Wednesday, July 29, 2015

I want to tell you about the famed Casino du Liban, which epitomized Lebanon as a destination for the international jet set in the 1960s. At the time, it was described by many as the loveliest casino in the world.

 

My father, Victor Moussa, was a brilliant business lawyer and the one who brought the Swedish company Ericsson to Lebanon to install the telephone switching system in the early 1950s. My father was the driving force behind the casino. He was the majority shareholder and chairman of the board of Société du Casino du Liban, the company which was granted a monopoly on gambling in Lebanon by a special law. My father’s vision for building the casino was to promote tourism in Lebanon, create a global image of Lebanon as a civilized place, and spur development and investment outside of...

 ATFL meets with Lebanese President Elias Hrawi in 1994.

 

On January 1, 1993, I took over as Executive Director of the American Task Force for Lebanon (ATFL) from my capable predecessor Tanya Rahall. Although the issue of the travel ban on Lebanon had previously come up, it was unthinkable that the US would remove it, even a year earlier. Lifting the travel ban was to become our primary campaign over the next four and a half years. As we learned, it is easy to impose a travel ban on a country. It is incomparably more difficult to remove it.

 

I want to explain what the travel ban on Lebanon was. On January 28, 1987, Secretary of State George Schultz invalidated the use of a US passport for travel to Lebanon in response to the multiple kidnapping of American citizens. Since a US passport is th...

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