Dr. Al Akl Khoury on "Kerala: The Venice of India and Land of Tolerance"
Beirut, December 1, 2008- On November 28, 2008, Dr Loulou Al Akl Khoury, delivered a lecture entitled "Kerala: The Venice of India and Land of Tolerance" at the Cultural Hour in the Haigazian University Auditorium.
Dr. Al Akl Khoury who currently teaches English and Intercultural Studies at Haigazian University, was introduced to the audience by Dr. Arda Ekmekji, Dean of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences.
In her word of welcome, Dr. Ekmekji expressed her condolences and sympathy to H.E. Lencha Lvoum, Ambassador of India to Lebanon, who was present among the audience, for the tragic terrorist attacks on Indian touristic sites, hoping that tonight's lecture will focus more on the forgiving and tolerance aspect of the Indian sub-continent.
Ekmekji added that "Kerala" is described in the Indian Ministry of Tourism brochure as "God's Own Country".
Dr. Al Akl Khoury shared with the audience her this year's pilgrimage to Kerala, and began her lecture by introducing the city of Kerala geographically. "Kerala the land of coconut is one of the 28 states of India, located its South West Coast, with a population of 29 million, and a high literacy rate of 98%," said Al Akl Khoury.
Al Akl Khoury explained how Kerala is a blessed city, "it is blessed with the harmonious entente of different religions: Jews, Christians, Muslims, and Hindous,"
Besides Kerala being a land of tolerance, it is the Venice of India. Al Akl Khoury explained how the Verbanadu Lake is formed by rain during the 2 monsoon periods, and as the area is bellow sea level, the water does not flow towards the sea and remains on the land. Hence, the name "backwaters" and the 900 km long canals.
Al Akl Khoury concluded her lecture by quoting a Hindu philosopher who stated:
Rivers flow towards the bosom of the one great sea. Their names are varied, likewise is diversity. A quote that mirrors exactly what Kerala is.
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