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UN Information Centre in Beirut Celebrates Peace Day with Star-Studded Basketball Game

26 September 2011
Participants at basketball game
organized by UNIC Beirut on the
occasion of International Day of Peace.
© UNIC Beirut

Beirut (UNIC) On the occasion of the International Day of Peace, the UN Information Centre in Beirut (UNIC Beirut) organized a unique basketball game that brought together more than 24 Lebanese TV celebrities and famous veteran players in the charming Mediterranean seaside, mountain-hugging town of Amchit.

Partnering with the Municipality of Jbeil (Byblos), one of Lebanon's most popular tourist destinations 36 km north of Beirut, UNIC Beirut organized on 25 September a friendly basketball game under the slogan “We Play for Peace.” The game was held at Club Amchit, on the outskirts of Jbeil. The game was open to the public, and around 500 people swarmed the indoor basketball court to see and cheer the celebrities and star players who came to promote the UN message of peace. As anticipated, the event was well covered by the media.

Before the game started, UNIC Beirut Director Bahaa Elkoussy delivered an opening statement that cited quotations from UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s message on the occasion of the International Day of Peace. He said every year on this occasion the UN calls on people around the world to commit to non-violence, reconciliation and peace. “Peace is our mission, our day-to-day quest. This year’s theme focuses on the timely issue of peace and democracy. Democracy is a core value of the United Nations. It is crucial for human rights. It provides channels for resolving differences. It gives hope to the marginalized… and power to the people,” Elkoussy said.

UNIC Beirut director hailed participating celebrities for their contribution and thanked the Mayor of Jbeil, Ziad Hawat, for sponsoring the Peace Day game. He stressed the importance the UN also attaches to sports as a low-cost, high-impact tool in humanitarian, development and peace-building efforts.

Mayor Hawat expressed appreciation for the work of the world organization in Lebanon and thanked UNIC Beirut for proposing and organizing with his municipality such a remarkable sports event to promote peace and development. The mayor expressed his hope for peace to prevail in Lebanon and around the world, and wished that through sports people can learn to accept the other and promote harmony and concord.

At the end of the game, Elkoussy and Hawat handed plates and medals to the winning team and all other players and celebrities. Last week, UNIC Beirut organized a press conference at the UN House to announce the partnership in the presence of Hawat and celebrities. At that conference, UNIC’s Public Information Officer Margo Helou announced to the media details of the event and thanked the Jbeil Municipality for hosting and supporting the event.

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