Paris here we come!

Mr. Philippe Juvin, French MP and Mayor of the city of Garenne-Colombes addressing the public during the Francophonie contest ceremony.

Bint Jbeil's Al Ishraq School team receiving the award during the Francophonie ceremony held in Tibnin.

Awarded team at the Francophonie contest ceremony.

Final group picture of all teams and students awarded during the Francophonie contest ceremony held in Tibnin.

Bint Jbeil's Al Ishraq School team showing off their awarded art work after their visit to France.

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19 Jun 2013

Paris here we come!

With wide smiles and amid the cheers of proud parents and teachers, twelve year-old Jana Khreiss, and her 4 colleagues from College des Soeurs des Saints Coeurs of Marjeyoun stepped down the stage holding high their awards, which pronounced them winners of "The Francophonie and Us" contest. In this Francophonie contest, the children were invited to share what they know and understand about France and the French-speaking world in the form of poems and artwork. As their reward, the top 20 contestants, from College des Soeurs and the three other winning schools, Al Mabarrat, College "Elite" of Tyre, and Institut de la Liberation in Sultaniya, won a free trip to Paris for five days. "I want to see the Champs-Elysees, L'Arc De Triomphe, Le Louvre Museum, and of course, Disney Land!!!" said most of the eager students...

"We are trying to improve the lives of the people with our modest means," said the Commander of UNIFIL's Force Commander Reserve (French Contingent) Colonel Christophe Baudouin.

Tibnin Mayor Nabil Fawwaz said that it took 6 months to prepare this activity in cooperation with UNIFIL's French Contingent and that this has been beneficial to his city in many ways. For his part, French MP and mayor of the French city of Garenne-Colombes Mr. Philippe Juvin told us that the children were hosted by French families in his city, stressing on the cultural experience this presented. He promised that this competition will be held every year in cooperation with UNIFIL.

Upon their return from Paris, Malak Beydoun and her colleagues from Al Mabarrat School, met UNIFIL's team with much enthusiasm. They spoke about their trip and about the French families that hosted them. "Aline, my French friend, slept on the floor and gave me her bed!" exclaimed Malak. The highlight of the trip for them was the visit to the one and only Eiffel Tower. Their eyes shone as they spoke about that great landmark and all the other famous touristic places that they had never seen before, except in books. The students had an unmatched experience in which they were able to see a new world, improve their French language skills, while having loads of fun.

Their teacher, who accompanied them, said that some of the students had never even been to Beirut, let alone Paris, thanking UNIFIL for giving them this chance. True to its word, UNIFIL was able to provide these students with an exceptional cultural experience.

Twenty six elementary schools participated in the 3rd edition of the contest organised by UNIFIL's French Contingent with the collaboration of the local authorities and in the support of the French city Garenne-Colombes, the Lebanese Ministry of Education and Higher Education, French Institute of Lebanon, Tibnin city, and several sponsors. Prizes were distributed to the winners anonymously and impartially selected out of the 1445 candidates who produced writings and poems on the Francophonie. The celebration was held in ALPHA Association on the 16th of May 2013, was hosted by the Tibnin Municipality, and attended by General Hugues Delort-Laval, UNIFIL's Chief of Staff, military representatives from UNIFIL and the Lebanese Armed Forces, French MP and Garenne-Colombes Mayor Mr. Philippe Juvin, and Tibnin Mayor Nabil Fawwaz among other authorities.



Article: Lara Riman
Video Editor: Suzane Badereddine
Video Camera: Mohamad Hamze
Photo: Pascual Gorriz Marcos