Menjez, Lebanon—A small, ancient village in the north of Lebanon was the site of a Peace Road event organized by UPF and two affiliated organizations.
Around 35 young people, mostly university students, participated in this event, as well as some associates and friends.
The event, held on July 7, 2022, was a joint project of UPF and its affiliated organizations Family Federation for World Peace and Unification (FFWPU) and Youth and Students for Peace (YSP).
The name Menjez, meaning “hidden treasure“ in Syriac, was given because of its ancient archaeological sites. Menjez is also distinguished by its black/blue basalt stones, which give the village its unique appearance. It was selected as the site of the Peace Road event because of its historical heritage as well as its closeness to the Syrian border.
The participants first visited the village museum, accompanied by a tour guide who explained about the 87 megalithic tombs dating back to 4,000 B.C. which are unique in Lebanon. Everyone was intrigued to learn about these tombs and how people in the past buried the dead; it was evident that they had believed in the afterlife.
Then the participants visited the location of these tombs, seeing close up how they were built. They were amazed to see the many ancient rocks of historical significance along the road.
As they came near the border, they were reminded that despite being neighbors, so many barriers still exist between Syria and Lebanon.
They enjoyed being in the beautiful nature, as Menjez is on a hill surrounded by rivers and a beautiful green scenery.
The next stop was the Maronite monastery of Our Lady of the Fort, where the priest welcomed the walkers and told them the story behind the church. It became clear that the people of the past had a deep faith that has remained for many generations. The participants also were astonished by the beauty of the church and the surrounding area.
The Peace Road walk ended at the St. Francis of Assisi School. After being welcomed by the principal, the participants listened to several speakers.
Sarah Ahmed, the president of YSP, welcomed the students and the participants, reminding them of the importance of this event.
UPF-Lebanon President Thomas Schellen encouraged the young people, highlighting their important role in creating a better future in Lebanon.
FFWPU-Lebanon President Jong-in Park explained the significance of the Peace Road event in supporting the reunification of North and South Korea.
Umberto and Marilyn Angelucci, the FFWPU presidents for the Middle East, sang a beautiful song which made everyone happy.
At the end, Mr. Angelucci asked if anyone would like to relate his or her reflection about the Peace Road event. A young student spoke of how delighted the young participants were, and she expressed her deep desire for peace and the importance of youth working for this purpose.