We, Fadlo Khuri, President of the American University of Beirut,
and Salim Daccache s.j., Rector of Saint Joseph University of Beirut,
state the following:
- What Lebanon is currently living is an authentic national outcry, the largest unifying national protest movement since 1943, an outcry that profoundly expresses the sufferings and needs of our people and their immense desire to rebuild our country on new foundations;
- Our two universities, that have historically committed to build the Lebanese entity since the creation of Greater Lebanon in 1920, cannot but share in the commitment of faculty, students, staff, and alumni who are already participating in the struggle for the rights of all Lebanese without exception;
- The Lebanese official authorities must embrace the new spirit carried forward by all Lebanese who call for unity and for working hand-in-hand to build a civil state that goes beyond confessionalism and interest-sharing, stands up for the values of freedom, brotherhood, equality and justice, and ensures the respect of the rights and the duties for all;
- We condemn all attempts to suppress the protests, and we gratefully call the Lebanese Army and the Lebanese Security Forces to protect the demonstrators, many of whom are our students, faculty, staff, and alumni, but all of whom are calling for a Lebanon of shared purpose, accountability, and self-sacrifice.
- We urge the Lebanese authorities to respond, at the soonest, to the aspirational hopes of the people and to commit to implement all necessary institutional measures needed to find a durable solution to the current crisis; we remain available to contribute in finding all solutions that lead to the national salvation.
Salim Daccache s.j.
Recteur de l’Université Saint-Joseph de Beyrouth
President of American University of Beirut