Mayor of Pafos Delivers Keynote Speech During the American University of Beirut’s Founders Day as it Celebrates 156 Years Since its Foundation


With a splendid ceremony, the American University of Beirut (AUB) celebrated Founders Day, the annual event at which the university community gathers to pay tribute to those who on December 3, 1866 founded what was then the Syrian Protestant College and set it on the path to becoming the established and renowned institution of higher education and research that it is today.

The keynote speaker at the event was the Mayor of Pafos Phedonas Phedonos, who spoke about "education as a pillar for peace and prosperity: The best hope of the Eastern Mediterranean." Beginning in September 2023, Pafos will be home to the twin campus of AUB: the American University of Beirut – Mediterraneo.

In his speech, University President Fadlo R. Khuri described Phedonos as “a remarkable leader, an anti-corruption crusader, a champion of accountability, transparency and responsibility, a champion for a better tomorrow for all, a man determined to leave his mark in such a way that future generations have hope and perspective for a better life."

In his speech, the mayor of Pafos emphasized the inseparable relationship that education has with peace, democracy, and prosperity, a relationship that, as he said, runs through the entire course of civilized humanity. Through education, noted Phedonos, people acquire qualifications and skills, cultivate virtues, and convey values and ideals for life. Education, peace, and prosperity, he added, are interrelated concepts that reinforce each other and shape history.​

Phedonos called on the people of the region to take their future into their own hands. “Let us," he said, “give up the false hope that foreigners can provide solutions on our behalf. They do not know better than us. We have to build on the hope and the future that we create ourselves, here."