ANTELIAS, Lebanon: “Let him that would move the world first move himself.” With this quote from Socrates, the International Catholic Union of the Press in Lebanon (UCIP – Liban) opened the doors of its 13th annual Christian Exhibition Thursday at Antelias’ Mar Elias Church.
Held under the patronage of Maronite Patriarch Beshara Rai, the ceremony was attended by Antelias’ Maronite archbishop Monsignor Camille Zeidan, George Saliba, the Syriac Orthodox bishop of Mount Lebanon and Tripoli, and ministerial representatives, among others.
Aiming at sharing art and raising awareness of different causes, the exhibition features a diverse display of work from 34 Lebanese cultural, religious and academic institutions and many works by painters and non-governmental organizations.
During the opening ceremony, Zeidan delivered the patriarch’s speech, inviting Lebanese citizens to embrace the culture of peace, dialogue and hope, and renew their faith in humanity and its goodness.
The president of UCIP in Lebanon, Father Tony Khadra, said this year’s exhibition calls for a new culture of peace.
“Today at the opening ceremony we declare that our culture is a book, a poem and an artwork,” he said. “The main problem with what we’re suffering from today is the absence of the true culture of dialogue and peace.”
The exhibition features booths from monasteries and convents, as well as universities and publishing houses like Manhal al-Hayat and Librairie Stephan.
The most crowded booth was that of the Parish of St. Anthony the Great, whose members had launched a website to publicize its religious, social and cultural mission.
The oldest artworks at the exhibition were ancient Russian ornaments, presented for sale by the sanctuary of Our Lady of Lebanon in Harissa.
Artist Rania Khalil said that what inspires her personal work is the beautiful nature of Lebanon and its diversity.
The opening also included musical performances by the children of Music Style School and the ‘Black and White’ band.
The 13th Christian Exhibition continues until Dec. 7, 10 a.m.-9 p.m. at the Rahbani Brothers hall of Antelias’ Mar Elias Church. For more information visit www.ucipliban.org.