Contributed by Damien Gruson Ph.D., IFCC News Working Group
3rd of December 2005, Beirut, Lebanon. The sun is shinning, the city is awake and people seem to be happy. 15 years after the end of a horrible war and human tragedy, Lebanon is ready to continue is long history and for a one-day stop of Clinical Biology in this wonderful country.
Lebanon has a heritage almost as old as the earliest evidence of mankind. Its geographic position as a crossroads linking the Mediterranean Basin with the great Asian hinterland has conferred on it a cosmopolitan character and a multicultural legacy. Lebanon has an Arab culture colored by Western influences. At different periods of its history, Lebanon has come under the domination of foreign rulers, including Assyrians, Babylonians, Persians, Greeks, Romans, and Ottomans. Although often conquered, the Lebanese take pride in their rebellions against despotic and repressive rulers. Moreover, despite foreign domination, Lebanon's mountainous terrain has provided it with a certain protective isolation, enabling it to survive with an identity all its own. Its proximity to the sea has ensured that throughout its history Lebanon has held an important position as a trading center. This tradition of commerce began with the Phoenicians and continued through many centuries, remaining almost unaffected by foreign rule and the worst periods of internal strife.
With such history and traditions, illustrated by the emblematic cedar, Lebanon has to be a respected country. For a similar tradition in healthcare and Clinical Laboratory Medicine, Lebanon has to be considered a strategic place for healthcare exchanges.
So, this third of December, the wonderfully rebuilt city of Beirut was the host for a great day of Clinical Biology. This symposium was organized in the �H�tel-Dieu de France�, the major hospital of Beirut, and under the hospitality of the St-Jospeh University. �La journ�e de Biologie� was focused on the new biomarkers in clinical biology and an important place was give to the cardiovascular area. Indeed, in Lebanon, mortality from heart diseases is about 6000, for a global population of 3.6 million, and deaths from stroke events are 2000. Prevalence of Diabetes is 7.0%. Questions of a new early marker of acute myocardial infarction, like myeloperoxydase, and application of multimarker strategy to cardiovascular diseases were largely debated. This day attracted a national and international audience and its success is mainly due to Pr. Hermine AYDENIAN, Hotel-Dieu laboratory head chief, in collaboration with Dr. Fadi HOBEICHE, president of the national syndicate of the clinical biologists.
In conclusion, this very pleasant symposium of Clinical Biology in Beirut was a real opportunity to discover the magnificent country of Lebanon, to underscore the excellence of work and studies performed by laboratory professionals in Lebanon and to appreciate the dynamism of the national society for Clinical Biology.