The UN General Director for Education, Science and Culture, Irina Bokova, organized a beautiful ceremony at the restaurant of the UNESCO in Paris, on the occasion of the appointment of Maha El-Khalil Chalabi as an Ambassador of Good Will for Unesco. Important Lebanese and foreign figures were present at the event during which was honored, under applause, Maha El-Khalil Chalabi, a great patron of art and culture.
A native of Tyre, in southern Lebanon, Maha El-Khalil Chalabi is known for her commitment to numerous social and cultural actions for the protection of her native city, listed as Unesco World Heritage in 1984. She is at the initiative of charitable activities, such as the establishment of a health center or the International Festival of Tyre aiming sustainable development of this millenary site.
It is at Unesco Headquarters that Maha El-Khalil Chalabi founded in May 1980, the International Association for the Safeguard of Tyre (AIST), which supports the implementation of numerous programs such as «the International Campaign of Unesco for Tyre and its surroundings», launched in 1998 for the rehabilitation and socio-cultural development of the city.
In February 2008, Maha El-Khalil Chalabi created the Tyre Foundation, which provides for the development of a museum for Tyre and a traveling exhibition entitled «Europe, the daughter of Tyre».
In 2009, the International Association for the Safeguard of Tyre and Tyre Foundation established the «League of Canaanite, Phoenician and Punic cities» (LCCPP), extensive network of cities united by a common history to develop the dialogue among civilizations and strengthen exchange for peace around four main lines of action: culture and education; cultural tourism; traditional crafts and maritime environment.
Maha El-Khalil Chalabi published in 1984 her thesis of 3rd cycle at the Sorbonne entitled «West / East relations analyzed through travelers in Tyre from the XVIth to the XIXth centuries.» In 2008, she published «Phoenician Art: Phoenician New Expressions» which invites to discover Phoenician art through history, culture, beliefs, crafts of the people but also through its myths and legends.
She was named Knight of the National Order of Merit, Officer of the Order of Arts and Letters of the French Republic and Officer of the National Order of the Cedar of Lebanon for her advocacy in favor of art and archeology.