WASHINGTON, May 29, 2015 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- As the violence erupts throughout the Middle East, systematically threatening important historical and religious sites, Tyre stands on a sliver of land between the Lebanese Mountains and the Mediterranean Sea, as an Ancient Phoenician legacy, proud, beautiful, and very vulnerable. Founded in 2750 BC, it is today an UNESCO World Heritage site. Blessed with archeological and Biblical treasures that survived the footprint of time, Tyre has become one of the few remaining treasures in the Middle East that still provides a peek into history.
During the free symposium-open to the public- scheduled for Wednesday, June 3, 2015, from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. at the United States Library of Congress, Washington, DC, a panel made of distinguished leaders will review Tyre's history and identify how it can be protected in a changing, turbulent new world. The panelists will include domestic and international experts, prominent members of the U.S. Congress, the current Administration, and senior ministers from Lebanon who will each examine the subject from different perspectives.
Dr. Maha el-Khalil Chalabi, who is the founder of the International Association to Save Tyre (AIST), will be among a select group of leaders who will welcome guests to the symposium. Dr. Chalabi, a great modern Lebanese from Tyre, has dedicated her life untiringly to preserving the Ancient Phoenician heritage. "I will use my position as the head of the International Association to Save Tyre to preserve the city's Phoenician legacy in every possible way," she said. "This includes the rehabilitation and the promotion of its cultural and economic history."
David T. Killion, chair of the American Committee to Save Tyre, the former U.S. Ambassador to UNESCO, and a member of the welcoming committee, has been a long-time supporter of Dr. Chalabi's work. "Although many may just consider Tyre another piece of real estate in Lebanon, there are critical interests at stake here – especially moral and cultural." Killion added, "I believe it is important to preserve these interests and expand on them, not just its historical treasures, but also, in these changing times, those universal values that uphold human rights and empower women and girls."
The full-day symposium will focus on the many contributions to culture ancient Phoenicia made to Biblical, commercial and cultural history. To highlight its past, the Association has brought together some of the most esteemed names in the world, dedicated to the moral and cultural goals of the International Association to Save Tyre.
At a VIP reception following the symposium, Clay Pell, representing his grandfather, the late Senator Claiborne Pell (D-RI), and The Honorable Esther Coopersmith will receive "Recognition Awards" for their pioneer role in the founding of the American Committee for Tyre. One of the evening's special guests will be Jeffrey Gonano of Pittsburgh, who won a Picasso painting in a million dollar lottery seeking to raise funds for the Association to Save Tyre last year.
In celebration of the past and a promising future, a week of activities will take place, beginning with a welcome reception on June 1st. It will all culminate on Thursday, June 4th with a private dinner at the home of, The Honorable Esther Coopersmith, who chairs the American Committee to Save Tyre.
The Association to Save Tyre is a financing organ that has initiated, coordinated, planned and followed up on the activities that preserves Tyre's environment and rehabilitates and promotes its cultural history. Over the years, the Association has been a dedicated leader in supporting the employment and sustainable development of the area for future generations, by preserving Tyre as a world heritage city and the center of peace and intercultural dialogue. Since its foundation in 1980, the International Association to Save Tyre has actively maintained a worldwide information campaign to inform governments, international organizations and the public of the importance of safeguarding Tyre. To register for the symposium, please visit the Tyre Foundation
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SOURCE American Committee to Save Tyre