Dr May Chidiac
Prestige issue 287-288, Dec. 2017- Jan. 2018
«A woman must follow her dreams»
The admirable path of a real fighter. Animated by an interior flame, a love for life dedicated to her career following the attempt on her life, she changed a misfortune into success. May Chidiac, president founder of May Chidiac Foundation is today stronger than ever. Interview.
How would you assess your career? It’s a continuation of my career in journalism, but in a different way. At LBC, I was younger and freer and kept this flame, the love of life that I dedicated to my professional life. Following the attempt on my life, I decided to create the foundation aiming to promote values of democracy, liberty of expression, equality and human rights. MCF organizes two big annual conferences: Women on the front lines (WOFL) shedding light on women of influence that inspired leadership, change and innovation in their respective fields, and Free ConnectedMinds aiming to explore a new sphere of ideas on the impact of the digital era on politics, culture, economy and social relations. The awards ceremony of MCF Media Awards that became a reference is reserved to journalists for their courage, engagement, excellence in the media industry and their whole career.
You have crossed a difficult test. Your impressions…After 12 years, wounds are not as painful as at the start, when I had lost half of my body. The trial was very harsh, with the amputations, four degree burns, intolerable pain… I got along with my body and at no time I had given up to destiny. I always looked ahead, and had projects for the future. After the attempt, I finished my thesis, created the foundation, was awarded international prizes, written books. I succeeded turning a misfortune into success.
In 2009 you launched May Chidiac Foundation… MCF is a non -profit organization dedicated to training, research and education on the media, democracy and social welfare. The media institute affiliated to the foundation aims to cover the gap between university and media industry, supplying the students and professionals with technical installations and state-of-the-art training programs, to improve their abilities to compete. I am an eternal unsatisfied. I hope in the coming years our achievements will be more impressive.
Other projects? Yes, on the foundation and its activities level and on the personal level. I have projects that I prefer not to unveil for the moment. One thing at a time.
You received many prizes. Which one do you prefer? Each new prize is a source of joy because it confirms that my accomplishments and devotion to my work as well as my sacrifice are not vain. I received many prizes. The UNESCO prize «Guillermo Cano» for freedom of the press, the prize «World PressFreedomHero» of the International Press Institute (IPI) of which I am really proud. I was decorated by the president of the French Republic, Jacques Chirac with the medal «Chevalier de l’Ordre de la Légion d’Honneur» at Elysée palace, And received in july 2017 the Vatican prize «Dame de l’ordre de Saint Grégoire-le-Grand», and the prize «PremioMinerva, Anna Maria Mammoliti» in Italy.
In your opinion how can a woman be productive? Every human being must be productive. It’s a choice to be made, a nature but also a motivation to realize projects that make us open out. Women’s situation is a little more difficult because combined with other «duties». To have an accomplished personal and professional life is easy theoretically, but more difficult in practice. The woman must be empowered and find her place in a patriarchal society and go to the end of her projects and dreams.