Delegation trip to Lebanon

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A delegation from the Diocese of Rottenburg-Stuttgart met on April 24, 2023 in Beirut with KAAD alumni who were sponsored with funds from the diocese.

The delegation consisted of members of the Diocesan Council and the Diocesan Committee and was accompanied by Canon Msgr Dr Heinz-Detlef Stäps, Head of the Global Church Main Department, and Dr Oliver Müller, Head of Caritas International. On the part of KAAD, Nils Fischer, Head of the Middle East Department, organized the meeting with alumni Shant Hartounian and Rawan Al-Bayati and the members of the Lebanese Partner Committee Auxiliary Bishop Prof Dr Jules Boutros and Prof Dr Ziad Fahed (NDU, Notre Dame University - Louaize). The special feature of the scholarships of the diocese is that they enable refugees from Syria and Iraq to study in Lebanon at Lebanese universities. The Diocese of Rottenburg-Stuttgart has been involved in the qualification of refugees since 2019 and in this way creates future prospects in the Middle East region. So far, it has supported six refugees so that they could obtain a master's degree:

Shant Hartounian, for example, is Syrian and studied "Human Resource Management" in an MBA program at the Lebanese International University (LIU) in Beirut, graduating very well in June 2021. He now lives and works in Beirut. Rawan Al-Bayati is from Iraq and studied MBA "Project Management" at Notre Dame University - Louaize (NDU), KAAD's partner university in Lebanon. She successfully completed her studies in April 2023 and plans to return to Iraq.

During the meeting with the delegation, Jules Boutros reported on the situation of Christians in Lebanon and especially in Syria, which has been abandoned by a majority of Christians since the beginning of the war in 2011. He stressed the importance of creating prospects for young people in the region, both for refugees and for the host society. Scholarships for local studies in Lebanon make an important contribution to this. Without this support, refugees would not be able to afford to study. Furthermore, academic qualifications reduce emigration. Ziad Fahed presented the multi-layered networking work of the Lebanese KAAD Partner Committee and showed how supporting students through scholarships promotes both the personal development of scholarship holders as well as their communities and the organizations in which they volunteer. Participants noted that the Diocese of Rottenburg-Stuttgart's scholarship program for refugees is achieving its goal and is effective. With regard to the crisis situation in Lebanon, they stated that a comparable program for Lebanese students would be helpful.