World Refugee Day 2004: Lebanon
UNHCR in close collaboration with its implementing partner, Middle East Council of Churches (MECC) and refugees, organised many activities in a two-day celebration of the event on 18 and 19 June.
UNHCR also took advantage of this important day to inaugurate and announce the official opening of the new Community Development Centre. A reception was held at the centre on 18 June. Many embassies, UN sister agencies, representatives of the Lebanese government, NGOs and other partners were invited. Around 50 refugees who had taken part in the organisation of the activities were also present.
Following a few words and as part of the ceremony, the UNHCR Representative distributed prizes, gifts and certificates to the six refugee children who had won in the drawing contest organised by the office. Gifts and certificates were also distributed to the children who had taken part in this contest. All the drawings were on public display. Refugees, mostly women, exhibited their traditional handcrafts and prepared traditional dishes. Many adults and youth performed their traditional folkloric dances.
On 19 June, the Centre was open for the entire day to the public and all refugees. Movies were shown to the children and a lunch was held for those who were present.
The UNHCR TV spot was distributed to seven local TV stations, two of them broadcasting also through satellite to the entire Arab world. The TV spot was randomly played throughout 20 June in correspondence with WRD. The UNHCR documentary on the "Return to Afghanistan" was also broadcast on two local TV stations.
UNHCR Beirut also liaised with three major newspapers in order to mark the occasion. The three dailies published WRD related articles, an editorial opening signed by the UNHCR Representative as well as success stories of refugees who have sought asylum in Lebanon and other parts of the globe.