Caretaker Minister of Information, Manal Abdel Samad, welcomed the “unanimous approval of the Council of Arab Information Ministers on the two proposals she submitted, first, to allocate the Beirut Humanitarian Award and, second, to consider Beirut the capital of Arab media for the year 2023,” stressing that “the two achievements constitute great support for Lebanon in the face of the multiple and exacerbating crises it is struggling with.”
In an interview with the Middle East News Agency, Abdel Samad indicated that “the Lebanese media adhere to its responsibility vis-à-vis the righteous Arab causes,” noting that during the meeting of the Council of Arab Information Ministers held today in Cairo, she submitted “two recommendations, which were discussed and approved.”
She explained that such a move will be considered as a token of appreciation to media professionals and journalists working in newspapers, audio-visual media, and print and digital media, for their distinguished work, and their humanitarian role, as well as their impartiality, objectivity, and professionalism.
And she considered that “the approval of Lebanon’s proposal, submitted by the Ministry of Information, to consider Beirut the capital of Arab media for the year 2023 represents a great moral support for the Lebanese capital, especially in light of the crises that Beirut has experienced, namely the devastating explosion that occurred in Beirut port in August , as well as the difficult conditions faced by the media and press sector as a result of the crises.”
“This proposal (…) will put the Lebanese media, once again, on the radar of all Arab and Western countries, and restore its prestigious position, influence and strong role as a news and cultural beacon surpassing geographical borders, which contributes to the media and the press in Lebanon bypassing all the crises they are going through, whether at the level of economic and financial distress or at the technical level due to the rapid development in modern media,” she said.
Abdel Samad explained that “it is absolutely necessary to strengthen the role of positive media in light of the state of fragmentation, disagreements, and existing crises, so that it can highlight the aspects that will transform challenges into opportunities for success.”
She said: “The correct basic structure of any country depends on a set of sound economic components, and then the media and the press can contribute by proposing possible solutions to crises and making recommendations and suggestions for useful and productive projects that would assist the officials and the decision-makers in reaching the right decisions in a manner that serves the society and the state as a whole.”
On the other hand, Abdel Samad praised “the great Arab support for Lebanon, which was shown by the Egyptian and Arab ministers and officials whom she met during and on the sidelines of the meetings of the Council of Arab Information Ministers.”
“I have sensed great support and upholding for Lebanon, and sincere sympathy from representatives of all brotherly Arab countries,” she stressed. “We know that we can bet on further support and assistance.”
“I also felt great encouragement for us to persevere and stand firmly in the face of crises and tribulations,” she added, noting that “the main obstacle remains the absence of a new government with full powers.”
“The existing (resigned) Lebanese government is limited to caretaker tasks, until a new government is formed, and therefore it is constitutionally restricted and unable to do all the work and take the decisions that Lebanon needs.”
She concluded her address by saying that “Lebanon is subjected to daily collapses, and every day of delay in taking the necessary and corrective decisions and measures, costs Lebanon about a year of restoration. Therefore we are facing accelerated and aggravating collapses in the event that the government formation is not completed as soon as possible. The solution starts with the birth of a government, but in no way ends there. We are ahead of a long path of reforms, choices, and decisions that must be taken so that we the country can be on its feet again.”