June 25, 2005
We meet to honor singing. It receives a title often jealously guarded for academia. Singing was the first man's dialogue with the mysteries of the universe and its superior forces. Singing is the language of praying, adoration, and love, the tune of togetherness and the call of the right.
I am glad that this honoring of singing comes from AUB, with its bright history of knowledge, and from its Board of Trustees, which keeps watch so that its wise message stays beyond the boundaries of direct policies and ethnicities.
I am honored, too, that singing is celebrated in my person. I take this honor as being addressed, in the same time, to the cultures I tended to, to the Lebanese and local publics who smothered me with their love, to the artistic family and the original artists who accompanied me with their thoughts and creativity, and to Lebanese art, the school, and the ideal. And I consider this degree equally addressed to the one who taught me and escorted me on my journey.
I am happy that we meet here and speak a humane language which overcomes the impasses of conflict. This is the language of art and knowledge. I thank you once more.