Ameen Rihani Organization
"I started calling 25 years ago, and have continued to call, for raising nationalism above religious and sectarian fanaticism."
Ameen Rihani, 1925
.: News & Events

Rihani Institute Launching


H. E. Ambassador Farid Abboud
Ambassador Abboud addressing the audience

On November 4, 1999, the Ameen Rihani Institute (A. R. I.) was formally launched in Washington, D.C. at the Embassy of Lebanon. The new Institute will devote itself to forging and strengthening cultural and literary links between the Arab World and the United States. Its principal focus will be activities that further Arab-American understanding of the kind to which Rihani devoted his life. A non-profit organization, the Institute is made up of three bodies, namely the International Advisory Board comprised of ten distinguished personalities from Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, the United States and France, the Honorary Committee comprised of five distinguished personalities from Lebanon, Jordan, and the United States, and the Academic Council comprised of 22 scholars from Lebanon, the United States, Australia, England, Russia, Egypt and Poland. The event was hosted by the Ambassador of Lebanon, H. E. Dr. Farid Abboud who is also a member of the International Advisory Board of the Institute.

The Launching

Rihani family with Ambassador Mack
The Rihani family receiving Ambassador David Mack
The event was attended by nearly 300 people from the Lebanese and Arab community in the Washington, DC area, including several Arab and American ambassadors and scholars. Among those present were Ambassador Clovis Maksoud, Ambassador Mohamad Chatah, Ambassador Marwan Muasher, Ambassador Saad Mohamed Al-Kobaisi, Ambassador David Mack, Ambassador Richard Parker, State Department officials, and members of Rihani's family, namely Dr. Ameen A. Rihani, Ms. May Rihani, Mr. Ramzi Rihani and Mr. Sarmad Rihani. The celebration was highlighted by presentations given by a member from each of the three bodies of the Institute and by an exhibit of Rihani's portraits, pictures and books.

Event Speakers

Mr. Victor Zmitr, Charge d'Affaires at the Lebanese Embassy, welcomed the guests and was the Master of Ceremony.

Dr. John Duke Anthony, President and CEO of the National Council of the U.S.-Arab Relations, a Washington, DC organization dedicated to improving the knowledge and understanding of the Arab World. Dr. Anthony is an activist who works on building cultural, educational and economic bridges between the Arab countries and the U.S.. He also represents the Honorary Committee of the Ameen Rihani Institute. Dr. Anthony's presentation likened his Council's activities to a contemporary echo of the precepts for which Ameen Rihani stood and for which his life was so exemplary.

Dr. Abdul Aziz Said, is a professor at the American University of Washington, DC, and Director of the Peace Center at the University. He also represents the Academic Council of the Ameen Rihani Institute. Dr. Said's presentation highlighted Rihani's spirit and mind.

His Royal Highness Prince Talal Bin Abdul Aziz is Honorary Chair of the Institute's International Advisory Board. Upon his request, his address was delivered by Ms. May Rihani. View Prince Talal's presentation.

Ambassador Abboud concluded the event by thanking the audience and inviting them to the exhibit.

Exhibit

Receiving guests, from left to right are:
Mrs. Reem Abboud, wife of Lebanese Ambassador,
Ms. May Rihani, Dr. Ameen Rihani, and Mr. Ramzi Rihani

An exhibit, curated by the Rihani Museum, Freike, Lebanon was on display at the ambassador's residence and was enjoyed by all attendees. Included in this display were some of Rihani's photographs and portraits, as well as some of his Arabic and English books and samples of his handwritings. His most recent book Critiques in Art, published by Librairie Du Liban in September, 1999, was also on display. This exhibit will remain at the ambassador's residence through Lebanon's independence day of November 22.