OLA-Solidere: A fruitful partnership
After the big success accomplished through the establishment of Outreach and Leadership Academy – Saida, the Hariri Foundation for Sustainable Human Development in partnership with the Lebanese American University launched on Tuesday 29, 2016 OLA-Solidere.
The inauguration ceremony took place at the Hariri Foundation headquarter besides OLA bldg. and it was attended by political, educational and public figures, in addition to representatives and friends of the university and the Hariri Foundation.
In his speech, PM Saad Hariri said, ““Education and knowledge are the only means to build human capabilities, to achieve a qualitative advancement in the economy's potential and to maintain [Lebanon's] distinctive advantages in the region and the world." He added, “"I feel proud that the center is being inaugurated in Beirut specifically, because we also aim to restore the capital's role as a hub for the ambition and creativity of all Lebanese."
The President of HFSHD MP Bahia Hariri praised the partnership with LAU. She said in her speech, “Today, we are signing OLA 2 initiative in Solidere… in the heart of Lebanon,” she added, “In this initiative, we are holding the torch of Martyr Rafik Hariri and following his steps looking forward for other beginnings all over Lebanon to be the state of human and knowledge.”
The LAU President Jospeh G. Jabbra at the inauguration of the two-story academy in Downtown Beirut said,“We came together for the benefit of society and … now we have moved to Beirut, to Solidere, the heart of Lebanon, to bring people together and implant in them a desire to care for each other.”
The foundation has since signed a number of agreements with strategic partners, among them LAU. The first joint initiative with the university saw the establishment of the Model Arab League in 2011. In the following years, the Leadership and Constitutional Education Academy (2012) was followed by the launch of the Moderation & Justice Academy for Leaders (2013), the Outreach Leadership Academy in Sidon (2014) and most recently the Model European Union (2016). Many of the educational initiatives were first launched in the southern city of Sidon, the hometown of the Hariri family.