Mr. Antoun Sehnaoui, an advocate of the Francophonie
For uncountable years, Lebanon and France has been bound by a close friendship and not an opportunity is missed to highlight and celebrate this special bond. It is to be noted that Lebanon is one of the members of the French-speaking countries community. Being the first French bank established in Lebanon, the Société Générale de Banque au Liban (SGBL), proudly promotes its Lebanese and French identities, with the involvement of its CEO Mr. Antoun Sehnaoui.
Numerous activities have been planned throughout the year in this regard to popularise the French language and the French culture across the whole country. To celebrate the International Francophonie Day, in March, the SGBL participates in several events in partnership with other French organisations in Lebanon. In 2011, the Lebanese bank collaborated with the Agence Universitaire de la Francophonie (AUF) to set up a full-day event dedicated to the francophone youth of the country: “Jeunesse en fête”. Some fun activities were on the agenda of this event held at the Palais de l’UNESCO in Beirut, namely: debates, quizzes on general knowledge about the Francophonie, dictation competition as well as a recital of French songs among others.
In 2012, the International Francophonie Day was celebrated at the headquarters of the bank in Sin el Fil. The clients of the bank as well as its employees were encouraged to take part in the different fun games and competitions based on topics related to the Francophonie all in a nice animated atmosphere. An accordion player was present specially for this event and many got to enjoy some delicacies of the French cuisine for lunch.
The celebration of the International Francophonie Day is only part of a wide range of activites aimed at promoting the French culture. It is in fact the whole month of March that is dedicated to French culture and to the boosting of the French language. In Lebanon as well as in other French-speaking countries, it is customary to honour the “Mois de la Francophonie” – the Francophonie month – with festivities starting on the first of March each year. The event is run and launched by the “Institut Français du Liban” – the French Institute of Lebanon – (IFL), the French embassy of Lebanon and other official sponsors including the SGBL. For the enjoyment of all and sundry, a scope of activities were scheduled such as fun contests, exhibitions, plays, conferences and workshops.
As the representative of the SGBL and supporter of the Francophonie, Mr. Antoun Sehnaoui could never miss the celebrations of the 14th of July – Bastille Day. This is why, each year the SGBL responds positively to the kind invitation of the French embassy to celebrate the French National Day. As years go by, Mr. Antoun Sehnaoui, through his actions at the SGBL, will faithfully keep his commitments to encourage the promotion of the French language as well as the values publicised by the Francophonie.