ATFL President Edward Gabriel & Executive Director Leslie Touma, Amb. Antoine Chedid, Nicole Chedid, & Amb. Gerald Feierstein
On Thursday, January 21, the American Task Force for Lebanon hosted a farewell reception for Ambassador and Mrs. Antoine Chedid in the Warne Ballroom at the historic Cosmos Club in Washington, DC. Ambassador Chedid served as Lebanon’s ambassador to the United States from 2007 until his recent retirement. He and Mrs. Chedid departed the U.S. on January 26 to make their home in Beirut.
Despite the impending blizzard, an impressive crowd of ambassadors, State Department and National Security Council officials, and prominent figures in the Lebanese-American community attended.
ATFL President Edward M. Gabriel, a former U.S. ambassador to Morocco, welcomed the guests and noted that a posting to Washington is the pinnacle for foreign ambassadors. He also remarked that Ambassador Chedid was the preeminent Americanist in the Lebanon’s ministry of foreign affairs, spending 25 years out of his 38-year career posted in the United States. ATFL Executive Director Leslie A. Touma recognized the special guests and read a letter to Ambassador Chedid from former Senator Majority Leader George J. Mitchell, himself a Lebanese American. Ambassador Gerald Feierstein, principal deputy assistant secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs, gave a humorous sendoff to Ambassador and Mrs. Chedid. Ambassador Chedid was nostalgic in reflecting on the nine years that he served in Washington as ambassador. He highlighted some of the impressive accomplishments in the bilateral U.S.-Lebanon relationship during his tenure, yet he regretted that certain things remain undone.
Although he is leaving Washington, this will not be a farewell. We know that Ambassador Chedid will be back and forth between Lebanon and the United States. Serving as a bridge between Lebanon and the United States has been his life’s work and we are certain he will continue it.