“We are challenging the status quo state of downtown Beirut. We want to continue proclaiming the Word of God in the heart of Beirut,” exclaimed CEO and general secretary of Bible Society Lebanon, Dr. Mike Bassous.
Our shop in Downtown Beirut first opened its doors in 1935. Since then, the bookshop has had to change its location three times because of the war and other issues, till at last it settled in the current location 10 years ago.
On the 20th of May 2016, the Bible Society, along with its friends and partners composed of leaders from all Christian denominations such as Bishop Boulos Matar, Deputy/MP Dr. Bassem El-Shabb and Bible Society Chairman Amine Khoury, celebrated these long years of service with the hope of many more to come.
Our Downtown bookshop holds many memories and testimonies. Bishop George Saliba recalls, “I remember 45 years ago when I used to come to this bookshop, which was located across the street to get Bibles for my students at the monastery ... Through this organization and the likes of it, the prophecy of David comes through: ‘Yet their voice goes out into all the earth, their words to the ends of the world.’ On this basis our hope is built.”
Some would think it is ironic that we would be celebrating in the midst of the crisis that the area is going through; amid all the closed shops around us, but in the spirit of Philippians 4, one should rejoice in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving we present our requests to God.
We pray for more memories and testimonies to be recorded through our presence here. We want to see downtown Beirut come to life again, and have the Word of God be at the heart of it. As Rev. Dr. Habib Bader said, “we hold on to our presence so that we can serve, witness, love and be like salt in the world we are in.”