A Francophone Conference at Beirut Arab University in Cooperation with the University of Angers, France
In cooperation with the University of Angers-France, the Faculty of Human Sciences at Beirut Arab University held an international conference in Beirut Campus on "Reality and Creativity in the Human Sciences" with the participation of researchers from Jordan, Algeria and Morocco. The Conference was attended by the University President Professor Amr Galal EL-Adawi, Ambassador of France to Lebanon Bruno Foucher represented by Professor Damien Guillard, Ambassador of the Kingdom of Morocco in Lebanon represented by Cultural Consultant Mrs. Wafaa Omrani, Regional Director of the Middle East Office of the French University Agency Professor Herve Sabourin represented by Ms. Cynthia Raad, faculty deans, BAU Secretary General Dr. Omar Houri, university directors and the academic staff.
The two-day conference aimed to study the relationship between creativity and reality as the beauty of reality is transformed and developed into a better understanding of society and man.
The conference also tackled four themes: reality and fiction in literature, linguistic creativity, historical reality and the vision of the historian or author of memos, as well as anticipating social and technological changes.
The Cultural Consultant, Director at Suisse Made Culture and Conference Presenter Mr. Michel Abou Khalil opened the conference by saying “the topics presented in this conference reflect the needs of our societies. Therefore, and over two days, we shall listen to specialized researchers about their experiences in this field together with subsequent exciting discussions.”
Professor Nadia Iskandarani, Head of the French Department at BAU delivered a speech saying that "Reality is the food for the imagination which, in turn, creates a different reality. In fact, the concept of fiction is contrary to reality.We can confirm that originators act against reality in order to leave their marks.”
Representing the Regional Director of the AUF Francophone Agency in the Middle East Professor Herve Sabourin, Professor Rachida Dumas said, "AUF strongly supports university research, especially in the context of its new strategy which greatly emphasises the significance of innovation, creativity and scientific expertise. Indeed, research in many respects is the driving force of universities today for the role that every higher education institution must play as a representative and an inspiration for the development of global corporates.”
Dean of the Faculty of Human Sciences at Beirut Arab University Professor Mayssa El Nayal pointed out that “this year's conference seeks to explore the abundance of intersections between creativity and reality with a particular focus on human sciences which include various fields of knowledge such as literature, language, history, sociology and mass communication, always seeking a better future in light of the urgent need to foster creativity in all areas of innovation.”
President El-Adawi assured that "this conference is a great example of realizing our vision of life, and our mission is to provide young generations with the creativity needed to make the world a better place. We need young leaders who can dream and believe in their potentials. Without doubt, human sciences represent the wealth that is born of the fusion of mind and body. This richness is the basis of creativity in all fields and areas of life."
Represented by the Cooperation Attaché for French Professor Damien Guillard, Ambassador of France to Lebanon Mr. Bruno Foucher stressed that "education and instruction are a priority in our cooperation with Lebanon for two reasons: They are the basis of the strong friendship between our two peoples and the cornerstone of Lebanon's growth and progress. Despite all the difficulties Lebanon witnessed, education has always remained supreme, indicating that there isn’t a lost generation in the history of Lebanon." He continued, "With regard to the Franco-Lebanese cooperation, there is the Le Partenariat Hubert Curien CEDRE (PHC CEDRE) agreement, a distinction program that has funded more than 21 research projects in the fields of health, engineering, environment, social and human sciences. This program aims to promote exchange of researchers and establish a permanent partnership between the Lebanese and French academic communities through the promotion of long-term networks of excellence."
As a result of the interventions and research papers presented, the conference concluded with a set of recommendations that identified new concepts, characteristics and goals for literature which helps us escape ourselves, our daily problems and the burdens of life and helps us discover the beauty of the world. Thus, writers must keep on writing to help us reach a better world.
The recommendations also stated that, within the framework of literature, writers draw the human spirit with its complexities and contradictions and present us with a picture of ourselves and of humanity at all times and in all places. They can bring people together by making them realize their common destiny.
Moreover, the recommendations addressed social problems where literature suggests solutions and helps develop humanity. As for the vision of history, the recommendations pointed out that the writer chronicles historical events and doubles the number of questions about the future of humanity. However, the same question always arises: Is the historian’s view of history neutral or biased?
The recommendations cautioned against the existence of an overt threat which jeopardizes the existence of writing since the development of technology, communication and globalization have had a profound impact on the family unit while we witness a decline in the number of marriages with an inclination towards free living, indicating a profound change in society.
The recommendations shed light on a humanitarian and literary hint that reality is changing and will keep on progressing without the possibility to curb it. This will impact literature, language, arts and society. Thus, the task of researchers in the field of literature is to prevent negative influences as much as possible and to direct creativity in all areas towards the good and happiness of mankind.