Today, alongside Minister of Culture Raymond Arayji, Ambassador Hale celebrated the launch of two new cultural preservation projects in Lebanon funded by the American Embassy: the preservation of the Faqra Roman and Byzantine structures and the restoration of Roman ruins on the grounds of the Jabal Moussa Bioreserve. These projects emphasize America’s commitment to preserving Lebanon’s remarkable cultural heritage and to promoting economic development through supporting Lebanon’s tourism sector. It also reflects the shared value America and Lebanon place on preserving, remembering, and learning from history.
These grants for cultural preservation are funded by the Ambassador’s Fund for Cultural Preservation (AFCP), a program created by the U.S. Congress in 2001, which supports the preservation of cultural sites, cultural objects, and forms of traditional cultural expression in more than 100 countries. Since 2003, the American Embassy has awarded grants through the AFCP program totaling $720,000 in Lebanon. In collaboration with our Lebanese partners, we have already completed thirteen conservation projects including the Jeb Jenine Bridge, the Anjar Public Bath, Ras-Nahel Khalwet, and Al Mubarakeh Tower in Old Tyre.
During today’s ceremony near the Faqra ruins, Ambassador Hale noted that America is proud to work with the Ministry of Culture on the Faqra project and with the Association for the Preservation of Jabal Moussa on the Jabal Moussa project. The advocacy of local groups, and vigilance and protection by local people, has ensured that the value of these sites has not been lost. In his remarks, Minister of Culture Arayji highlighted the importance of the Lebanese – American friendship and noted that the Government of Lebanon looks forward to the cultural-historic dimensions of these restoration programs.
For more information on the Ambassador’s Fund for Cultural Preservation (AFCP) grant program, please visit our website: https://lb.usembassy.gov/