Caretaker Culture Minister Dr. Mohammad Dawoud sponsored the launching ceremony of the edification of a Lebanese National Higher Conservatory of Music building in Dbayeh, which is funded by the People's Republic of China with an in-kind donation of 60 million dollars over an area of 28,000 square meters, to be completed within a period not exceeding 3 years.
The launching ceremony of the first phase was attended by Ambassador of China to Lebanon Wang Kejian and caretakers Defense Minister Elias Bou Saab and Tourism Minister Awadis Kidianian.
In attendance also were the Chairman of the Council for Development and Reconstruction, Engineer Nabil El-Jisr, head of the Lebanese National Higher Conservatory of Music Dr. Bassam Saba, members of the Board of Directors of the Conservatory, and a crowd of cultural and musical personalities.
Caretaker Minister Dawoud thanked "the People's Republic of China for financing this project, hoping more cooperation between the two countries." In his words, "The shortest path to peace is development, and the best way to develop is communication and cooperation between the peoples of the earth to bridge the chasm and build human bridges."
He added, "This music institute, whose building we are launching today, is an extension of a decades-long path dating back to the 1920s, and specifically to its founding stage. The National Conservatory has played a pioneering leading role in graduating generations of musicians, who have undertaken the burdens of forming a musical district in Lebanon and the Arab world [...]"
Bassam Saba, head of the Lebanese National Higher Conservatory of Music, stressed the importance of the launching of the building, extending his gratitude and appreciation to the People's Republic of China represented by His Excellency Ambassador Wang Kijian. "This new project will give an opportunity to students who want to pursue higher levels of music studies," he added.
From his side, Ambassador Kejian welcomed the attendees and said: "I am pleased to witness with you this historic moment of cooperation between China and Lebanon." He added, "It is an important landmark in the cultural exchanges between China and Lebanon under the framework of the Belt and Road Initiative [...]."
At the end of the launching ceremony, the commemorative plaque was unveiled to lay the foundation stone. A memorial photo was taken, and a cocktail was held for the occasion.