The 100th anniversary of the laying of the foundation stone of the Hôtel-Dieu de Franc
On the 100th anniversary of the laying of the foundation stone of the Hôtel-Dieu de France, the hospital insisted, despite all the calamities affecting Lebanon, on celebrating a century of challenges, successes and remarkable events since the laying of the foundation stone of the hospital in 1922 by General Gouraud. For this occasion, a ceremony was held on Thursday, May 5, 2022 at 5:00 pm at the hospital in the presence of H.E. Mrs. Anne Grillo, Ambassador of France to Lebanon, H.E. Dr. Firas Abiad, Minister of Health and in the presence of diplomatic, political, military and social figures.
The ceremony opened with the national anthem, followed by the speech of Mr. Nassib Nasr, General Director of the Hôtel-Dieu de France, in which he insisted: "Our mission does not give us the right to be weak; we will even raise our level of requirements. The requirements must be permanent and at all levels.” He highlighted that: "if there is no hope, there is no despair either", emphasizing on “the social and humanitarian vocations of the hospital" declaring: "We have not endured a hundred years to die today; our moral strength, our faith, our confidence and our exceptional cohesion explain our persistence.
A film presenting different periods in the history of the Hôtel-Dieu was screened during the ceremony before the speech of Prof. Salim Daccache s.j., Chairman of the Board of Directors Hôtel-Dieu de France, in which he considered that the medal of the Legion of Honor that was granted to him had been also awarded to the Saint-Joseph University and to the Hôtel-Dieu de France. He insisted on the HDF culture: “More than ever, we are proud of a humanist and scientific culture represented by the Hôtel-Dieu, but also of a heritage that originates from afar and of which we are proud and that we must protect in order to continue and remain alive in the name of Lebanese and French values, consisting of a spirit of resistance in the face of adversity, of bravery in the face of discouragement, of justice in the face of the abandonment of the human being, of unrestricted solidarity in the face of egoism, and of assertive competence and unrestrained loyalty.”
For his part, the Minister of Health, Dr. Firas Abiad, pointed out the importance of the Hôtel-Dieu de France in the modern history of Lebanon considering that with "hard work and faith in the country, this institution has been able to maintain its pioneering role". The minister focused on the difficult conditions in Lebanon, saying: "Today, we are going through a critical period and circumstances that may be similar to what our country experienced a hundred years ago, a period in which challenges are multiplying and difficult questions are being asked about the health and hospital sector".
In her speech on this occasion, H.E. Mrs. Anne Grillo, Ambassador of France to Lebanon, expressed in her speech on this occasion the support of France and the French people to the Hôtel-Dieu by announcing that an exceptional joint support will be granted to the USJ and that a significant donation of medicines is being finalized based on the established needs in order to provide the HDF with the necessary medicines that are not locally available
Different members of the HDF community intervened during the ceremony, namely Prof. Roland Tomb, Dean of the USJ Faculty of Medicine, Ass. Prof. Elias Chélala, President of the Medical Council, Mrs. Soha Abdelmalak, former President of the Nursing Council and Mr. Fadi Andréa, President of the Employees' Union.
The event was marked by several musical interludes and was followed by a cocktail and a visit to the temporary exhibition organized especially for the occasion where old medical equipment and photos were featured.