Part of the activities of the Leaders for Democracy program which is funded by the Middle East Partnership Initiative (MEPI) and organized by the Lebanese American University in Beirut was the management of a politically oriented seminar hosted by His Excellency Member of Parliament representing the Armenian seat for the region of Zahle, Shant Shanshnian at the Crown Plaza hotel in Hamra where he discussed the Armenian situation in Lebanon and the challenges that they face during the current wave of crises in Lebanon and the Middle East.
Shanshnian initiated the seminar by giving a historical narrative on the Armenian presence in the region and the events that led to their migration to Lebanon. He went on to discuss their political status in Lebanon and the way they actively participate in political life. He considers the Armenians to be Lebanese in their past, present and future for they respect their heritage, are proud of it and endeavor to maintain their identity and presence in Lebanon and the region adding that they have escaped persecution and wars and will be unscathed once again as they were in the past. He was emphatic that there is no substitute to the legitimacy of the government which embraces all Lebanese including all of their affiliation and confessions under the government’s constitutional institutions and he expressed that the future of Lebanon and its continuity is based on founding a civil government which is considered the main gateway to achieve real democracy and social justice.