Speech of Mr. Nassib Nasr Director General of Hôtel-Dieu de France at the Centennial Launching Ceremony on May 5, 2021
Mr. Former President of the Republic
Your Excellency, the Minister of Health
Your Excellency the Apostolic Nuncio
Your Excellency, the Ambassador of France
Reverend Father Provincial
Gentlemen/ Your Excellencies the Ambassadors
Presidents of the orders and unions
Presidents and Rectors of Universities
Reverend Father Rector of USJ and Chairman of the Board of Directors of Hôtel-Dieu de France
Dear colleagues and friends,
It is difficult for me to bear a testimony of the centenary of Hôtel-Dieu de France, having been in my position for only a few months.
However, looking back, and discovering the rich history of this hospital that has become a real institution at the national and regional level, gives me and all the medical and administrative teams the hope to continue, the courage to move forward and overcome difficulties and challenges.
History is just an eternal beginning: periods of construction followed by periods of destruction, an age of glory followed by years of misery, moments of hope followed by moments of distress. And as we go through the history of Hôtel-Dieu de France, we notice that there has always been a common denominator: the men and women who have preceded us, 100 years ago, 75 years ago, or 50 years ago, they all had an unshakeable faith in the construction of Lebanon and in the development of the health sector despite wars, crises, and dangers. This faith gave them courage, energy, and above all the passion to persevere, to start over, to rebuild, and to develop future plans.
Lebanon is going through one of the darkest periods it has known since its independence. The worst perhaps, only history will tell.
Our national governance has been largely lacking, the deafening absence of the Government makes our task even more complicated.
When we feel that everything is collapsing, that our dreams are flying away and that there is no more hope, then we look back, we take inspiration from our elders, their optimism, and their will.
And that's when we understand that there is only one option: to stand up and move forward.
Our social and humanitarian vocations are no longer debatable. We have a cause, this is our responsibility. We have not endured a hundred years to die today; our moral strength, our faith, our confidence and our exceptional cohesion explain our persistence
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.
After 10 months of hard work in the office, I have made a major discovery, this place is endearing, and it overwhelms you. At the Hôtel-Dieu there is not one history, but thousands of stories, stories full of heart, often beautiful, moving, sometimes dramatic, and life lessons with one common factor: the well-being of the patient.
For the past 10 months, I have been conducting a candid analysis of the hospital and its components to learn about our strengths, weaknesses, limitations, and opportunities. Seeing the state of the country, some pessimistic souls will say that there is no more hope. I would like to answer them that there is no despair either. If it is necessary to damage us, we will have to fall and we will not fall.
What the last 100 years have taught us is that the times, the scale and the challenges have changed.
What we have learned from the last two years is that the times, the scale and the challenges have also changed. As you can see, the world is moving forward at an incredible speed. It is up to us to adapt, to be flexible, modern and reactive and the same applies to our future.
I would like to end with a sincere thank you:
I salute the historical mission of France, which has always supported the Hospital for 100 years; I thank France for all the support it has given to Hôtel-Dieu following the explosion of August 4. I would like to thank the French Ambassador, Ms. Grillo and her team for always being attentive to our problems and God knows how many they are.
I would like to thank the Chairman of the Board of Directors of HDF, Reverend Father Salim Daccache for his confidence, his advice and his benevolence.
I would like to thank all my colleagues from the medical, nursing and administrative staff.
I would like to thank all the people who worked for the success of this ceremony and for the organization of all the activities that will animate this centennial year.
The members of the centennial committee, USJ and SPCOM, Mr. Naji Boulos our consultant who skillfully managed the organization of this ceremony, Mr. Rabih Kanaan, head of HDF communication unit and his team who did a tremendous job and developed the new visual identity of the Hospital. All the operations teams who make this ceremony happen.
Now, we will watch together a short film about the history of HDF and its common history with the USJ.
I wish you a wonderful evening!