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Five hundred teachers and students observed World AIDS Day with the United Nations, Sin El Fil Municipality and Balamand University

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06 December 2017
Five hundred teachers and students observed World AIDS Day with the United Nations, Sin El Fil Municipality and Balamand University
Nearly 500 students and their teachers joined Lebanese government, United Nations and Internal Security Forces (ISF) representatives, in watching a play entitled "Ata3oulak Ticket" on Friday, 1 December 2017, to observe the United Nations World AIDS Day. The play, aimed at raising awareness on the dangers of drugs, was organized by the United Nations Information Centre in Beirut (UNIC Beirut) and the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), in collaboration with the Municipality of Sin El Fil and University of Balamand.

The event opened with statements by Sin El Fil Municipality member Victoria Zouein and UNODC Programme Specialist Renee Sabbagh.

Zouein welcomed the UN efforts to raise awareness of the dangers of drugs and stressed that the Municipality of Sin El Fil remains committed to initiatives that can contribute to the sustainable development of Lebanese society, including cultural activities. She called on young people to avoid the risks of drugs and resort to their families or responsible authorities to address their problems.

Sabbagh spoke of the importance of the World AIDS Day, particularly this year’s theme which is "Right to health". “Everyone, regardless of their identity and environment, has the right to health,” she said, adding that this requires adequate health services, housing, food, healthy working conditions, etc. Sabbagh also stressed the commitment of the UN to contributing to the development of a healthy and sound environment within the framework of the 2030 Agenda, particularly through UNODC’s current efforts on treatment and prevention, and youth capacity building to avoid drugs and similar risky behavior. In line with that vision, she called on young people to avoid the risks of drugs and channel their energies and talents into creative endeavors such as painting, acting and similar.

The play received positive feedback from students who watched it. It was conceived and directed by Theatre Writer and Director Salim Hallal from Balamand University and performed by the university’s students. The play was a social awareness black comedy about a young man who, in order to escape tensions and trouble at home, resorts to drugs, however, he has to pay a high price for his choice.