Sensational Opening Ceremony Signals SO Regional Table Tennis Tournament Take-off in Beirut
In the Lebanese capital beirut, the SO Regional Table Tennis tournament took off in a sensational opening ceremony that flabbergasted the audience.
Under the auspices of the Lebanese Minister of Social Affairs Mr. Wael Abu Faour, 9 SOMENA programs, namely Palestine, Syria, Jordan, Iraq, Egypt, Libya, Tunisia, Oman and Lebanon competed in the tournament at the “Rafik Al-Hariri University” venues.
Regional President Ayman Abdel Wahab of SOMENA attended the opening ceremony along with a number of high figures and celebrities of the Lebanese society and members of the diplomatic corps in Lebanon.
The ceremony take-off was signaled by a parade of the partaking delegations hoisting the Lebanese and Special Olympics Flags, followed by the Lebanese national anthem. In tribute of the late HRH Princess Lalla Amina former President of Special Olympics Morocco, the audience observed a minute of silence.
National Director Hala Al-Husseini of SO Lebanon then made a speech explaining the tournament program, which included a table tennis championship and a “Youth & Schools” program involving athletes with intellectual disabilities supported by partners from school students. According to her, the aim was to educate students on the capabilities of the athletes and activate their role in the community to establish Unified Sports events.
In her speech, Al-Husseini commended the SOMENA for their efforts to lay out the 2012 agenda of activities which furnished the opportunity to host players from the Arab region, a matter which facilitated the exchange of experiences among volunteers. On Behalf of Minister Abu Faour, his representative Yasser Zebian delivered a speech in which he pointed out the SO Lebanon role in hosting the regional table tennis tournament in Lebanon. Commending the quality organization, the Minister representative stressed the ministry’s willingness to host the SOMENA Regional Games 2014 pledging to provide all necessary requirements. In a later section of the opening ceremony, SO Athlete Rami Mustafa delivered a speech welcoming all athletes and participants wishing victory for everyone.
Regional President's SpeechRegional President Ayman Abdel Wahab of SOMENA was the first to make a speech in which he highlighted the Arab, international and Lebanese presence, as he saluted the players, volunteers and partaking teams.
Addressing the President of the Lebanese University Dr. Adnan Al-Sayed Hussein with thankfulness for hosting the delegations, Abdel Wahab wished success for the students and athletes, pointing them out as the future leaders.
The torch of the Games was then lit up, as a student delivered the Special Olympics Oath "Let me win. But if I cannot win, let me be brave in the attempt."