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AUB, UN Collaborate on “AUB NGO Fair 2016”
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AUB, UN Collaborate on “AUB NGO Fair 2016”

UNIC
The Center for Civic Engagement and Community Service (CCECS) at the American University of Beirut (AUB) organized its Annual NGO Fair in collaboration with UNIC-Beirut on 18-19 April at the university’s campus in Beirut.
Under the patronage of Lebanese Minister of Health Wael Abou Faour, the Center for Civic Engagement and Community Service (CCECS) at the American University of Beirut (AUB) organized its Annual NGO Fair in collaboration with UNIC-Beirut on 18-19 April at the university’s campus in Beirut.
Over two days, representatives from international bodies and civil society organizations held information booths and spread their civic messages through presentations and engagement with visitors at the upper campus area.
The fair, launched by a ceremony held at the Issam Fares Institute (IFI) Auditorium on Monday 18 April, was attended by Minister Abou Faour, in addition to UN Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator Philippe Lazzarini, UNIC-Beirut Acting Director Margo Helou, Beiteddine Festival Committee President Nora Jumblatt, AUB Interim Provost, Mohammed Harajli, CCECS Director Rabih Chebli and Director of News and Media Relations at AUB Simor Kachar. Also attending were students, participants in the Fair and media representatives. 
In his welcoming note, Harajli said the fair provides an opportunity for everyone to communicate together and strengthen ties that will serve the public good. He also gave an overview on CCECS and its interaction with students and organizations through the university. He touched on AUB’s responsibility towards and engagement in public issues, especially the issue of Syrian refugees, alongside other responsibilities. 
Lazzarini, for his part, said, “Our presence here today, in times of profound changes, challenges, and threats in the region, is an opportunity to advance the fundamental role that the civil society plays.” He commended the role of civil society saying it is of vital importance in providing an alternative perspective, and in embracing, supporting, and empowering Lebanon as a nation rather than as a group of communities.
“Allow me to elaborate a little bit more about the importance of focusing on governance to reach your goals. It is very important that we have a mutual understanding and application of good governance … and move forward from the basic vision of the founders towards a shared understanding of your core ‘values’ and towards new ways of thinking and delivering,” he added. 
Minister Abou Faour said that AUB integrates education with achievement and doctrine with the spread of knowledge. He went on to say that the role of civil society today is to prevent the downfall of the government at a time when all institutions are collapsing, confront this challenge and safeguard the state and its social structure. 
The event witnessed an exhibition by photographer Nijad Abdul Massih, entitled “Roots.” Participating UN agencies were: UNIC-Beirut, United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL), World Food Programme (WFP), and the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).