BEIRUT: Interior Minister Ziyad Baroud was named 2010 Man of the Year on Tuesday during a celebration organized by the company Data Investment Consulate Lebanon. The celebration was the seventh annual gathering of its kind and it was held in Verdun in Beirut to honor 20 of the most influential people and institutions for the year 2009.
Baroud gave a speech for the occasion, in which he stressed the importance of team work in all his achievements. He added that he hoped development and progress would continue in Lebanon so that a time would come to honor institutions rather than people. “My hope for my children is that they find security in the institution and not in people,” he said.
However, Baroud said he did not feel worthy of the honor given to him because he hadn’t achieved “anything exceptional.” The minister explained that he found it strange to congratulate someone for fulfilling their duty. “What I have found odd during the last year and a half is that people applaud you for doing your job,” he said.
The minister then commented on the traffic crisis and said he did not blame anyone. On the contrary he called on all those responsible to join efforts and develop plans to build more modern roads able to receive the growing number of vehicles in the country. He also emphasized the need to form a planning ministry and said “had a similar ministry existed in the 1960s, we would not be suffering from the traffic jams we see today.”
Baroud added that the policy statement was realistic and ambitious at the same time, but the promises it made were still minimal. “We want infrastructure because we can’t have a country without it,” he said.
The general director of Data Investment Consulate Maan Barazi also gave a speech in which he praised Baroud’s achievements during 2009, especially the regulating of traffic.
Among the honored figures and institutions at the celebration were: former Culture Minister Tamam Salam for best cultural accomplishment; the Central Bank for best institution; Mountain climber Maxime Chaya for best national accomplishment; and the Syndicate of Lebanese Food Industries for best accomplishment of an institution. – The Daily Star