It is not every day that a foreign country gets to honor two Lebanese women, respectively, with prestigious awards, for standing out with their work linking both countries. While our ambassador to Italy received honorary citizenship, the Director of the National News Agency (NNA), Laure Suleiman, received the Marzani International Literature and Journalism Award.
In a ceremony held in Benevento by the Municipality of San Giorgio del Sannio, H.E Mira Daher, Lebanon's Ambassador to Italy, Malta, and San Marino, was awarded the Honorary Citizenship of the City of Benevento.
This category of citizenship is offered to eminent personalities in recognition of their accomplishments or contributions to their country and their continued effort to develop good relations between their citizens and the Italian people.
In conjunction, the Campania Euro-Mediterranean Association in the Italian city of Benevento held a festival that aimed to honor creators and innovators, granting the Lebanese Director of the National News Agency (NNA), Laure Suleiman, the Marzani International Literature and Journalism Award.
The event was sponsored by the Italian House of Representatives, Senate, and Foreign Ministry, and in cooperation with the Municipality of Benevento, and with the attendance of Lebanese Ambassador Mira Daher, and the Lebanese Consul in Rome, Marelle Salame. The festival was attended as well as by Italian and foreign journalists, artists, authors, and many other figures, and included meetings and open discussions featuring the fifteen laureates.
Upon receiving the award, NNA director Laure Suleiman held a speech of gratitude in which she said, "The more I receive an honorary shield, the more responsible I will be, and I promise you that I will continue to work in all honesty and objectivity while preserving the message I am entrusted with and working towards dialogue and peace, especially as I consider journalism to be a mission, not a profession."
Mrs. Suleiman thanked as well the Lebanese ambassador to Italy for her hard work in weaving the best relations between the Lebanese and Italian governments for the interest of both countries. She also thanked NNA agency representative in Italy and the Vatican, Mr. Talal Khreis, for his efforts in conveying news from Italy and the Vatican accurately, honestly and objectively.
Moreover, Lebanese-Armenian Sevak Hakobyan, the editor-in-chief of the Armenian daily Zartonk based in Beirut, was similarly honored during the festival with the Marzani International Award for Journalism and Literature.
Following the event, Lebanese Ambassador Mira Daher held a dinner banquet in honor of Laure Sleiman, at the Lebanese Embassy in Rome, in the presence of Italian and Arab diplomats and journalists.
Ambassador Daher expressed her pride of Mrs. Suleiman by saying, "We are proud that we have this very high level of media objectivity without tampering with freedom of expression. This is very rare nowadays [...]"
She added, "This matter was achieved by Mrs. Laure Suleiman in the National News Agency that was able to reach to the world thanks to her perseverance and her insistence in conveying the truthful news."