In the Beirut Bar Association elections on Sunday, November 17, independent candidate Melhem Khalaf won over candidates backed by the country’s most acclaimed political parties, with 2341 votes. Khalaf being an independent, not affiliated with any political party, and a pro-revolution, his winning is considered to be another achievement of the Lebanese Revolution. So, who is Melhem Khalaf?
Khalaf earned his Bachelor’s degree in Law from Saint Joseph University in Beirut, and continued his studies until he earned his Ph.D. degree from Montpellier University in France. The title of his thesis was: “Legal information and how it can be applied in the field of inheritance law according to Islamic law.”
Khalaf is a Law professor at Saint Joseph University – Faculty of Law and Political Sciences since 1990. He also takes part in Ph.D. thesis discussions in Lebanese universities along with French universities outside Lebanon.
Farah Al-Ata’a “the joy of giving” is an NGO founded by Melhem Khalaf in 1985. Offrejoie is an apolitical and non-confessional Lebanese NGO. It brings together volunteers from all faiths and all areas across Lebanon, who advocate and act for a plural, free, and fair Lebanon.
In 2012, it launched in Iraq as its first location outside Lebanon with the desire to promote unity and solidarity across social and religious barriers.
Khalaf was elected by the General Assembly of the United Nations as a member of the International Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination in Geneva. He was later on elected Vice-Chairman of the Committee in 2017.
#7 He participated in various legislations committees
Khalaf sent out a message via his official Instagram page in a video saying: “Sunday, November 17, 2019, is a day to achieve our dreams, and I am waiting for you. Together, we can make the Bar Association the crane needed to rise the nation.”
#12 Khalaf was not the official Revolution candidate
Even though none of the Revolution committees suggested a candidate to represent them in the Beirut Bar Association elections, Khalaf was -and is still- independent. He dedicated his achievement to the whole nation in a statement after being elected.
#13 He directed a message to the students of the revolution