UNDP Live Lebanon held a gala dinner at “ Rotana Beach” Hotel in Abu Dhabi on Wednesday, November 11th 2015 to honor the initiative’s Goodwill Ambassador Albert Matta.
The event took place in the presence of Minister of Culture, Youth and Community Development in the United Arab Emirates His Highness Sheikh Nahyan bin Mubarak Al Nahyan, His Excellency Ahmed Jumaa Al Ziaabi, Deputy Minister of Presidential Affairs, resident representative of the United Nations Development Programme in Lebanon Mr. Philippe Lazzarini, Resident Representative of the United Nations Development Programme in the United Arab Emirates Mr. Frode Moring, Director of the United Nations development program in Lebanon Mr. Luca Randa, Director of the local and social development in the United Nations development program Dr Raghed Assi, Goodwill Ambassador, Mr. Ghalib Farha , adviser Bassam Fariha, head of the Lebanese Business Council in the UAE, Mr. Sufian Saleh, in addition to a large number of ambassadors , consuls and distinguished guests from the Lebanese community in UAE.
“I am honored to be appointed as a Goodwill Ambassador by the United Nations Development Programme.” Said Mr. Matta. “Together we will complete many vital projects in the most deprived communities in all regions in Lebanon. My work will be based on the three main values ??of good diplomacy: loving, giving and cooperating which will be aligned with a practical roadmap, that tackles peace, humanity, poverty reduction and balanced development.
Mr. Matta added that "The Lebanese Diaspora highly appreciate the citizens and the government of UAE. We have witnessed the continuous and unconditional support from the UAE for decades and I take this opportunity to thank the country of forgiveness and opportunities.”
“The appointment of Mr. Matta as a Goodwill ambassador contributes to the development of Lebanon.” Said Mr. Lazzarini.”I am honored that Mr. Matta accepted the invitation of the United Nations Development Programme to become a member of Live Lebanon’s family. Tonight, because of Albert, we are living Lebanon in Abu Dhabi, in its generosity towards the Lebanese diaspora. Abu Dhabi, the live example of what results when vision meets determination. The United Arab Emirates has provided a lot of help for the Lebanese nationals and, in return, the Lebanese diaspora contributed in Abu Dhabi’s development. In this sense we urge Lebanese expatriates who have shown remarkable success in various cultural, economic, social, medical, scientific and political fields to play a vital role in the development of their country. "
The ceremony was preceded by a lunch at “Meas” restaurant during which the United Nations Development Programme delegation discussed the means of collaboration in support of the development projects implemented by " Live Lebanon”.
Mr. Matta holds a Bachelor of Civil Engineering degree from the American University of Beirut in 1962, and a master's degree in geo-engineering from the University of Delft at Netherlands in 1965. In 1969, Mr. Matta started his architectural and engineering activities in Abu Dhabi, and worked as a contractor and consultant. He also invested in several apartments several hotels in the United Arab Emirates. He is the Dean of the Lebanese Diaspora in Abu Dhabi and holds a distinction of Lebanese Cedars, ranked as a Knight (1998) from the President Herawi, Silver distinction (2002) from President Emile Lahoud, and the Merit French Distinction, ranked as a Knight, from President Jacques Chirac.
Live Lebanon is a UNDP initiative, operating as a neutral channel through which expatriates can provide direct support to the development of Lebanon's underprivileged communities.
The donations are made through "livelebanon.org" or” Live Lebanon” phone application. It is worth mentioning that “Live Lebanon " initiative has completed to date 47 projects in the North, South , Bekaa , Beirut and Mount Lebanon.