Dr. Raghid Nahhas Launched His Two Translation Books at Gleebooks





Dr. Raghid Nahhas Launched His Two Translation Books at Gleebooks

By Marcelle Mansour OAM

It is with great pleasure that I was invited and attended the launch of two translation books  by Dr. Raghid Nahhas,  (Kalimat كلمات Publications) Sydney 2019. The two books of “No One Know My Name” and “The Cities”, on Friday Evening, August 30, 2019 at the Gleebooks Bookshop in Sydney.

The first book in English titled No One Knows My Name, is a new collection of Poetry by Australian Iraqi poet Khalid Al-Hilli in Arabic, that was translated by Dr. Raghid Nahhas. The second titled The Cities, is selected poems from the five poetry collections published by the Australian Lebanese poet, journalist, singer and oud player Ghassan Alameddine, and from an unpublished collection. Raghid also translated this selection into English and published it under the title ‘The Cities’. As a creative thinker, Raghid also designed the cover and the contents of the two books and included his own remarkable photography images.

Dr. Raghid Nahhas, an Australian Syrian translator, is also a writer, poet, and a photographer artist. Born to a Syrian father and a Lebanese mother, Nahhas graduated from The American University of Beirut with degrees in Biology and Marine Sciences and completed his PhD at Hull University, England. He worked intensively for many years in environmental sciences in Lebanon, Syria, England and Australia.

Nahhas has had an interest in literature and photography since childhood. He founded and edited an English-Arabic literary magazine, Kalimat (2000-2006). Nahhas is considered a professional bilingual translator, he has many translations in English and Arabic, including scientific books and literary collections of poetry and prose. In 2016, Raghid was nominated as one of Australia’s top 100 thinkers by Sophie Masson in a referendum conducted by the Sydney Morning Herald.

His most recent publication was his book titled ‘Fullmoon, Thoughts in the Time of Facebook’, that I attended its book launch event in 2018. The book contains a collection of Nahhas’ own poetry and photography.

The celebration of the book launch event was hosted by Raghid Nahhas and attended by high quality of community members and friends who appreciate such invaluable work.

Guest speakers who successfully contributed to the event, were all from various ethnic backgrounds including Some Aboriginal elders. No doubt, this signifies the true cultural diversity of Australia that embraces the cohesion of the Australian society. As Raghid stated in his own words: “The celebration was a true Australian.”

Raghid hosted the event and speakers were as follows:

*Deborah Ruiz Wall OAM, of Filipino origins and a leader in multiculturalism, social justice and reconciliation, gave a fluent launch speech.

*The talented vocalist Ghada Daher-Elmowi, of Lebanese origins, Director of the Andalus Arabic Choir, sang the famous Arabic song of Fairuz “Tellet Ya Mahla Nourha”,  (طلعت يا محلا نورها) , a tribute to the late Lebanese-Australian Poet Ghassan Alameddine.

*A message from the Australian Iraqi Melbourne based poet Khalid Al-Hilli was delivered by Raghid.

*Dr. Louise Wakeling was supposed to attend the event and to shed a great insight on Raghid’s work, apologized for some reasons prevented her from attending the event.

*Dr. Nejmeh Khalil Habib, of Palestinian origins, spoke in length about the original work of *Australian-Iraqi poet Khalid al-Hilli.

*Aman Alsayed, of Syrian origins, read some poems from the original work of her late husband Ghassan Alameddine.

*Noel O’Sullivan, of Irish origins, recited some of the translations and took the photographs of the event.

The program of speeches was finalized by the host Raghid Nahhas who gave an interesting casual speech. He spoke about his experience in publishing and translation, telling the audience some stories about his struggle in trying to find a publisher. Unfortunately, his efforts were unsuccessful for he found no publisher or organisation was interested in his work, advising him that “his book is with no commercial value.”  “… I found no publisher or organisation were interested in promoting such a book, … and that is the reality with many artists and creators who are facing such problems and are struggling to find supporters”. Raghid said.

After many years of failing, Raghid gave up trying and decided to publish his own books and put them in the main libraries to be accessible to the second generation. As a qualified translator, Raghid translated theoretical and scientific works. He has about twenty technical books and thirteen literature books including bilingual poetry and his artistic photographic images. “The main reason for translation is not about getting famous, rather “because I wanted to introduce the Arabic speaking people to the English-speaking people and vice versa.” Raghid said.

He also mentioned in his speech that he doesn’t like to spend time on translation, he ‘d rather to spend time on his own writing instead.  He primarily did it because: “I believe in the value promoting gems that are hidden and they have no one there to promote them.” Raghid stated.

According to Raghid; He selected the works of those two poets because their work conveys the sense of humanity in a very decent level, they both express powerful ideas, each in his own way. He likes in Khalid Al-Hilli that he reconciles the idea and music in a very smooth manner. Ghassan Alameddine’s work on the other hand is closer more to prose and focuses on strong ideas.

The quality of the audience attended was high, they all supported the significant event in a diverse and very multicultural atmosphere. Refreshments and drink were served before the celebration began. All contributing guest speakers were great. Mrs. Nabiha Haddara voluntarily documented the event using her mobile phone and posted several videos on YouTube. Dr. Raghid Nahhas sincerely expressed his thankfulness and gratitude to the audience.

Raghid was honoured by the presence of the Aboriginal elder and received a precious surprise from Dr Deborah Ruiz Wall OAM, who presented him with a historical photograph she took during a rally for refugees in Sydney in 2001, and the gift was delivered to him by Deborah and Aunty Beryl Van Oploo.

Congratulations to Dr. Raghid Nahhas, to the authors of the two books, and to the Australian Arabic speaking community.




SBS Arabic24’s Community Consultation




SBS Arabic24’s Community Consultation

By Marcelle Mansour OAM

As SBS Director of Audio and Language Content, Mandi Wicks encourages community consultation to develop her team’s abilities in providing radio services in many languages. Constructive effective feedback about their work is a vital part of the process.

On Tuesday the 11th of June 2019, Mandi Wicks, invited several key members of the Arabic speaking community in Australia to a consultation meeting to discuss the SBS Arabic services. The Community Consultation provided an opportunity for the Arabic speaking community in Australia to meet with SBS Radio to discuss SBS Arabic’s services, how they are delivered and what is happening in the community. What’s going well and what can be worked on?

The meeting was attended by SBS team: SBS Director of Audio and Language Content, Mandi Wicks, SBS Arabic24-Executive Producer-Sylva Mezher, SBS Community Project Manager-Frank Mathisen, SBS Content Manager-Mark Cummings, Program Manager Arabic24-Andrew Bolton. Arabic speaking community: Dr Nasseem Malouf-Senior Nutritionist/Dietitian at Prince of Wales Hospital, Layla Khatoon-Manager at the Australian Foundation for Disability and her husband Firas Naji-Community Activist and Director of the Iraqi Cultural Festival, Wafa Zaim- IWAA Sydney Branch Manager, Loubna Hammoud-IWAA and Maurice and Marcelle Mansour-Visual Artist and Writer.

Frank Mathisen hosted the event, and Sylva Mezher acknowledged the traditional custodians of the Guiringai Nation in Arabic language.

Mandy Wicks gave a brief history about the backgrounds of SBS through using a handful of slides; showing how SBS was established in 1975 to provide news and information to Australian’s increasingly diverse population. SBS radio provides services in 68 languages, and review language services every five 5 years, and make changes based on ABS Census data to ensure reflecting today’s Australia. A public consultation helps determine selection criteria which is then applied to the Census data after it reassess; taking into consideration the size, English language proficiency, recentness of arrival, aging and household resources. There are 321, 720 Australian Arabic speakers according to the 2016 Census. In the same year SBS launched a 24-hour radio service for the Arabic speaking community in Australia and has doubled its radio audience during the past three years. The radio content is being delivered on the platforms and devices audiences are increasingly using, on air, online, on DTV, website, social media, and via SBS radio APP.

Mandy asked several questions and the participants took part in general discussion through their comments and observations. Positive and negative feedback seemed to be significant for it provides powerful substantial insights, particularly when it highlights both weaknesses and strengths.

It was a great opportunity to share an honest feedback from all the participant’s thoughts and ideas that were well received. For these helpful information and constructive criticism assist to stimulate transparency, improve performance and enhance the delivered services to the community according to their needs. The information can be used to adjust and make better actions and decisions and allows to strengthen communication with others.




SBS Arabic24 Executive Producer Marie Myssy is honoured by the Hon Shoaquett Moslemane MLC at NSW Parliament






SBS Arabic24 Executive Producer Marie Myssy is honoured by the Hon Shoaquett Moslemane MLC at NSW Parliament 

By Marcelle Mansour OAM

The Hon. Shoaquett Moslemane MLC, Opposition Whip in the Legislative Council honored the SBS Arabic24 Executive Producer Marie Myssy at NSW Parliament House, Jubilee Room, on Thursday the 2nd of May 2019, in recognition of 40 years of service to Journalism.

The celebration was attended by a crowd of community activist members, Artists, Poets, friends, relatives, and media representatives: Editor-in-Chief of Al-Nahar Australian Newspaper-Anwar Harb AM, Australian Maronite Community Network’s President (AMCN) Ghassan Awit, SBS Program Manager-Andrew Bolton, representing SBS, together with SBS broadcasters Heba Kassoua and Stephanie Andary, Journalist Akram El Mogawish, Dr Rosemary Suliman and Adele Nouh from Mirath in Mind, George Myssy, Mark Algie, Director at RM Gregory PromoPrint-Hassan Moussa, Artist-Joe Mezher, Anthony Mezher and his wife, Marcelle & Maurice Mansour and the Senior Advisor of Sen. Moslemane office-Louay Mustapha.

The ceremony was emceed by the former SBS journalist of Arabic program, Saleh Al-Saqqaf. And the speakers were: Sen Shoaquett Moslemane MLC, Majida Abboud Saab, Sylva Mezher, Chadia Gedeon-Hajjar, and Marie Myssy.

Sen. Moslemane spoke about the reasons for the establishment of the Multicultural and Indigenous Media Awards since 2012, which he holds annually in the NSW Parliament to honour its recipients in the field of journalism. He congratulated Marie Myssy on her outstanding achievements and expressed his pleasure to accept this honor.

Majida Abboud Saab, the former Executive Producer of Arabic programs at SBS, praised Marie Myssy for her remarkable achievements since she began working with her as a presenter in 1980 when there were only 8 ethnic languages ​​in Sydney and 9 in Melbourne. Marie was able to maintain her career seriously and work diligently with perseverance. She covered many issues in the Middle East, interviewed prominent personalities, bridged the gap between generations, and played an active role in the development of Arabic programs. Marie also demonstrated her superior skill in facing challenges and showed her leadership abilities as the Executive Producer for the Arabic program with confidence and success.

Sylva Mezher, who was officially appointed as “SBS Arabic24” current Executive Producer, talked about her enjoyable career and friendship with Marie Myssy for twenty years, and her gratitude for the opportunities offered by SBS.

Chadia Gedeon-Hajjar, Journalist, Educator and Founder Mirath in Mind, spoke about cultural assimilation and adapting to the Australian multicultural society.

Marie Myssy, the recently retired SBS Arabic24 Executive Producer gave a significant inspirational speech. She talked about her biography since her departure from Beirut, Lebanon, where she was born, and her arrival to Sydney Australia in1975. She joined SBS in1980 and made considerable achievements in her professional career throughout the years, developing from a part-time contributor to an executive producer. Throughout the years, Marie was able to face the challenges and overcome the problems she met to achieve success in her enjoyable career that she loved despite the difficulties she faced mainly as a compassionate devoted mother and wife. Therefore, Marie urged women who have a hard career not to feel guilty and she called working mother to always needs the constant support of her husband and partner to be able to balance between motherhood and career success. Marie thanked her husband Mr. George Myssy for his presence and constant support, and she also thanked all her friends and relatives for their love and appreciation.

Sen. Moslemane congratulated Marie Myssy and presented, her a certificate of appreciation for her services in journalism for four consecutive decades. Then she was presented by the artist and painter Marcelle Mansour – writer of these lines – a personalized meaningful gift of her artwork on canvas and poem that she wrote on her retirement.

Congratulations to the highly regarded Australian Lebanese woman Marie Myssy on receiving her honour wishing her health and happiness for the beginning of a new life journey.






Sharing memorable moments with Sylva Mezher and Marie Myssy at Two Brothers Mediterranean






Sharing memorable moments with Sylva Mezher and Marie Myssy at Two Brothers Mediterranean

By Marcelle Mansour OAM

El-Khoury’s family organized friend gatherings on Saturday evening, 13 April 2019, at Two Brothers Mediterranean restaurant to congratulate both Sylva Mezher and Marie Myssy.  The occasion was made to celebrate Sylva Mezher’s new appointment as the new Executive Producer of SBS Arabic 24 who takes over the position from Marie Myssy who served SBS Arabic for almost four decades. The friends who attended were fantastic in sharing a lot of thoughtfulness and happiness. Friendly speeches were spontaneously made, followed by music songs and dance. The poet Fouad Neeman El-Khoury recited two beautiful short poems to both Sylva and Marie. The food was delicious with an excellent service. The occasion also coincided with the birthday of  Yves El-Khoury who in turn with Leila thanked all friends who made an effort to share the memorable moments that meant a great deal. Wishing Marie Myssy happy retirement and Sylva Mezher a new start with a very successful career.


Fouad Neeman El-Khoury Launched his New Poetry Book “O Keeper of the Flame”





Fouad Naaman El-Khoury Launched his New Poetry Book “O Keeper of the Flame”

By Marcelle Mansour OAM

The poet Fouad Naaman al-Khoury launched his new poetry book titled at a ceremony, Bankstown library, Bryan Brown Theatre, Bankstown on Wednesday, 10 April 2019. The new book is in Arabic titled “يا حارس الجمرة “, meaning in English “O Keeper of the Flame”.

At the City of Canterbury Bankstown Council, Sydney’s south-western suburbs, the literary event was attended by the Regional President of World Lebanese Cultural Union (WLCU) – Michel Douweihi, Vice President of the Maronite Catholic Society- Sarkis Karam, the visiting Reverend Fr Jean Jabbour from the Lebanese Maronite Order (LMO), Representatives of “Free Patriotic Movement”, ‘Future Movement“, “Lebanese Forces Party”, “Marada Movement”, Liberal Democrats Party”, “Independence Movement”, and activists and a crowd of the community members.

After both national Australian and Lebanese anthems, Dr. Emad Berro gave a speech on behalf of the Friends Committee, Farah Assafiri performed the MC of the event, The Visual Artist, Writer and the book cover designer of the new book-Marcelle Mansour gave literary analysis speech about Fouad Neeman El-Khoury’s Poetry describing the relationship that provided the common grounds between the image of her artwork titled “Elevation” on his book cover and his poem of  “O Keeper of the Flame.”

“Featured Poets; Albert Wehbe, George Mansour, and Seyed Mikhail read their own poems aloud. The speakers praised the admirable quality work of Fouad Neeman El-Khoury as a great poet, and his pioneering role in the poetry of the Contemporary Lebanese Dialect school like Said Akl, Morris Awad, Yunis Ibn, and Al-Rahbani.

The Celebration ended with the performance of the poet El-Khoury who recited some of his new and old poems and thanked all those who contributed to the success of the literary event celebration. Afterward, the audience enjoyed the moments of cutting the cake with the poet and socializing.

I had the honor to participate in a literary speech at the book launch, and to have the image of my artwork published on the book cover. Congratulations to the poet Fouad Neeman El-Khoury for launching his new poetry book “O Keeper of the Flame”, and best wishes for more success.


Theresa Taouk age 19 won Miss Lebanon Immigrant Australia 2019





Theresa Taouk age 19 won Miss Lebanon Immigrant Australia 2019

by Marcelle Mansour OAM

Congratulations to Theresa Taouk, age 19, for winning the title of Miss Lebanon Immigrant Australia 2019, to the first runner up Cyrelle Balian age 23, and the second runner up Taylor Shalala age 21.

A grand celebration of the Al Mustaqbal (Future) newspaper was held last night on Sunday 7th April 2019 at the Dolton House Jones Bay Wharf, Pyrmont, Sydney, attended by a huge mass of audiences of Lebanese and Arab communities in Australia, and many major sponsors, and supporters

Joe Khoury OAM, the publisher and the Editor, Editor-in-Chief of the newspaper has been proudly presenting the Miss Lebanon Australia Beauty Contest for the last nineteen years, as an important part of the culture of Lebanese Australian beauty.

Seven contestants from Australian Lebanese background were awarded the titles as follows: Cyrelle Ballan age 23 – Miss Model, Elissa Geagea age 20 – Miss Confidence, Rebecca Elbayeh age 27 – Miss Photogenic, Taylor Shalala age 21 – Miss Elegance, Renette Nassim age 26 – Miss Congeniality, Khayla Sweid age18– Miss Friendship, Theressa Taouk age19 – Miss Swimwear.

The ceremony began with the Australian and Lebanese anthem.  Suzan Hourany – the Sawtelghad Radio Broadcaster- effectively performed the MC of the event. The program included speeches, entertainers and singers, and the event was of great success as usual.

Congratulations to all the hard-working team including Joe Khoury OAM – the director of Miss Lebanon Australia, and  Moni Gabrielle – the event’s head of beauty who has been working hard for many years to meet a big challenge for every year to come.