This was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government
In celebration of Her Majesty the Queen’s Birthday, the British Embassy Beirut held a reception at Nuit Blanche, attended by Vice Prime Minister Samir Mokbel representing Lebanese President Michel Sleiman and Caretaker Prime Minister Najib Mikati, and MP Yassine Jaber representing Speaker of Parliament Nabih Berri. Also present were current and former MPs, Ministers, Ambassadors, business leaders, representatives of the British community in Lebanon, civil society, media and digital personalities and others.
Lebanese baritone opera singer Fady Jeanbart performed the Lebanese and British national anthems.
Addressing his guests, British Ambassador Tom Fletcher thanked the sponsors, NGO partners and guests who supported the theme of social and environmental responsibility:
From this point, you can see some of the ways we are supporting Lebanon. You can see the port, through which business between our two countries has risen by over 20% this past year. You can see the airport, where British Airways is now connecting two of history’s greatest trading cities, London and Beirut. You can see the army headquarters, where we are helping to give your troops the training and equipment to match their courage, increased by 500% in the last 18 months. And you can see the people who are making this such an extraordinary and dynamic partnership – all of you.
He also passed on HM Queen’s support for Lebanon’s stability.
Drawing inspiration from last year’s GREAT British Week, this year’s theme embraces social and environmental responsibility, showing the UK’s continued commitment to Lebanon’s stability and sovereignty. Over 1,500 guests brought with them a book and/or an item of clothing, which will be delivered to refugees and host communities through Save the Children UK, Islamic Relief UK and MEADOWS, a Lebanese NGO. All leftover food from the event will be sent to needy people through FERN and the Lebanese Food Bank. Even the flower arrangements have been made from sustainable fruit and vegetables and will go straight to those who need them most. Guests at the reception also visited a traditional British ‘market street’, with stalls showcasing top British brands helping bring jobs and prosperity to Lebanon.
In the run-up to the Queen’s Birthday Party, the British Council organised a blogging and recycling competition. Ten private and public schools participated under the theme ‘Nothing Goes to Waste’. The winners were announced at the reception, from the following schools: Aley State, American Academy of Beirut, Students Paradise Secondary, Makassed Ali Bin Abi Taleb and Houssam Eddine el Hariri high schools.
The reception also featured GREAT images showcasing the UK as a country of heritage, culture, sport, and innovation. And we remembered the London 2012 Olympic games with an exhibition of Union Flags by artists from across the world. In cooperation with Broumana High School, British artist Jocelyn Campbell, exhibited photographs of Lebanon’s greatest attractions.