EU AMBASSADOR OPENS 28TH EDITION OF EUROPEAN FILM FESTIVAL IN LEBANON

Ambassador of the European Union to Lebanon, Sandra De Waele, opened the 28th edition of the European Film Festival in Lebanon on Monday 25 September 2023 at the Sursock Museum.

The following is the EU Ambassador’s speech:

‘I am delighted to be standing here today, to open my first European Film Festival as EU Ambassador to Lebanon. This may be a first for me, but it is most definitely not a first for the festival: tonight we are opening the 28th edition of a festival that over the years has become a landmark in Lebanon’s cultural agenda.

The first European Film Festival in Lebanon took place thirty years ago, in 1993… Three decades of European Film Festivals… That is quite something…. It is very telling of the strong cultural ties between us.

I visited Lebanon for the first time some ten years ago, and like many Europeans, quickly felt a connection to your country. Maybe it is because of the mix of languages that we hear on the streets. Maybe it’s the cultural diversity that reminds us of Europe. Maybe it’s the variety of Lebanon’s landscapes, or the familiar scents and flavours that we come across in the countries around the Mediterranean Sea. But without any doubt, it is also – maybe even most importantly – the fact that in Lebanon, you feel free. Free to speak your mind, free to simply be yourself.

And that is what the European Film Festival is all about. Over the years, the Festival grew into a platform to promote creativity and defend freedom of expression. It has become a welcoming space for us to come together and exchange on issues that matter to both Lebanese and Europeans.

Ceci est reflété chaque année dans la sélection variée de films proposés par nos Etats Membres. Le programme de cette édition comprend 27 long-métrages récents des différents pays de l’Union européenne, y-inclus le film qui a remporté le plus grand nombre de Césars en 2023.

Il y en a pour tous les goûts: des classiques restaurés pour les nostalgiques parmi nous, des dessins animés pour les enfants (ou pour tous les jeunes d’esprit), un ciné-concert pour les amateurs de musique, et bien plus encore.

Like Europe, Lebanon has a rich and diverse cultural heritage that takes many forms – and cinema is only one of them. In recent years, despite the challenges brought by the crisis, many Lebanese movies have made it to international festivals. And this is something to be proud of. To honour Lebanese cinema, the European Film Festival will close on October 4th, with the premiere of Riverbed, by Lebanese director Bassem Breish. We will also continue the tradition of screening short films produced by young, emerging Lebanese filmmakers and we will be awarding prizes to the best among them.

I would like to thank all our partners for their contribution to this 28th edition: Metropolis Association for putting together a rich and diverse programme in Beirut, Hermel, Saida, Tripoli, Jounieh, Byblos and Zahlé; our Member States for their invaluable contribution through films, awards and workshops; and the Sursock Museum for hosting us in such a magical setting tonight.

Le festival n’aurait pas connu un tel succès – et une telle expansion – au cours des années sans le soutien des milliers d’amateurs de cinéma qui ont assisté aux séances depuis 1993. Merci à vous, de nous avoir accompagné dans cette aventure.

Without further ado, I leave the floor to my colleague, Ambassador Jesús Santos Aguado, who will tell us more about Ramona, the film presented by Spain that will be opening the 28th edition of the European Film Festival.

I hope you will enjoy the festival.’

Source: National News Agency – Lebanon

Justice Minister, Algerian envoy talk cooperation

Justice Minister Ahmad Zeyadat Tuesday discussed with an Algerian delegation led by Ambassador Abdulkarim Behha ways and means of enhancing joint cooperation, particularly the exchange of legal expertise between the two countries.

The minister stressed the deep-rooted historical relations between Jordan and Algeria, noting a legal and judicial cooperation agreement signed by the two countries in 2001.

The two sides said work is underway to sign a memo of understanding by the ministries of justice of the two countries to boost cooperation and the exchange of expertise in the legal and judicial field.

Source: Jordan News Agency

DIESEL, GAS PRICES INCREASE WHILE GASOLINE PRICES REMAIN STEADY

The price of 95 octane fuel remained stable on Tuesday, and that of 98 octane fuel dropped by 1000 LBP, while the price of diesel increased by 15000 LBP and that of gas dropped by 16000 LBP.

The new prices are follows:

– Gasoline 95 octane: 1843,000 LBP

– Gasoline 98 octane: 1888,000 LBP

– Diesel Oil: 1765,000 LBP

– Gas Canister: 954,000 LBP

Source: National News Agency – Lebanon

Israeli forces arrest 10 Palestinians, demolish property in West Bank

Israeli occupation forces on Tuesday demolished property near Jericho and arrested ten Palestinians during raids across the occupied West Bank.

The local council in the village of Neimeh said in a statement that troops raided the village, north of Jericho, and demolished a number of homes and barracks, which the army claimed were erected without permits.

Elsewhere in the occupied West Bank, Jewish settlers damaged power poles south of the city of Nablus in the northern West Bank, according to local residents.

Fuad Hassan, an anti-settlement activist in southern Nablus, said a group of settlers attacked the poles on the road between the villages of Qusra and Jalud, prompting clashes with local people.

Meantime, the Israeli army rounded up ten Palestinians during search-and-arrest raids into Ramallah, Nablus, Hebron and neighborhoods of occupied East Jerusalem, touching off confrontations in some areas where several people suffocated from tear gas inhalation.

The Palestinian Prisoners’ Club said the detainees were transferred for investigation by the occupation security services for resisting settlers and soldiers.

Source: Jordan News Agency

Sabelat El-Hassan Youth Program 2023 launched

Under the patronage of His Highness Prince El Hassan bin Talal, Sabelat El-Hassan Youth Events for 2023 on Tuesday kicked off in Al Hussein Youth City.

The program, dubbed: “True Adventure for Future Generation,” which was implemented by the El Hassan Youth Award office annually since 1991 under guidance of His Highness Prince El Hassan bin Talal, represents some foreign residency activities and features gold level entrants.

According to a statement by the award, Sabelat activities are a youth-based adventure aimed to exploring Jordan’s environment and focus on relations with Jordan’s rural, Bedouin and civil communities.

These activities also seek to provide public services and social interaction, engage in exploratory adventures of Jordanian nature, and contribute to scientific research, environmental projects, or field studies and surveys, the statement said.

The award’s director, Ayman Riyad Mufleh, said Sabelat is a new experience for participants to help build their capabilities and hone their skills, to become community leaders, stressing importance of youth engagement in the award’s programs.

A total of 59 participants take part in Sabelat El-Hassan 2023 activities, from 11 public and private universities.

Source: Jordan News Agency

Petra concludes training program on digital media, content production

Jordan News Agency (Petra) on Tuesday concluded activities of the training program, dubbed: “Digital Media Basics,” which was held for its journalists engaged in producing and managing various digital content.

The three-day program aimed to highlight the “best” professional practices in managing websites and social platforms, as well as training on the technical skills necessary to produce smartphone short videos and learn about the key modern equipment and applications used in producing brief media materials.

Speaking during the closing ceremony, Petra’s General Director, Fayrouz Mobaideen, said the agency is working to keep pace with the rapid developments to serve its news activities by providing multiple media products, within a specific plan by arming the agency’s journalists with professional and technical skills to produce digital media content.

Mobaideen noted the agency, within its strategic plan to outreach all national sectors and increase its presence locally and globally, is working to qualify a trained, qualified and capable professional team to achieve this goal.

This progress, she noted, is reflected in the agency’s high follow rates and increased presence, thanks to its staff accumulated media expertise.

Additionally, Mobaideen indicated that the agency is working to launch a Digital Media Directorate, which would be be tasked to producing digital media content, by benefiting from the agency’s news bulletin and various activities at the national level.

Source: Jordan News Agency