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A message of harmony.

Summary: The Religious Cultural Tourism Project launched Tuesday by Prime Minister Saad Hariri is a rare example of a scheme that reveals Lebanon's finest face and is bound for success.

The Religious Cultural Tourism Project launched Tuesday by Prime Minister Saad Hariri is a rare example of a scheme that reveals Lebanon's finest face and is bound for success.

It will serve Lebanon in the most cultural and civilized mode, and the promotion of the country's cornucopia of religious sites -- of all faiths -- will certainly place it on the world map of religious tourism.

It is also an important and tangible message about the unity and harmony that exists between Lebanon's 18 official sects.

"It will also show the world, at the time when the world is working on launching dialogue between religions, that Lebanon went further than dialogue between religions, and is the place of coexistence and convergence," Hariri said Tuesday, summing up the Lebanese miracle in one fell swoop.

The dedication of those behind the scheme is astonishing.

It has been eight years in the making, but its architects' belief in Lebanon's coexistence has never wavered. The value of this will be felt all year round.

As Hariri noted, religious sites do not require the summer to be in full swing to attract visitors, nor an appropriate level of snowfall to be enjoyed. But it will also be a shining example to a world that is on the one hand enveloped by an anxiety about interreligious relations, and on the other increasingly aware of threats to cultural sites of the region.

As Pope John Paul II said during his visit, "Lebanon is more than a country -- it is a message."

This message is perhaps needed now more than ever before.

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Publication:The Daily Star (Beirut, Lebanon)
Geographic Code:7LEBA
Date:May 17, 2017
Words:308
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