U.S. Ambassador Dorothy C. Shea participated in the inauguration of the Hinterland Archaeological Heritage Project in Jabal Moussa, funded by the U.S. Ambassadors Fund for Cultural Preservation. The project builds on work from 2019, which focused on conserving, studying, and showcasing the archaeological heritage of Jabal Moussa while connecting archaeological sites of the biosphere reserve with one another.
Remarks As Prepared
صباح الخير يا جماعة
It is such a beautiful and sunny day to enjoy the outdoors with all of you after a very long winter! It is even better to be able to celebrate the inauguration of a conservation project in Jabal Moussa, which is one of the most important Lebanese cultural heritage sites in this country.
Before I begin, I would like to acknowledge Judge Maya Kanaan, representative of the Minister of Culture, Honorary President of the Phoenicians’ Route Rachid Chamoun, Mayor of Yachchouch Karl Zouein, President of the Association for the Protection of Jabal Moussa (APJM) Pierre Doumet, and all local dignitaries present with us today. I would also like to say Mabrouk to the Jabal Moussa team for your accomplishment!
I am delighted to be a part of the inauguration of the project “Hinterland Archaeological Heritage in Jabal Moussa,” which was funded by the Ambassadors’ Fund for Cultural Preservation (AFCP). This project, among many that have been funded at this site, focuses on conserving, studying, and showcasing the archaeological collection of Jabal Moussa while connecting the various archaeological sites of the biosphere reserve to one another. The biosphere component of this project is extremely noteworthy—not only are we highlighting this beautiful natural heritage location, but we are also protecting, studying, and documenting the trees, plants, and animals that make this location so unique.
We are very proud of our longstanding partnership with the Association for the Protection of Jabal Moussa (APJM) and strongly believe in the importance of preserving Lebanon’s rich history and cultural heritage, which is highlighted by our other rehabilitation and conservation projects in 2015 and 2017. Our dedication to helping preserve Lebanon’s cultural heritage sites and artifacts is also reflected through the (20 heritage sites) we have supported through the Ambassadors’ Fund since (2003), all throughout Lebanon.
I want to add here just a few more details about our other environmental programs, specifically those managed by USAID. Since 2010, USAID has invested over $25 million to plant more than 1.2 million native trees to increase the forest cover in Lebanon by 2,500 hectares of land. USAID also used its assistance to raise awareness in forest conservation and management by engaging 120 communities and 7,000 people in sustainable natural resources management and biodiversity conservation across Lebanon. That effort has translated directly into economic benefits for localities, creating around 4,000 seasonal jobs. In that regard, USAID is also supporting countless ecotourism programs across the country to ensure that important sites, be it Jabal Moussa or Anjar or parts of the Bekaa, are all protected, highlighted, and showcased to the world.
In a time with so much uncertainty and challenges, the United States stays committed to supporting the Lebanese government and people, promoting democracy, economic development, humanitarian assistance, and cultural preservation. As I always say, we are in this together.
and enjoy this wonderful day.