POLICY Statement

May 12, 2022: American Task Force on Lebanon Annual Dinner: US Officials and Lebanese Americans Express Solidarity with the Lebanese People 

May 12, 2022

Washington, DC, May 12, 2022 (ATFL) - The American Task Force on Lebanon (ATFL), a leadership organization of Americans of Lebanese heritage, hosted its annual dinner on May 11 at the Fairmont Hotel in the Georgetown neighborhood of Washington, DC.

Themed, “A Tribute to the Courageous People of Lebanon,” the event gathered together US officials, business and civic leaders, and Americans of Lebanese descent to send a clear message of solidarity to the Lebanese people, who are suffering from record-high levels of poverty and are mere days away from the May 15th parliamentary election and to the US government about the necessity of continued US engagement with Lebanon.

At the dinner, the following individuals were honored for their leadership and contributions to the US and Lebanon:

Governor Christopher T. Sununu of New Hampshire: The 2022 Philip C. Habib Award for Distinguished Public Service

Ambassador David Hale: The 2022 Philip C. Habib Award for Distinguished Public Service

Ms. Roula Khalaf: The 2022 Joseph J. Jacobs Distinguished Achievement Award

Mr. Marcello Damiani, Mr. Said Francis, Dr. Charbel Haber, Dr. Francois Nader, Dr. Joe Sarkis, and Mrs. Joyce Kfoury Sousa of Moderna, Inc. with the 2021 Issam M. Fares 
International Leadership Award

Her Excellency Nayla Moawad with the 2020 Issam M. Fares International Leadership Award

Mrs. Hania & Mr. Mohamed Ahmar with the 2020 Ray R. Irani
Lifetime Achievement Award

The Honorable Elizabeth Richard with the 2020 Philip C. Habib
Award for Distinguished Public Service

The honorees highlighted the importance of ATFL’s leadership in fostering a strong US response to the current crisis in Lebanon.

Ambassador Richard remarked that “As long as we the United States continue to put the country first and the Lebanese put country first…hand and hand, we can both have a very bright future.”

“Ultimately, of course, we look to the Lebanese people and leadership for the kind of reform initiatives that we can support,” said Ambassador Hale. “Washington can help, but we can’t make the tough decisions that are required of Lebanese leaders,” he added.

ATFL’s leadership both noted the challenges that lie ahead and emphasized ATFL’s continued commitment to pushing for both reforms and humanitarian assistance.

“One thing we’ll promise you tonight is that you can count on ATFL to address the needs of the people of Lebanon so that we meet and we surmount the challenges at hand,” said Ambassador Ed Gabriel (ret.), President of ATFL. 

The Hon. Spencer Abraham, Chairman of ATFL, noted that the people of Lebanon “have spent the past three years dealing with countless crises, yet they have persevered.” He also added, “ATFL stands with the people of Lebanon through their struggles for survival to renewal and we will stand with them as they revive and recover.” 

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