Lebanese Independence Day Cleveland City Hall
The American Lebanese Community Council hosted an event to celebrate the 69th anniversary of the independence of Lebanon in the Rotunda of Cleveland City Hall. The special guest was Consul General of Lebanon Bilal Kabalan.
Abby Mina served as Master of Ceremonies for the event.
The ceremony began with the Presentation of Colors by the US Army.
This was followed by the singing of the national anthems of the United States and Lebanon.
Tony Abdulkarin, Pierre Bejjani, Father Karam, Consul Kabalan and Mayor Jackson
An invocation was given by Father Peter Karam of St Maron Church. He prayed for peace in the Middle East.
Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson spoke and congratulated the Lebanese community.
Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson
Abby Mina and Mayor Jackson
Cleveland City Councilman Brian Cummins spoke next. He presented a proclamation from Cleveland City Council to Consul Kabalan and Pierre Bejjani.
Cleveland City Councilman Brian Cummins
Councilman Brian Cummins, Consul General Bilal Kabalan and Pierre Bejjani
Consul General of Lebanon Bilal Kabalan made his first visit to Cleveland and spoke to the full Rotunda.
Consul General of Lebanon Bilal Kabalan
Many proclamations and gifts were given to and by the Consul General, Mayor Jackson, Chief McCall, Pierre Bejjani and the American Lebanese Community Council and others.
Consul General of Lebanon Bilal Kabalan and Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson
Consul General Kabalan, Mayor Jackson and Pierre Bejjani
Consul Kabalan and Pierre Bejjani
Abby Mina, Malak Jadallah, Consul Kabalan and Pierre Bejjani
Lebanon Day Committee Chairman Pierre Bejjani spoke next. He explained the rationale behind the formation of the American Lebanese Community Council. The Council is open to all without regard to religion or political affiliation.
Committee Chairman Pierre Bejjani
Then Valarie McCall, Chief of Government Affairs for the city of Cleveland, presented proclamations from Mayor Frank Jackson to the Lebanon Day Committee.
Chief Valarie McCall and Pierre Bejjani
Before a delicious dinner and dancing, a very special announcement was made. Erika Puussaar, Vice-President of the Cleveland Cultural Gardens Federation, announced that the Lebanese community was approved for membership in the Federation, the first step in the process to create a Lebanese Cultural Garden.