The School of Languages, University of Ghana, has received books donated by the Lebanese Embassy in Accra. The ceremony was held at Casa Hispanica in the Reginald Amonoo Building on Thursday, 11th February 2021. The donation was made in line with the developing cooperation between the School, on the one hand, and the Embassy and the Lebanese Community in Accra, on the other. The School of Languages was represented by the Dean, Professor Helen Yitah, Heads of Department and some Sectional Coordinators from the Department of Modern Languages, while the Lebanese Ambassador, H.E. Maher Kheir, was accompanied by a representative of the Lebanese Community in Accra.

In 2019, the Lebanese Ambassador to Ghana, H.E. Maher Kheir, in conjunction with the then Dean of the School of Languages, Prof. Nana Aba Amfo, launched the Lebanese Literature Prizes for undergraduate and graduate students of the School, for which the first batch of awardees had already been determined.

Remarks of the Dean, School of Languages

Speaking at the event, the Dean, Professor Helen Yitah, said that it was the culmination of a discussion with H.E. Maher Kheir which started a year earlier, when she mentioned, during her conversations with the Ambassador, the challenges that students and faculty have with access to relevant books on Lebanese literature. In response, the Ambassador had said that he was expecting some books from the Lebanese Ministry of Culture which he would donate to the School. The Dean expressed her pleasure that the books had arrived and were being handed over to the School.

Prof. Yitah remarked that the School attaches great importance to the educational and cultural exchanges and cooperation with its collaborators, including the Lebanese Embassy and the Lebanese community in Accra. In this light, she said, the book donation would further consolidate the cooperation with the Lebanese Embassy. She observed that despite the long presence of the Lebanese in Ghana, the academic study of Lebanese literature was a relatively new field. She said the book donation would enhance the study of Lebanese Literature in the School and promote understanding between our two nations and cultures. She noted that:

“With this donation, our students can enjoy Lebanese literature while learning more about Lebanese culture through their reading. This, no doubt, will promote understanding between the Lebanese Embassy and community, on the one hand, and our School, UG, and Ghana, on the other—particularly among the younger generation.”

She expressed the hope that this initial gesture would be the first of many more to come, and that both parties would continue to pursue other ways to strengthen their cooperation, including collaboration in research and graduate student supervision and visits to UG by Lebanese guest scholars/professors in the areas of literature or language.

She thanked the donors on behalf of the School and gave the assurance that the books would be used judiciously. 

Remarks by the Lebanese Ambassador

Giving his remarks on behalf of the Lebanese Community, H.E. Maher Kheir stated the books were provided by the Lebanese Ministry of Culture and that it was an honor to donate them to the School of Languages. He also mentioned that this gesture affirms the conviction of the Lebanese community towards cultural development. He said he believed that the donation would be put to good use by the students.

Books Donated

In all, sixty-three (63) books were donated, of which fifty-eight (58) were in Arabic, four (4) in English and one (1) in both English and French.