The Lebanese communication industry has been unique in its struggle to develop and expand, despite all the destruction that was inflicted on the country, and its other business sectors over the past 16 years. Accordingly I hasten to salute your forum on “Gateways to Reconstruction”, its organizers and distinguished participants, your gathering today is a further demonstration on the leadership of Lebanon’s Chapter of the International Advertising Association.
Rebuilding for us as communicators, entails the encouragement of our members that are abroad to actively return to their homeland. Of more importance however, is the need for all participants at this Forum to cooperate in order to ensure that the self-regulation, the disciplines and the professional upgrading tools that we have introduced to the Arab advertising industry, are revived and adapted in Lebanon, where all of these were started.
I sincerely regret not being able to join you at this Forum, however I wish you and Lebanon great success. I seize this opportunity to remind you that while all of you are meeting to develop more Big Ideas for the reconstruction of Lebanon; other members and graduates of the Lebanon Chapter remain to be very active overseas — at this specific moment — rebuilding the image of Lebanon through their voluntary work and dedication to the International Advertising Association and what it stands for. (Ramzi RAAD)
Originally published in GATEWAYS to Reconstruction, September 1991