The Lebanese American community in Cleveland, in
coordination with the Lebanese Information Center,
organized a reception during the Republican National
Convention to honor US elected officials, friends of
Lebanon, Members of Congress and State dignitaries
restaurant in downtown Cleveland. The reception was
hosted by LIC President Dr. Joseph Gebeily, along
with Cleveland LIC chapter head Samir Haikal, and
Lebanese Community leaders Fady Chamoun and Adam
Representatives Darrell Issa (R-CA), Mike Turner
(R-OH), Keith Rothfus (R-PA),
participated as well as Ohio attorney general Mike
DeWine and Dr. Walid Phares, foreign policy advisor
to Republican Presidential nominee Donald Trump.
After an introduction by Mr. Adam Kaufman,
Dr. Gebeily stressed in his welcoming remarks, the
importance of a sovereign, democratic and
pluralistic Lebanon in an increasingly unstable
Middle East. "It is imperative that the current
Administration and Congress, as well as the future
elected President and Members of Congress, continue
to support Lebanon," he said.
Dr. Gebeily added that Lebanon should remain an
essential component of broader US policy in region,
particularly in the face of destabilizing policies
by Iran and the Islamic State group (Daesh) across
the Middle East and beyond. He called for a more
robust American policy in the region to preserve
democracy, end tyranny, and prevent radicalized
ideologies -- whether Sunni, Shiite, or otherwise --
from taking over the region.
As the presidential election draws closer, Dr.
Gebeily called on Americans of Lebanese descent to
take an active role in political work and other
forms of public life in the US. Presidential and
national elections, as well as openings in seats of
power across American cities, are opportunities to
reinforce and promote the role of the Lebanese
diaspora in serving both America and the Lebanese
Representative Rothfus, a member of the
Congressional Task Force to investigate terrorist
financing, hailed Lebanon as an important example of
peace, freedom, democracy, and coexistence in the
Representative Turner, who sits on the House
Armed Forces and the Intelligence Committees,
discussed his own meeting last June with Maronite
Patriarch Bashara Boutros al-Rai. Representative
Turner said he remained personally committed to
supporting Lebanon through Congress.
Representative Issa, a member of the House
Foreign Relations Committee and himself of Lebanese
descent, spoke about the role of the Lebanese
diaspora across the US and especially in Ohio. He
stressed that aid to Lebanon should be continued,
particularly in the wake of a growing refugee crisis
in the Middle East that has put a tremendous burden
on countries like Lebanon.
Dr. Phares, who was selected by Mr. Trump to
advise him on Middle Eastern affairs, discussed the
importance of supporting movements in the Middle
East that stand for freedom, democracy, and liberty
while fighting the extremist and terrorist
ideologies espoused by Iran and Daesh. He said Mr.
Trump would have a leading policy in this regard.
Finally, Attorney General DeWine said he has
built over the years strong relationships with the
Lebanese diaspora and highlighted the contributions
that this successful community has made to various
fields in Ohio and across the country.
The LIC recognizes and deeply appreciates the
strong, steady support it continues to receive from
US lawmakers and administration officials. This
solidarity with the people of Lebanon will help
preserve the small Mediterranean country as a beacon
of independence, moderation, and democracy.