I just wish we had more time to be together, visit places without being in a hurry and most importantly visit our families because they are the strongest ties we have here.
It was an amazing experience to visit all these wonderful places that make up my family’s roots. The conferences I attended made me understand what the Maronites are going through; and the historical landmark visits made me see the true value of Lebanon – its rich culture and history as well as it culinary diversity.
I had a great experience meeting new people and visiting amazing sites; it would not have been possible without the Maronite Academy. We have made lifelong memories and friends who are now family. I am grateful for the opportunity that have been given to us and the experience we lived.
This trip was a special experience that I shared with truly special people. I rediscovered places I had previously visited with a new perspective. The in-depth knowledge I gained about them made me feel as if I was visiting them for the first time.
I was proud to be Lebanese before coming to Lebanon but I used to keep this pride to myself. Now, after this amazing experience I want to share my pride with everyone so they can also partake in our mission as Lebanese and as Christians.
Amazing people and visits. I have often come to Lebanon but this experience was completely different and insightful for me. The lectures as well as the subjects of the conferences were very engaging and my comrades’ interest in Lebanon was reflected in their numerous questions. The visits were beautiful and well organized. Father Fadi is an exceptional person who has done way more than just “his job”. He has taught us the meaning of devotion. Thank you!!! I will be back soon. I want to send you this short message to thank you from the bottom of my heart for this great opportunity that you blessed us with this summer. A country that really cares about its survival must invest in and work with its youth, and this is exactly what you managed to do. I have traveled to Lebanon several times and have been visiting my family there ever since I can remember: but this is the first time I actually consider investing in Lebanon and working towards a better future for my community, and this is because of you. Our ancestors have dedicated their lives to us and I finally truly understand our mission as Lebanese Maronites. I look forward to staying in contact with you and encouraging the Lebanese youth to participate in the Academy. Thank you again!
I would like to thank the Maronite Academy for everything they did for us! I will forever remember this trip and will always be grateful to the people who made this trip possible. The youth I met were amazing and the places we visited were spectacular. This trip to Lebanon is engraved in my heart.
This event has been the pinnacle of the best moments I have lived. Being Lebanese is a gift. I finally had the chance and the opportunity to properly visit Lebanon. I was lucky and honored to be part of this event. I recommend every Lebanese to visit Lebanon the way we did. Thank you so much for this amazing experience and for bringing me back to my roots.
During this trip, I met wonderful young Lebanese fellows that are willing to relentlessly work for Lebanon and the Maronites. Learning about our culture and roots makes me prouder of who I am. Traveling across the country of my grandparents made me understand why I am who I am, and living this experience with other Maronites was just great.
I had an eye-opening experience getting to know where my mom's family comes from, discovering the beauty of this country, may it be its bustling city or its beautiful mountains, and getting acquainted to fellow Lebanese descendants from all parts of the world.
This trip made me realize that we all should work towards making Lebanon a better place to live and visit.
The leadership of the Maronite Foundation has caused an upturn in my faith and spirit. The freshness of your perspectives and your inspiring preaching have helped me to really appreciate where I come from. I'm grateful for the time that was dedicated to us on a daily basis may it be the conferences held by amazing panelits or the places we visited,which taught us how we can support each other in times of crisis and how we can better Lebanon. Going to Lebanon for the 1st time, I didn't know what to expect and judging by what I saw on the news at the time, I really was scared..
Now, it's been a month since came back to my country and I can honestly say, while I was in Lebanon, I was at peace with myself. I felt a connection with my roots that is hard to put into words, I could relate to why my grandfather, grandmother, mom and my aunts refer to this beautiful country the way they do. I understand now, that what we see on the news isn't Lebanon.
Also, I had the privilege of meeting 60 amazing Lebanese descendants, whom I now consider as brothers and sisters, and who made my stay in Lebanon full of special moments I will cherish for the rest of my life, .
From the "Marhaba, Ahla w sahla, Sabah el kheir, Yes3ed masekon, Sahtein, Shokran and Yalla". I will never forget my experience or the people I met and the Maraonite Academy's staff.
I thank you for this blessing and urge you to keep up the awesome work!!
I say to all of you menshoufkon ariban! Alla yehmikoun kelkoun!!
Every night that I spend in my room in USEK was a blessing. I just can’t believe this amazing opportunity; this was the best experience of my life, and the most enriching to date. I met wonderful people from around the world who will be my brothers and sisters for life. I got so close to a country that has written my story and this is where I leave my heart.
I remember the first day we met at USEK. We were all eagerly waiting to discover what the Maronite Academy had planned for us. And we could not expect a better way to live and love Lebanon. Each day was unique and special in its way. I met amazing people, friends, brothers, sisters and I am so thankful for that. I want to give my best to my beloved Lebnen. I cannot describe how awesome is this foundation. Maronite academy, you treated us like kings and queens. I will be infinitely grateful for what you have done for us. I am ready, and I know I am not the only one to help you and to help our motherland to preserve its heritage, its nature and its people. So many great civilizations passed by our country. Our sancta terra is full of history and beauty. People have to be aware of it!! It is our duty to take care of it!
It's been a week since I've been back home and it is still hard for me to find the words to thank you for this amazing experience. The people we met that became our brothers and sisters, the places we visited that made us fall in love with Lebanon, the amount of historical facts that we learned from Father Fadi, and the amazing food, traditions and costumes we were able to experience, just completed my unstoppable love for Lebanon!
Each conference and step in this trip made us realize how much we can help and I'm sure none of us will stop until we see a difference, because you showed us your contagious passion for our roots, and made us live it beside you!
Again, thank you so much for each moment of hard work you put in for us to have the best two weeks of our lives, because we did!
I won't stop working for this project and I won't stop being proud of my roots!
Since I was a kid, Lebanon has been an integral part of my life; it was a bond that was forged over the years by the stories and memories of my family and surroundings. Last summer, I had the opportunity to discover, live, and feel Lebanon and thus strengthen that bond my mind had created. I discovered its endless beauty, the warmth and love of its people along with all the colors and sounds that make it so unique. A big thank you to the Maronite Academy because now I have a Lebanon built from my own memories and experiences to cherish in my mind and in my heart. My passion for this country grows stronger every day and after this experience it has become clear to me that all of us are Lebanon; no matter where we are, our actions and thoughts contribute to the spread of strong cedar roots all over the world.
I want to thank and congratulate the Maronite foundation for this amazing initiative: gathering young emigrants from all around the world to bring them back to their country of origin and make them reconnect with their roots. It was a unique opportunity for me to interact with wonderful people who share same immense love towards Lebanon, and make friendships that I'm sure will last for a lifetime. Thank you for encouraging us and making us aware that we have the power to make important changes that will help our beloved Lebanon! We are proud of your trust is in us and we are not going to disappoint you!
Sharing so much information with other people/immigrants from Lebanon was an amazing cultural experience. We revived the values and traditions of our families in this beautiful country and we got motivated to keep pursuing the dream of our founders.
I only have words of gratitude, and I just want to thank everybody who worked very hard for us to come here and took care of us. I felt like a queen all the time. I really hope my family can come with me and spend the summer here. I also hope my sister can come next year and learn more about Lebanon and our roots. Even though we are part of the 4th generation of Lebanese immigrants, I would like to perpetuate our culture outside of Lebanon and keep eating kebbe nayyeh and tabboule!
I once heard that when things are planned with pure love there's no chance of failure and that's exactly what these amazing two weeks you organized for us were: a roaring success! I will always be thankful to the Maronite Foundation for letting me reconnect with my roots and making me feel prouder of being Lebanese. This has been one of the best experiences of my life, I had the chance to meet extraordinary young Lebanese fellows from all over the world who taught me so many things about their perspective of Lebanon and I also learned and better understood the history of Lebanon. But most importantly, I felt home. Count on me for all your plans and never forget that you have lit 60 candles that will never stop shining and trying to bring hope to Lebanon!
"It has been an awesome and enriching experience. A beautiful way to let us know more about the land of our ancestors, Lebanon. I have learned a lot in every single moment I spent there as well as from the special people I have met. The Maronite Foundation showed us the nature, the history, the traditions and the values of this amazing country and made us feel like home all the time. I’m very grateful for being part of this initiative that made us more responsible towards Lebanon."
The experience was memorable. The students, the lectures and the conferences were all above my expectations. Father Fadi was a key part of this trip and should be encouraged to be the guide of the upcoming years' trips. One way of enhancing this experience would be to hear more of the students’ ideas on how to improve the situation of the Maronites in Lebanon and help organize trips to the Bekaa, Tripoli and the South. Lebanon would not be the same without these cities and regions.
I am very emotional and happy about this opportunity. Getting to know Lebanon for the first time with fellow Lebanese youth from all around the world was overwhelming. Thank you very much for the opportunity to reconnect with my roots and with Darbeshtar my village.
This trip allowed me to experience what it really means to be Lebanese. I consider myself so lucky to be the first member of my family to visit Lebanon. I learned so much here that it is hard to think of specific places that stick in my mind. A small testimonial is impossible to write. I want to show my experience based on the work I do for Lebanon in the future. Thank you!
I loved spending my time here in Lebanon with the Maronite Academy. It was one of the most eventful and exciting experiences of my life. It brought me closer to my land, my roots and other Lebanese people from all over the world. I would be happy to contribute to this initiative in the future. And please keep up the good work.
I am incredibly grateful to have been exposed to the riches of a land I have loved and dreamt of since I was a little girl. Lebanon's riches are found in its sprawling landscapes, gorgeous mountains, historical importance and most importantly its love of people, traditions and hope. Thank you for taking me to the country I promised my mother's father I would one day visit. Thank you for taking me to our beloved cedars where I carved my mothers' name. I am forever grateful.
I was born in Lebanon and left the country at the age 8. I never saw Lebanon the way I saw it in this trip. Fr. Fay Kmeid was so informative and became my father and my friend. From Harissa to Jezzine, Farraya, Annoubine…! Amazing tours and sights to see! I never knew Lebanon was this beautiful, and sacred! This trip will never be forgotten! I met so many great people and will plan a reunion for the class of 2014 in Lebanon so that we can get together again and relive this experience.
This trip has exceeded my expectation by hundreds of miles. Not only did we discover Lebanon, but we also made unbreakable bonds with other Lebanese people from around the world. It was absolutely amazing and I loved every moment of it. You all are great and I pray that every one of you becomes the saint that God wants them to be. You have an amazing mission, I truly pray that God blesses every step that you take towards your goal in the organization and your personal lives as well. I was honored to have met each and every member of this great family and I am even more honored to be a part of it!
My journey to Lebanon with the Maronite Academy has given me a totally different perspective on my heritage. Experiencing it with a diverse group of people from different Lebanese regions along with members of the Maronite foundation was truly amazing. Since I returned to the States, there is not a day that goes by where I don't think or speak about Lebanon. I've always been proud to be Lebanese but now I am prouder than ever. I want to complete my education and go back and do something for my home country. I truly appreciate the opportunity that the Maronite foundation has given me and I thank each and every person who played a part in making it an unforgettable experience. Lebanon needs us and together we can make a big difference. No matter where we are in the world, we need to make an impact, that aligns with our Christian values, on Lebanon's future. May God bless Lebanon, the Maronite Academy, and all my brothers and sisters from around the world that accompanied me on this wonderful journey!
Being Lebanese is a way of living as well as a blessing.
Words can't describe what an amazing experience this has been. I've been to Lebanon a few times in the past but I never experienced it the way I experienced it with the Maronite Academy. Lebanon is such a beautiful country. People must go see what Lebanon truly is and not how the media portrays it. I would love to live and work in Lebanon in the near future. I want to make changes in the beautiful country my ancestors called home. This trip has enabled me to step closer to my heritage and to learn where I come from. No matter where you go or what you do, your roots will always be a part of you. I encourage everyone who is of Lebanese decent to register themselves as well as their families as Lebanese citizens. Go to Lebanon once and experience it for yourself; I guarantee you'll want to go back.
If I had visited the same places without father Fadi and other Lebanese peers, I would not have understood or appreciated the Lebanese and Maronite cultures to their right value. Father Fadi's knowledge is incredible.
I have lived an amazing experience this year and I learned a lot. I can definitely say that my love for Lebanon increased during this trip and that I will work to improve the situation in Lebanon where I can. I made many friends from around the world and this was a beautiful experience and opportunity. I also learned a lot about the history of Lebanon and its land. I am so grateful and thankful for this opportunity!
I have had the most amazing and touching experience in my life. I now see Lebanon in a whole new light and have a more profound connection with my roots. I feel a strong sense of responsibility and duty to be more active in my Lebanese community back home in the States.
On the other hand, the wealth of knowledge I have acquired during this trip is invaluable and constitutes the most important tool in our mission as Maronites living abroad. I am truly blessed to have had the company of some of the most wonderful people from all around the world including all those involved in the Maronite Foundation. I love Lebanon! Thank you!