Earlier this year, JCI Lebanon hosted the National Presidents Meeting of Africa and the Middle East in Beirut. National Presidents of over 20 countries, board members, the AMDEC team, and members of the regional office gathered in the heart of the Middle East to start off 2020 with an impact. As National President of JCI Lebanon, it was a pleasure to host the international JCI family in my hometown.

During a period of three days, attendees experienced an NPM like never before. It began with the opening ceremony at the prestigious ESA Business School, which included a flag ceremony, welcome speeches, and inspiring words from Keynote Speaker Caroline Fattal Fakhoury, board member of Fattal Holding and founder of ‘Stand for Women’, who spoke about operating in a Volatile, Uncertain, Complex, and Ambiguous (VUCA) environment. Her words resonated with the audience, as many of us leaders from the area face different uncertainties, from political instability and government corruption to economic and environmental crises,  yet we’re able to tackle these constraints and tap into areas of opportunities for our national organizations to bridge the gap and bring active citizens together to make positive changes in our communities.

Inspiration and determination were in the air during the following two days as attendees were given the opportunity to learn from the different sessions on the agenda, engage with their fellow counterparts from all over the area, address the issues faced in our area, brainstorm on ways to further develop our national organizations, and prepare for the year ahead. Next on the agenda was the launch of a regional environmental initiative, inspired by JCI Lebanon’s flagship project launched in 2017 called I Green Beirut. Everyone in attendance engaged in an educational and informative planting activity planned by the I Green Beirut team, who spoke about the climate emergency that the world is facing and what actions we can take us young active citizens in response.

The National Presidents Meeting ended with a closing ceremony and gala dinner at Le Commodore Hotel. Swaying to African and oriental tunes, we all envisioned hard work and victorious times looming and felt more than ready to go back to our national organizations and make things happen !

Aline Chirinian
2020 JCI Lebanon President

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