Assistant Governor Salwa CHOUCAIR,
Past Presidents Philipe SKAFF, Rami MAJZOUB, Joe KENAAN, Christine SABIEH, Ghassan HAJJAR, Rima KHALAF and Rami SARKIS.
Immediate Past President Antoine KALDANY
Dear Rotarians and Dear Zoomers
It’s an honor for me to be standing in front of you in my quality of president of this vibrant club I am not sure of what has crossed your minds in voting for me as a president for the year 20‐21, neither do I really know what happened to me the day I applied for this position, but here we are! Proudly on our Rotarian Mission…
We have been thru some challenging periods, challenging is the least to say, and IF I’m going to remind of some of these events, it’s only to have THEM remembered in the videos being recorded.
All of us united here tonight have a clear view of the tunnel in which Lebanon has been since the revolution started in October 2019.
Out of breath within a corrupt system, it’s the average Lebanese who today is fighting an imposed misery in order to sustain and survive within an economic system that is almost non‐existent. Money in banks isn’t accessible, and the number of families without any income is peaking as we speak. Moreover, we shall remember the most important families, these Lebanese families whom were fighting poverty before COVID‐19 and who are struggling now even more to feed themselves on a daily manner.
And Yet, It is against all odds that our president Antoine KALDANY has piloted the club during these very hash days. He successfully and swiftly adapted to everyday challenge, keeping his north.
RotarX sessions, an innovative way of exposing the Rotary to the general public were initialed as early as July 2018. When things were locked due to COVID-19, these sessions were shifted to the web format using Zoom, attracting even more audience and providing internationally exposure to thousands, an exposure that was never reached before. This same concept of adapting to remote working using online meetings allowed us to maintain our regular and board meetings as early as March, despite the pandemic, allowing a smooth and continuous operation of our club.
This has also opened the door to adapting within the Rotary concept into online meetings, and I hereby salute all the members and friends watching us online and whom couldn’t attend this physical meeting.
Our president challenged the club into international exposures, involving embassies and great speakers from all around the world.
He challenged us into shifting donations from foreign clubs into humanitarian causes, going into global grants to provide medical supplies to hospitals, helping Lebanon fight the COVID‐19 All of this still performing successfully projects such as libraries and Horsh Beirut Opening.
But most importantly, P. KALDANY piloted the club always looking Onward and Upward, looking into the needs of the Lebanese population, and focusing on providing food box support to distributing NGOs as fast as possible out of incoming funds.
I have to say, President Antoine, you raised the bar… so much… but you also gave a lot of guidance.
The Wheel of service is in constant rotation, and today we try to find new opportunities of serving above self and vibrantly kept looking Onward of the situation and Upward for a PEACEFULL future for our beloved LEBANON
Onward means moving forward without looking back, and upward means having a goal of continued self‐ improvement which leads your spirit “up” towards a more divine state of being, and this shall be our theme in a continuous line with your year dear IPP.
Our budget is ready and our project are under development, and shall be soon presented to the board and members,
The people of action will be under the supervision of Sergeant at Arms PP. Joe KENAAN, Christine SABIEH managing the Rotary Foundation M. Ramzi ABU SAMAH following up on treasurer PP. Ghassan HAJJAR handling Membership, PP. Philippe SHAFF giving us always great times in fellowship M. Le Consul Jean Francois PARMENTIER leading the Admin Mrs. Cynthia ZREIK managing our PR and Media Mrs. Joumana CHALHOUB following up on the multiple projects PP. & IP. Rony FARRA helping on fundraisings to make sure we have money to reach accomplish these projects And all of this with the support of the Honorary Secretary M. Jean Marc ADAIMY,
I promise Vice‐President Antoine, our club will be moving further more and always, Onward and Upward! This is going to be a challenging mission, but the board accepts it.
And once again, I would like to thank you all for your trust