Ramzi Saidi, SPNL’s president has passed away on Wednesday 28th of March 2018, in Lebanon. We all owe a huge debt of gratitude to this man of few words, decisive action and unswerving commitment and his love for art and nature.
Saidi life and achievements serve to highlight the bright side of human nature. He has put his intellectual talents and his resources at the service of a noble cause: that of the conservation of nature, which is also an important way of servicing the well-being of human societies.
Saidi holds B.A, MA Economics, American University of Beirut (AUB). He is an Economist; environmentalist; translation/documentation expert; art collector, philanthropist, and citrus fruit grower. Ramzi Saidi was the managing director of SARI-Lebanon, a translation and documentation company based in Beirut, and the former vice mayor (1998-2010) of Jowaya Municipality.
Saidi was a singular man, with immense vision, passion, and dedication. Co-founder of SPNL and Lebanese Environment Forum, he was one of the pillars of nature conservation of our time. His passion for birds and biodiversity led him to create innovative mechanisms to secure the conservation of our fragile nature.
One significant endeavor in the career of Ramzi Saidi has been the creation in 1983 of the Society for the Protection of Nature in Lebanon (SPNL), one of the first environmental NGOs in Lebanon.
SPNL is the national partner for BirdLife International in Lebanon. It considers birds as entry points for the conservation of wider natural resources, as they act as key indicators of the status and health of ecosystems.
Ever since its establishment in 1986, Saidi and his colleges advocated the establishment of protected areas and initiated with the Ministry of Environment the protected areas in Lebanon.
After twenty years of experience working with nature reserves through government agencies, SPNL is now reviving and advocating the Hima community-based conservation approach that has been prevalent in the Arabic region for more than 1500 years.
Owner of the largest private collection of Lebanese art
It is said by artists and critics alike that the most important collections of art in the world are amassed not by museum committees or panels of jurors but by individuals. And moreover, that such collections tell you as much about the collector as the works of art collected.
This is certainly the case when it comes to Ramzi Saidi, the owner of what is acknowledged in the local art world as probably the country’s largest private collection of Lebanese art.
Ramzi Saidi began assembling his art collection in the early 1980s. The urge to collect art was triggered in part by the Israeli invasion of Lebanon in 1982, as well as by their concern for preserving Lebanon’s artistic heritage. One of the original objectives of the collection was to represent the main themes, aspects, and media of 20th-century art in Lebanon.
Ramzi Saidi and his wife Afaf Osseiran Saidi generously lend artworks from their collection to various cultural events, actively participating in the organization of art exhibitions in cooperation with Lebanese and foreign institutions.
Founder of Kamel and Aliya Saidi Cultural Society
Ramzi Saidi was the founder and vice-President of Kamel and Aliya Saidi Cultural Society. He was also a memebr of the executive Committee the Sanabel Association. The Kamel and Aliya Saidi Cultural Society (K&ASCS) was registered with the Ministry of Interior in Lebanon under number 217/AD on February 10, 1987. The society’s name at the time was Kamel Saidi Cultural Foundation with a head office in Jwaya, Sour (Tyre) District, South Lebanon. K&ASCS main concern was the care and well being of children including their cultural and educational development. Accordingly, the Society’s basic activities focused on developing children’s capabilities and talents. This comprised expanding children’s general
awareness and knowledge through recreational, cultural, environmental and artistic activities. Our objective is to expand their mental faculties and guide them towards fruitful and positive endeavors.
Our activities are varied: encouraging children to make full use of the library, exercising, using the children’s playground, enjoying our public garden. Other main activities include: participating in musical and theatrical performances; acting in plays; reading; drawing and coloring; engaging in handicrafts an related educational & recreational activities.