11. THREE OFFICIAL LANGUAGES
Arabic is the historical and the official language of Lebanon, but until 1990, French was also and official language and the Taef constitution still provides that French can be used in certain instances.
The Lebanese naturally speak three languages. There are 800’000 Lebanese who speak French everyday and more than 2 million young Lebanese who use English as their day-to-day professional language.
Because of the civil war and the large emigration phenomenon at the beginning of last century and during the civil war, Lebanon is the only country in the world where that has MORE Lebanese living abroad than Lebanese living in Lebanon.
The new generations of the Lebanese diaspora do not speak Arabic.
All the Lebanese living abroad are still Lebanese and their wealth of experience, expertise and resources is a wealth for Lebanon. They should be encouraged and given the possibility to settle back in Lebanon, to retire in Lebanon and for their children make a life in Lebanon.
Foreigners living in Lebanon must be able to interact with the Lebanese Administration efficiently.
Foreign Corporations operating in Lebanon must be able to interact with the Lebanese Administration efficiently.
Tourists visiting Lebanon, from all over the world, must be able to move around, consume and interact with the Lebanese population and Administration efficiently.
The Lebanese administration should be at the service of the citizens and not the opposite.
THE PARTY OF LEBANON WANTS:
1) LEBANON TO ADOPT THREE OFFICIAL LANGUAGES, ARABIC, ENGLISH AND FRENCH as its official administrative and legal languages, so as to promote investments, tourism and the return of the diaspora, to encourage all the Lebanese from Lebanon and from abroad to live, operate, interact with each other efficiently, to favor the establishment of foreign corporations in Lebanon and create jobs for the Lebanese, to develop tourism, commerce, and economic activity, to facilitate administrative tasks, tax collection, compliance with the laws and regulations of Lebanon.
Countries like Canada, Belgium, Switzerland, China, Europe, the United States of America, South Africa, India, Malaysia or Indonesia work perfectly with several official languages.
Countries like Dubai, Hong Kong or Singapore have made English as their official administrative and business language, above and beyond their traditional language, a key factor of their economic success.
Adding English and French as official languages on top of Arabic does not take anything away from Arabic speakers but potentially adds all the wealth of the Lebanese expatriates and foreign corporations to the Lebanese economy and society.
2) MAKE THE TEACHING OF TWO OF THE THREE LANGUAGES COMPULSORY IN HIGHER EDUCATION so as to improve the general standards and qualification of the Lebanese workforce. Making the Lebanese administration work with three languages will improve the quality of the public services, the general standards of the staff and open job opportunities for minorities and Lebanese from abroad.