In a significant diplomatic visit, the esteemed Australian Ambassador, Mr. Andrew Barnes, toured the Koura campus of the University of Balamand (UoB) on September 26, 2023. His Excellency started his visit with a meeting with the University's Vice President for Internationalization & Engagement and Dean of the Faculty of Engineering Professor Rami Abboud. Ambassador Barnes and Professor Abboud engaged in in-depth discussions in relationship to education, UoB’s history and its role in higher education delving into the current state of international collaborations and funding support.
Ambassador Barnes was subsequently received by the University President, Dr. Elias Warrak, in his office where the discussions carried on exploring high level collaboration initiatives. Dr Warrak extended his warm hospitality and kept his Excellency for lunch that was held in his honor where he met with other Vice Presidents and the Acting Provost.
The Ambassador's visit extended beyond the academic realm as he explored different areas of our university, including a visit to the Patriarchal Monastery of Our Lady of Balamand, where he received a detailed explanation of the monastery's historical significance and impact. Additionally, Ambassador Barnes had the privilege of meeting with Archimandrite George Yaacoub, the Head of the Monastery, discussing matters of mutual interest and further strengthening cultural ties.
Professor Abboud expressed his deepest gratitude to the Ambassador’s visit and believes that this diplomatic visit showcases the commitment to fostering international relations in the educational sector, emphasizing the importance of collaboration between Australia and Lebanon. The visit not only contributed to a better understanding of the university's educational landscape but also deepened the cultural exchange between the two countries.