The Youth and Cultural Center at Zouk Mikael, near the municipality, provides citizens with a space to explore their cultural, literary and artistic sides.
“Teamwork divides the tasks and multiplies the success.” This sign hanging on the wall of the Youth and Culture Center in Zouk Mikael describes the work spirit of this place, where teamwork has made a noticeable change in Zouk and succeeded in all areas since its foundation in 2009.
“Working as a team gives better results,” says Roula Eid Sawan, center director, personal development trainer and partner at Team in Motion – a team-building company. Sawan highlights the coordination between the trustees, the employees and the volunteers at the center and the Municipality of Zouk Mikael, presided by the lawyer Nouhad Naufal, who is also the president of the Keserwan Ftouh Union of Municipalities.
A cultural, literary and artistic space
The center helps citizens by providing them with a cultural, literary and artistic space. For this purpose, it is divided into three main areas: the multimedia center, the theater and the literary cafe.
The multimedia center offers a large and diverse collection of CDs and DVDs, as well as Internet and WIFI services. The library displays a large selection of books, encyclopedias, dictionaries, magazines, newspapers, etc., available in the three languages (Arabic, French and English). More than 25,000 books in all fields are found in the library which opens its doors for the public on weekdays from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and on Saturdays from 9 a.m. until 1.p.m. All books can be rented for very low prices. The collaboration between the library of Zouk Mikael and the public library of Rueil-Malmaison in France has contributed to exchanging experiences and supplying the local library with a wide range of books.
According to Sawan, the public library also organizes many activities like teaching foreign languages and reading, as well as explaining and discussing children’s books. In addition, the Reading Club organizes, once per month, a reading class for adults to read and discuss a particular book, as well as book-signing events, especialy during the National Reading Day. These activities help in reinforcing the interaction between the citizens and encourage them to read.
The theater, with its 100 seats, is a concourse for organizations to spread their work and activities. The theater also hosts performances for all ages, artistic inclinations and celebrations organized by the center, in collaboration with many foreign embassies in Lebanon including the French, Brazilian, German and Romanian ones.
“Teamwork divides the tasks and multiplies the success”
The Youth Club spots the needs of the town and finds solutions
According to Sawan, the center’s activities never stop, especially with annual regular activities like the music festival, Christmas celebrations, the book fair and competitions such as the Best Picture Competition which was organized during the music festival in June 2015, under the name of “Zouk Mikael in the Perfect Shot”.
Many amateurs from different ages participated through their pictures capturing different aspects of the town, and three of them won valuable prizes.
In addition to the constant activities, the Youth Club, which gathers young people from Zouk Mikael, spots the needs of the town and acts to find the solutions by organizing different activities aiming to serve the town and its citizens. One major activity was a rally paper held for the first time in Zouk Mikael, with more than 200 participants who enjoyed discovering the old part of the town in all its aspects. According to Sawan, this activity was a good occasion to introduce the youth to their town and to motivate them to stay in Zouk Mikael and preserve it.
The Youth Club works now in collaboration with the center, as well as with Zouk Mikael Mayor Josiane Abi Khalil, on a project called “Blooming Balconies” to reanimate the town with plantations.
More projects are already on the waiting list. The Youth and Culture Center in Zouk Mikael is restless and will always succeed in bringing life to the town and to its citizens.