A Change maker, leader for solidarity & social transformation: The Success Story of Diana Fadel, President of “Fondation Diane”, Featured during the USJ 150 Years Event!
In the framework of the 150 Years anniversary of Saint Joseph University (USJ), The Founder & President of “Fondation Diane”, Mrs. Diana Fadel was conferred with honorary Doctorate “Honoris Causa” Degree in Letters & Human Sciences, for her outstanding contribution to the Sustainable Development of Lebanon, as well as her noble fights for nature, heritage and dignity of the people. She was joined by distinguished individuals who have made phenomenal attainments in their respective fields. The honorees are: Salim Eddé (co-Founder of Murex Group), Philippe Jabre (Founder of l’Association Philippe Jabre), Varouj Nerguizian (CEO of Emirates Lebanon Bank), as well as David and Hiram Corm (President and Treasurer of Fondation Charles Corm).
The Certificates Distribution Ceremony was held on 13 October 2023 at Amphitheatre Pierre Abou Khater – USJ Beirut, in the presence of Pr. Salim Daccache s.j. (Rector of USJ), as well as social and political key figures, prominent businessmen and women, Heads of associations and the press.
This honorary event aims at recognizing the remarkable accomplishments of the afore-mentioned prominent figures, those who have, through their actions, marked their times and proved a strong sense of solidarity with and for the young generations, and worked diligently to transform our communities into value-added societies.
Father Salim Daccache,
In his speech, Father Daccache highlighted Mrs. Fadel’s exceptional dedication and achievements, not only on the personal level, but also her positive impact on the community on the national level…
He initiated his speech by saying: “Mrs. Diana Fadel, the great lady! She is the loud voice, the passion as I knew it and still know it. She is the strong will that defies obstacles and breaks down barriers… a Businesswoman born to be a successful entrepreneur!”. Then he explained how Diana dedicated a large part of her life to raising her family and managing the operational, cultural and eco-sustainable aspects of ABC s.a.l, a family business she is really proud of. He then shed light on how she stands fiercely for women’s rights, encouraging them to believe in their capabilities.
Father Daccache continued: “What will I leave behind? This is the question that haunted Diana Fadel and continues to haunt her”… To answer it, she felt the need to wisely invest in the amelioration of Lebanon’s industrial sector. He stated: “Diana Fadel has a vision of Sustainable Development”, a concept which is still vaguely perceived in Lebanon, and it is based on a harmonious coexistence of 3 main pillars: economic progress, environmental stewardship, and social equity!
He confirmed that Diana’s determination knows no bound, and explained how, after recovering from 2 deadly cancer diseases, she decided to put all her efforts, thoughts and energy for the renaissance of Lebanon. It is only then, that she decided to create her 2nd masterpiece, Fondation Diane, which advocates for eco-Citizenship and Sustainable development, and provides invaluable support for green start-ups… He continued: “the word Diane as we know it, symbolizes the goddess of the hunt, and our Diana does not hesitate to hunt anything that harms nature, heritage and above all the values of eco-citizenship”.
During his speech, Father Daccache cited Diana’s major milestones over the course of 25 years in the journey of Fondation Diane, starting by founding “Monuments En Musique” (MEM) which organized 45 cultural and musical concerts in iconic yet abandoned archeological sites with the aim to preserve Lebanese heritage. He also expressed his pride to have welcomed the “Chair of Fondation Diane in Education for eco-Citizenship & Sustainable Development” (CEEDD) at the heart of USJ; and mentioned the significant role of VIRIDIS Investment Fund, which supported till date 14 eco-Startups in various sectors: waste management, healthy food production, clean transport, eco-tourism and incubation. He concluded his speech by mentioning Civic Circle, an active lobbying platform to inform and motivate citizens through gatherings and events.
Mrs. Fadel delivered an emotionally stirring speech, openly sharing her profound love for Lebanon and its people. She stated, “I am a dreamer; I admit it. I dream of an impossible dream, as Jacques Brel once said. After all, aren’t our dreams closely tied to what we hold dear? I am deeply attached to my roots, in a nation where I was raised, and learned to take pride and become a fighter. Even if this love feels more and more conflictive, I hold a sense of responsibility for my nation, my compatriots, and the legacy we bequeath to the future generations.”
She continued: “I dream of a country, where our marvelous monuments, remains of a glorious past, would be protected as precious relics of a rich history we have inherited. I dream of a country, where our beautiful mountains would all be covered with majestic thousand-year-old trees, which we call cedars!… I dream of beautiful green villages and towns, where nature is not invaded by concrete, where sewers and industrial waste do not mix with the precious gift called water.
I dream of a people who would enjoy living in dignity and well-being, with easy access to their most basic needs: peace to begin with, laws to maintain it and justice to enforce it, a roof over their heads, healthy food and water, equal quality medical care, education, dignified work, freedom and nothing but freedom”.
Gandhi said: “Be the change you want to see in the world”.
She then explained how, through “Monuments En Musique”, she was able to face since 1998, the state’s neglect of archeological sites. She added: “In 2012, faced with the apathy of the people and the degradation of institutions, Fondation Diane was born; a pioneer for Civic Awareness & Eco-Sustainable Development. In 2015, faced with the degradation of the environment, VIRIDIS, an investment platform dedicated exclusively to young green startups, was the first to lay the foundations of a circular economy that had no financial or operational support. Facing the citizens’ lack of motivation, The “Chair of Fondation Diane” CEEDD was founded the same year, a pioneer in education for eco-Citizenship & Sustainable Development”.
She concluded: “In 2021, in light of the disastrous aftermaths of Beirut explosion and the skyrocketing cost of quality medical care, we opened the “Clinique Sociale de l’Enfant” in partnership with Hotel-Dieu de France (HDF), the 1st social pediatric clinic to offer free consultations and medical services to all children in Lebanon”. The clinic has so far catered to the health needs of 3,000 patients since its inauguration in November 2022.