The Hostility Against Arabs is Ebbing Away

From left: Dr. Khalil Ekky, Dr. Ghassan Elagha, Dr. Faidi Omar Mahmoud, Dr. Tammam Kelani, Dr. Wesam Abou Amer

See more pictures from the conference. See more pictures from Dublin. See more pictures from Trinity College.

With a warm and happy welcome, the Arab Medical Union in Ireland received Mr. Conor Lenihan, the Irish Minister for Science, Technology, Innovation and Natural Resources for the opening ceremony of the 26 Annual Meeting of Arab Medical Union in Europe, 1st Annual Meeting of Arab Medical Union in Ireland which was held on October 29 – 31 2010 at Burlington Hotel for the district of Dublin.

The conference was held under the auspices of the Minister Lenihan and attended by Saudi ambassador Abdulaziz A. Abdul-Rahman Aldris, the Moroccan ambassador Dr. Anas Khales, the ambassador of UAE Khalid Lotte, the Health Attaché of the Medical Department of the UAE in the UK, Jamal Abdalaziz Al Qwais, the Syrian ambassador Sami al-Khaimi, a number of consuls, the representatives of several Arab, Muslim and Irish organizations and institutions, journalists, and dozens of Arab doctors from the EU and neighboring countries, Irish doctors, researchers, scientists, medical companies and  participants.

Dr. Ghassan Elagha, the President of Arab medical Union in Ireland and his deputy Dr. Khalil Ekky had welcomed the minister, the ambassadors, the doctors and the guests. After a small brief by Dr. Ekky, Minister Lenihan was invited to give a speech.

Mr. Conor Lenihan, Irish Minister for Science, Technology, Innovation and Natural Resources.The Minister Lenihan gave a wonderful speech in which he praised the Arab doctors. He said: “There are about 100 Arab doctors doing service here in Ireland, and it is no exaggeration to say that our health system would fall apart if we did not have those doctors”. He also praised the Muslim and the Arab communities. He spoke openly about the positive relations between the Irish people and the Arab-Muslim community. He spoke about the Palestinian cause boldly and courageously. What the Irish minister Mr. Lenihan said deserves respect, appreciation and thanks. I listened to his words with great interest and respect. Minister Lenihan received warm applause at the end of each paragraph he said during the conference. The appreciation by the Arab Doctors Union present was ready to hand to Mr. Lenihan. He made a short statement. (Click on the small pictures to see them bigger).

Minister Lenihan said: “The relationship between the Irish people and the Muslim population and Arab population that live in Ireland is perfect and so good, and the Muslim Imam and the Muslims community are perfectly integrated in Ireland . The Arab doctors are well integrated and they give good service to the people”. He added: “The period of hostility against Arabs and Muslims is ebbing away”.

Minister Lenihan pointed out that the Irish government policy has been very strongly pro Arab. He added: “… right back to the day in 1979, when my late father Brian Patrick Lenihan recognized the PLO as the legitimate representative of the Palestinian people. I suppose it is very hard emotionally to Palestinians that there are still so many problems in the region and that they are still so many problems in their homeland and that they still [are] not able to return to their homeland, that there are huge difficulties in their homeland and that they are still not able to enjoy their right to return to their homeland and that they must continue fighting for the creation of a proper Palestinian State”.

He stated that the Irish government is very determined on that particular point, that they “have never wavered”. “My father Brian Patrick Lenihan was the first European minister who made that particular statement over 30 years ago in 1979 and shortly after that the French government followed with their own contribution in that respect”.

Minister Lenihan said: “There are about 100 Arab doctors doing service here in Ireland, and it is no exaggeration to say that our health system would fall apart if we did not have those doctors. Many people have different views about non-Irish people who came here in the last 10-15 years. 35% of our health services are made up by non-Irish doctors and staff, who have contributed to their enormous success during the last 10 years. So we could not do without these non-Irish people even if we wanted to”.

“Finally I’d like to say that I think the Arab peoples do not blow their trumpet loud enough, and that so much of what happened and the commentary around the Arab peoples is defined by the situation in the Middle East. Let’s not forget the enormous historical inheritance which we enjoy right up to this day in science. It is not wrong to say that Mathematics and Chemistry are the actual creation of the Arab people …”

Minister Lenihan added: “As Minister for overseas development, I had the privilege of visiting many of Arab countries and seeing first hand the great strides that they are making in medicine”. He expressed his appreciation “to the people who had chosen to make their careers in Ireland and contribute to the wellbeing of all of the people in our country”. He also welcomed all those who were visitors to Ireland and he wished the organizers of the conference, the participants and attendees “a very successful conference and staying in Ireland”.

Minister Lenihan also wished both Arab Medical doctors in Ireland  and its wider European organization “the very best of luck, both with this weekend’s conference and in it’s future endeavors”. He said: “this weekend’s conference brings delegates together from many countries worldwide, exploring many diverse topics in the area of health research and promises to be a memorable event”.

(Minister Conor Lenihan was born 3 March 1963. He Studied at Belvedere College, University College Dublin, Dublin City University, European Business School (INSEAD) Young Managers Programme.
He is a Minister of State since 2004.

Irish Minister for Science, Technology, Innovation and Natural Resources, Mr. Conor Lenihan.

From 2007 – 2009, he served as Minister of State for Integration Policy.
April 2009, he was appointed as a Minister of State for Science, Technology, Innovation and Natural Resources. Minister Lenihan is a brother of Brian Lenihan, Jnr, the Minister for Finance since 2008.
He is the son Brian Patrick Lenihan a deceased Irish politician who died on Nov.1st, 1995.
His aunt, Mary O’Rourke, is a Fianna Fáil TD.
His grandfather, Patrick Lenihan served in the Irish parliament.

(Sources: Irish Govt website, Minister Lenihan’s website, Wikipedia)

After the friendly words of Minister Conor Lenihan, Dr. Elagha delivered a speech in Dr. Ghassan Elagha, the President of Arab medical Union in Ireland.which he described Ireland as a country of the great hope, peace, love and achievement. He highly welcomed the Excellency of the Minister Lenihan and the administration committee of the Arab medical union in Europe, on behalf of the Irish Arab doctors. He said about the minister: “in spite of all his commitments and responsibilities he kindly accepted our invitation as a guest of honor to our conference, the 26th Arab Medical Union in Europe and the first conference of Arab medical union in Ireland .”

Dr. Elagha also welcomed the ambassadors of Arab countries to the conference, guests in Ireland , which he described as a country of a huge impact on human civilization and modern life, with its significant influence in many aspects including science, technology, health care, education, researches, agriculture, peace keeping and humanitarian rescues.  He said: “we are proud to see the ambassadors among us in our important conference.”

Dr. Elagha said: “we look forward to have excellent relationship with Arab medical unions in Europe”. He added: “we are proud of our colleagues from different countries in EU and the world who came to share with us some of their experience and part of their skills and researches to enrich our knowledge in their valuable scientific programs”.

Another friendly speech was delivered by the President of of the Arab Medical Union in Vienna. Dr. Tammam Kelani sent special thank to the Irish government and the guest of honor, Minister Lenihan. He said: “Dear Colleagues, Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen, Dear Dr.Gassan Elagha, please allow me to congratulate your election as the president of this conference, and allow me to send the most sincere thanks to the guest of honor, Mr. Minister Connor Lenihan. It is a privilege for us all to have the minister as a guest of honor at our conference”.

He added: “I also would like to thank the Irish people and the Irish government for their fair attitude toward the Arab issues and especially the Palestinian cause”. He said special thanks also go to all those attendees whose number could have been much more without the visa problems.

Dr. Tammam criticized the visa problems. He addressed the Irish Minister in his speech, saying: “As you can see, minister Lenihan, all those attendees are well educated and fully integrated members within the European societies. They have survived the agitations that we are currently hearing against the foreigners; these agitations are largely coming from the radical right parties in the European countries, especially in Germany, Austria, France and Denmark”.

From left: Dr. Faidi Omar Mahmoud, Dr. Tammam Kelani, Dr. Khalil Ekky, Dr. Ghassan Elagha.

He made it clear that the Arab doctor’s conference aims to make our human societies a better place to live in and to exchange medical experience and knowledge. As a meeting place, Dublin is not only a medical centre but also a place where different approaches to health and the essence of life could be discussed. Ireland is also a cultural and historical place. He ended his words by sending best wishes to all doctors for a successful conference.

Another speech was delivered by Dr.  Prof. Faidi Omar Mahmoud, President of ARABMED in Europe. He reviewed by showing photos the activities of the ARABMED in Europe and gave a brief explanation of these activities. Dr. Faidi said: “The ARABMED Union has held 25 scientific conferences in various European and Arab capitals. The conferences were attended in sum by about 2,050 European and Arab specialists, including 400 Professors and distinguished scholars”.

Professor Dr. Faidi Omar Mahmoud, President of the Arab Medical Union in Europe.

He added: “The Arab Medical Union in Europe very much hope that this gathering will enhance our scientific commitment and long-term cooperation between all of us”.

It should be noted that the conference opening ceremony was headed by Dr. Khalil Ekky, the chairman of the conference organization committee and the vice president of ARABMED union in Ireland. Dr. Ekky was very friendly with the conference attendance.

From left: Dr. Khalil Ekky, Dr. Tammam Kelani.

The conference event was concluded on Sunday, 31 October with a tour of the capital of Dublin, following which the conference participants went to the farm of the Irish citizen Dr. Ahmad Abu Amer, who hosted the delegation for lunch.

Dr. Wesam Abou Amer.The Organization Committee of the Conference members were:

Dr. Khalil Ekky, the Chairman of the Committee.

Dr. Wesam Abou Amer.

Dr. Hesham Dahshan.

Dr. Ahmed Agha.

On Monday, Nov. 1st 2010, everybody returned to his homeland with big respect for Ireland and the friendly Irish people. On Sunday Oct. 31, I made a tour in Dublin which left wonderful memories in my thoughts and heart. I visited the University, and I photographed a marriage of a student; I received warm welcome by the bride and her husband, then I visited most of the historical sites in the city. I did this tour by myself. I preferred to make the tour on foot so I could photograph the city and talk to Irish people.

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