| 28 September 2023, Thursday |

President Aoun follows up on developments with MP Abi Ramia, meets Lebanese Dental Association Tripoli delegation, receives invitation to attend memorial mass of Saint Rafqa

President of the Republic, General Michel Aoun, received the head of the Parliamentary Youth and Sports Committee, MP Simon Abi Ramia, today at Baabda Palace.

General affairs and government developments in light of the ongoing contacts in this regard were deliberated. MP Abi Ramia indicated that the meeting also tackled the demands of apple fatmersand the need to facilitate the export of their products to Arab countries in light of the difficulties they face.

In addition, Abi Ramia said that President Aoun confirmed his follow-up to this issue and that he gave his instructions to the concerned authorities to work on overcoming the obstacles that prevent the delivery of production from apples to the Arab countries.

Dentists Syndicate:

The President met a delegation from the Dental Syndicate in Lebanon of Tripoli.

The delegation was headed by Dr. Nazim Haffar, and former head of syndicate, Dr. Sabri Idou, Vice-President Dr. Wadih Hosni, Secretary of Public Finance, Dr. Ahmed Khader, Secretary of Retirement Dr. Muhammad Awni Issa, Treasurer of the Retirement Fund, Dr. Bilal Al-Sayah, member of the retirement committee, Dr. Ghassan Makhlouf.

Dr. Haffar presented the conditions of the Syndicate and dentists in Tripoli and the North.

“While the magnitude of the economic deterioration that Lebanon is currently witnessing has led to monetary and financial chaos in the banking sector, which undoubtedly affected the funds of investors, depositors and union funds, especially the pension fund, whose funds were seized. The unions are suffering in the payment of retirement pensions. We hope that there will be a solution to the union’s funds” Dr. Haffar said.

“The union is an institution and not a single person. It has made great efforts over tens of years to reach what it has reached. We also hope that in light of this deterioration that has occurred, the union’s funds will not be lost. We hope for recovering funds, and from your position as president of the republic, we hope that you will cooperate with us to achieve this issue” Dr. Haffar continued.

“One of the most important revenues of the retirement fund for the Dental Syndicates in Beirut and Tripoli is the collection of a customs fee of 2% of the value (F.O.B) on all medicines and medical preparations used by the doctor in his clinic, and brushes, toothpastes and gargling medicines have been increased five years ago. A fee of 2% is collected on this increase, so we put this law in your hands, hoping to help us find a mechanism to obtain this right for the benefit of the Pension Fund and retired doctors” Dr. Haffar added.

Moreover, Haffar stated that the Syndicate, in cooperation with the competent references, is working to eliminate the phenomenon of widespread infringements on the profession that exceeded the limits of reason and logic, wishing President Aoun to help stop these abuses that negatively affect the work of doctors and that the presence of impersonators and illegitimate dentists working on Lebanese lands in general and in the north in particular in a way that is outside the laws is considered an infringement on the interests of doctors and negatively affects public health, which leads to Lebanon losing the title (Hospital of the East).

“In addition to a significant increase in the number of clinics in a satisfactory manner, their spread is not commensurate with the needs and requirements in the regions, but has turned into a profitable trade, in addition to the decrease in the medical work allowance, which competes greatly with the legal minimum tariff approved by the union” Dr. Haffar concluded.

For his side, President Aoun stressed the legality of the dentists’ demands, especially as they are specified by law, and gave directions to the concerned authorities to work to meet the doctors’ demands, whether in terms of paying the fees or in terms of facing the phenomenon of infringements on the profession and impersonating doctors while they are in an illegal situation, through prosecution of the judicial and security agencies designated.

Delegation from the Maad Town Development Association:

President Aoun received a delegation from the Association for the Development of the Town of Maad.

The delegation included the priest of the parish of Saint Charbel Rahawi in Ma’ad, Father Edmond Khashan, the former ambassador, Gabi Issa, Artist, Tony Hanna, Jean-Claude Srour, Tony El Hajj, Youssef Doumit, Dr. George Issa, Sarkis Saqr, Mazen Rizk, Tony Nassar and Mrs. Mila Srour and Mrs. Nina Mansour.

The delegation conveyed an invitation to the President to attend the mass presided over by Maronite Patriarch Mar Bechara Boutros Al-Rahi on September 10, on the occasion of the memory of Saint Rafqa, who lived for a time in the town of Maad, at the shrine of Saint Rafqa in Maad Park.

Father Khashan gave a speech in which he said:

“The truth of what was said in our homeland Lebanon, that it is more than a homeland, that it is a message, and Lebanon’s message first is faith that enlightens the mind, giving morals and knowledge.

It is still an essential part of the message of the beloved homeland, Lebanon, in which, since before Christ, and for more than 2500 years, a temple to the god Strab was built, visited by pilgrims from Iraq, Egypt, Syria and other countries, and in the Louvre Museum there is a rocky witness inscribed with a witness to that.

In the Gospel, I renounced idolatry, and believed in Christ as the Savior, and the pagan temple was transformed into a church in the name of St. Charbel the Martyr Rahawi, and it steadfastly adhered to its faith, despite successive persecutions through different eras.

A love hostile to science prompted one of her sons, Anton Issa, to establish a school to educate the girl, when she was languishing in ignorance and under the burden of sinful traditions.

How could she not be half the society and bear the other half? He sought the assistance of the nuns of the heart of Mary, and divine providence sent us Sister Rafqa, the company of a nun.

Another was like the divine teacher, sowing goodness everywhere and stayed with us for seven years from 1864 to 1871, when she moved to the Lebanese Maronite Order, following the dissolution of her first order, and after a heavenly vision inspired her the new path. In her new monastery, she turned to asceticism and meditation. But she kept carrying in her heart a special sentiment for our town Maad, and with every visitor to her monastery from the town or the neighborhood, she used to say “Say hi to the people of Maad.”

The name of St. Rafqa is named after St. George Church, where the heavenly vision took place, so they celebrated its feasts, and the MaadDevelopment Association celebrated an annual mass for St. Rafqa”.

For his part, President Aoun thanked the delegation for its invitation, praising what the Maad Town Association is doing at national and social levels.

  • NNA