As a result of the conference organized in collaboration with the American University of Beirut, a delegation of NAAMA toured two of Amel Association International’s centers in order to get information about the Association’s work and 40-year commitment to supporting vulnerable communities in Lebanon.

The NAAMA delegation consisted of 30 people and was headed by the president of the association Dr. Rouba Ali. Joining her were two members of the association’s administration: Dr. Hassan Fahmy and Dr. Nabil Al-Khoury.  The delegation was welcomed by Dr. Kamel Mohanna, founding-president of Amel Association International, Director Ahmed Abboud, Medical Coordinator Hadi Abu Chakra, and a team from the association.

The visit was aimed at building a framework for future cooperation between the two associations aimed at the implementation of humanitarian action in Lebanon in the sectors of primary health care and medical research.

The tour started in Amel’s Social Development Center in Ain Al-Remmaneh, where visitors learned about the ongoing programs.  The center focuses mainly on women empowerment (Syrian, Iraqi, Palestinian, and Lebanese) providing them with professional vocational training and psychosocial support.  Different courses are available to about 600 women annually specializing in handcrafts, languages, technology, as well as psychological counselling.

This tour was followed by a field visit to the Amel’s Development Centre in Haret Hreik, which was opened in 2009 to meet the needs of the area and its surroundings.  Its programs support tens of thousands of Syrians, Iraqis, Palestinians, and Lebanese. The center’s initiatives revolve around the following sectors: health, protection, education, vocational training, and food security.

Mammography equipment and advanced eye examination equipment was provided by NAAMA to Amel’s Khiam and Mashghara centres 4 years ago.

In his remarks throughout the day, Dr. Mohanna welcomed the visiting delegation and expressed his satisfaction with the continued cooperation between the two associations over the years. He went on to emphasize that Amel supports all vulnerable communities in Lebanon equally, and that the association’s non-secterian and non-ethnic work is carried out by 800 employees and volunteers spread out across 25 centres, 6 mobile medical units, 2 education units, and one protection unit dedicated to helping street based children in Beirut. In addition, the founder-president reiterated one of Amel’s most important slogans regarding how it promotes humanity by isolating its live-saving initiatives from religious, political, or cultural distinctions. “None of us has chosen our names, religion, nationality, or anything that we have inherited. Instead, what really matters is what we can do together as human beings for human dignity”. Dr. Mohanna said.

At the end of his speech, Dr. Mohanna explained the five pillars on which Amel’s philosophy is based:

–          First, all humanitarian action should focus on development that leads to democracy;

–          Second, all humanitarians should work committedly towards achieving a fair and equal distribution of global wealth and goods between humans and societies. “It is unreasonable that 20% of the world’s population owns 80% of the earth’s wealth. In Lebanon, for example, 0.3% of the population, or 8,000 people, have all the country’s wealth and the rest suffer from poverty and misery.” Dr. Mohanna explained;

–          Third, humanitarians should support fair causes of the people around the world, primarily focusing on the fair cause of the Palestinian people;

–          Fourth, humanitarians should reject the double standards of “First” versus “Third” world societies.

–          Fifth, humanitarians should encourage the creation of welfare systems and a social justice approach among countries.

Finally, The President of NAAMA, Dr. Rouba Ali, praised the role of Amel and its achievements and emphasized the need to strengthen cooperation between NAAMA and Amel Association International in the years to come.