LABSC December 2013 Newsletter

LABSC Board of Directors sends you the warmest wishes for a joyous Christmas, a wonderful holiday season, and a peace-filled New Year. As you celebrate this blessed time of year, may you enjoy a season filled with health, happiness, family gatherings and goodwill to all. Our board has been actively involved in cultural exchanges/projects, community gatherings, presentations/representations and award ceremonies. Our goals continue to focus on building bridges of communication, tolerance and lasting connections for the people of LA and Beirut.

Our December Newsletter highlights our LABSC’s presence at the 2013 Sister Cities’ Annual Gala, the House of Lebanon’s Cultural Center’s grand opening and Art Exhibition, our participation in the 2013 Hollywood Parade, our president’s premiere at the Beirut Chants Festival, and our congratulatory wishes to our board member Mr. Talal Baydoun as the CA Ladies Organization’s Humanitarian Award recipient.

It is such a privilege to share, serve and reach-out to the people of Los Angeles and Beirut, especially at this special time of year. We encourage you to visit our website to learn more about our activities and future projects.

May the sounds of the season uplift your spirits and allow you to celebrate the joy of living.

Dr. Joanna Medawar Nachef

Sister Cities’ Gala at the Gilmore House

The Sister Cities of Los Angeles had their annual gala on September 27th, at the historic Gilmore House at the Grove. Councilmember Tom LaBonge hosted this event and introduced the new Sister Cities president Mr. Tom Gilmore. Our dear friend, newly Elected Councilmember Mitch O’Farrell and Mayor Eric Garcetti’s Father, Gil Garcetti (former LA County District At torney and featured photographer in the upcoming LA Art Show), graced the event with their presence. LABSC board members, Joanna Nachef (President), Amira Matar (Treasurer), and Janet Elliott ( Secretary as well as, IVCLA President) represented our sister-city. The gala was certainly one of the major events that strengthens the ties of the entire sister cities’ membership to this community and its constituents.

House of Lebanon Grand Opening and Art Exhibition

LABSC board members attended the grand opening of the House of Lebanon’s Cultural Center with a welcoming reception which coincided with the 3rd annual Beyond Borders Art Exhibition. The event was most impressive and we wish to extend our heart-felt congratulations to the Lebanese American Foundation for this incredible feat. We are privileged to share board members, Wafa Hoballah, Amira Matar, Talal Baydoun, Ferris Wehbe, and Tony Morillo, who have labored for years to see this dream come true. Congratulations are also in order to Karen Srour and Carole Choucair for asuccessful exhibit of artists and art works. The Art Exhibition opened on October 7, 2013 and will last until January 11, 2014.

2013 Hollywood Parade

On Sunday, December 1st, the 82nd anniversary of the parade was another successful event for the City of Los Angeles that featured the Sister Cities of LA. Our LABSC Vice President, Tony Morillo represented our organization with his lovely wife, Najwa, and their traditional Lebanese costumed son and daughter, Paul and Michelle. From the heart of Hollywood the parade travelled through the boulevards bringing sounds and colors of the season.

Beirut Chants Festival – Opening Concert Dec. 1

Our President, Joanna Medawar Nachef, traveled to Lebanon over the Thanksgiving Holiday and gave her conducting debut as the first female conductor from the Middle East with the 2013 Inaugural Concert of Beirut Chants Festival. Under the High patronage of His Excellency the President of the Republic of Lebanon, General Michel Sleiman, the grand opening concert was held at St. Maron Church, Gemmayzeh, on Sunday, Decemebr 1st @ 8:00pm . The featured work was G. F. Handel’s most famous oratorio “Messiah” performed by the Beirut Chants Festival Orchestra, Antonine University Choir, and four professional soloists from Italy and Lebanon, under the baton of Dr. Nachef. Founder Micheline Abi Samra, Artistic Director Toufic Maatouk and numerous sponsors designed a series of 23 concerts that celebrate Christmas in music on every night of December throughout the city of Beirut. Reviews, interviews, photos and news links can be found on our website, For more information, please follow this link: Dr. Nachef Captures the Magic

Dr. Nachef’s Visit with Beirut City Councilmember Nadim Costa and Dr. Lina Kriedie

Board member Dr. Lina Kreidie and Beirut City Councilmember Nadim Costa met with Dr. Nachef and discussed LABSC’s upcoming 2014 student exchange project as well as other activities, during her visit to Lebanon.

Talal Baydoun’s recipient of the CA Ladies Organization 2013 Humanitarian Award

Congratulations are in order to our LABSC board member, Talal Baydoun, for the great honor of being the 2013 recipient of the California Ladies Organization Humanitarian Award. The Lebanese/American community enjoyed an elegant gala at the exquisite Taglyan Center with honorable guests, city officials, friends and family of Mr. Baydoun. His philanthropic and humanitarian contributions have made a significant and lasting impact on our community and its numerous non-profit organizations. A million congratulations, Talal, we are proud of you!!!!!

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