In the aftermath of the terrible explosions that devastated Beirut, the International Federation of Catholic Universities (IFCU) expresses its solidarity with the Lebanese people and its member universities, and mobilizes by launching an international solidarity campaign. It calls for the generosity of all to support these universities.
It is an apocalyptic situation faced by our four member universities after the huge explosions that took place in Beirut on August 4th.
According to the authorities, more than half of the city was affected by the explosions. "Yes it is desolation in Beirut. We mourn our dead and our losses. Our four campuses in Beirut, plus the hospital, and the Oriental Library were devastated," lamented Father Salim Daccache, Rector of Saint Joseph University in Beirut.
"Our country has been bending for several months under the weight of a deep political and economic crisis, and as if to cut off all hope, a massive explosion occurred in the port of Beirut, causing hundreds of victims and thousands of wounded. Unfortunately, our main campus was hit, and several members of our teaching and administrative staff were injured", reports with emotion Father Michel Jalakh, Rector of Antonine University.
"The damage here is enormous and comes on top of an economic crisis where we have lost almost everything. Initiatives are multiplying and gestures of solidarity are there... but the evil is suffocating. Because of the economic crisis, our main need is to be able to grant scholarships to our most fragile students in order to continue their studies at NDU". said Prof. Ziad Fareh, Director of the Office of University Mission, Notre Dame University of Louaize.
Lebanon has been going through an existential crisis for months and, in addition to the economic crisis and the pandemic, the explosion of the port of Beirut has severely damaged our campuses located in the capital, says Prof. Lara Karam Boustany, Rector of La Sagesse University.
In this context marked by the COVID-19 pandemic, the collapse of the economy, rising unemployment and political and security instability, the next academic year is surrounded by many uncertainties, and the Lebanese universities of IFCU are being hit hard by this global crisis. Faced with this exceptional situation, IFCU calls for the solidarity and generosity of its international network so that our "sister institutions" can ensure their educational mission by training the young leaders of tomorrow who will help rebuild the Cedars Nation.
IFCU Laudato Si Fund Manager
International Federation of Catholic Universities (IFCU)
21, rue d’Assas
75270 Paris Cedex 06
Tel: 33 1 44 39 52 26