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Michigan Accident Attorney Joumana Kayrouz and Lebanese Officials announce plans to build Eye Center

DETROIT, Dec. 30, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Prominent Michigan Accident attorney Joumana Kayrouz and leaders of the Government of Lebanon agreed to build an eye center in Southern Lebanon that will provide health care services to disabled individuals facing eye loss and sight issues.

Kayrouz also announced that as a way to give back to her country she will open a charitable donor's fund in Lebanon called The Joumana Kayrouz and Daughters Foundation, to also honor her daughters Stephanie and Nathalie Shamma.

The announcements came during an 6-day tour of Lebanon where Kayrouz was invited to lecture to over 400 students, professors and politicians at Beirut Arab University (BAU) about her personal success and achievements in the United States, and on the role women in Lebanon can play in strengthening society.

During the tour, Kayrouz met with Randa Berri, the Second Lady of Lebanon and the wife of the Speaker of the House Nabih Berri. Also the head of the Lebanese Welfare Association for the Handicapped, Randa Berri and Joumana Kayrouz discussed their mutual concern for the plight of disabled victims, especially children.

"Randa Berri and I spent about 8 hours discussing the concerns we share to help people in Lebanon, especially those marginalized by Lebanese society and the Lebanese government. I was beyond being moved by her commitment, activism, and her ability to overcome challenges over the years to bring support to people in need," said Kayrouz.

"We seemed to share so much and I immediately identified with her commitment to those who need help."

Kayrouz was led on a tour of the disability center by Berri and saw firsthand the ongoing needs, including helping people to walk and also speak for the first time in their lives among many other circumstances. So moved by what she saw, Kayrouz immediately donated $50,000 to Berri's center.

The visit concluded with an intimate, private dinner with Berri at her and Speaker Nabih Berri's home, where they discussed the need for the eye center. Berri immediately announced the eye center would be inaugurated in the name of Joumana Kayrouz. Berri asked Kayrouz to accept an invitation to travel to Southern Lebanon to officially open its doors when completed.

Kayrouz said the Second lady of Lebanon reminisced that while she was pregnant she would deliver food and much needed supplies to people in need in Southern Lebanon during the dangerous times.

"She shared with me how bombs were exploding behind her as she was driving but she believed that God would get her through it safely because she was doing His work," said Kayrouz, who stressed that Berri was an activist long before she became the wife of a Lebanese politician.

During the trip, Kayrouz met with several high government and political leaders and gave multiple TV interviews. She also attended the inauguration of a lecture hall at BAU and was honored to offer the first lecture.

Kayrouz said she spoke with many students at the BAU about the challenges they face and one that really impressed her was the concern many of the young women had about overcoming societal limits on the role of women.

"I told them about my story overcoming the obstacles that many women face in struggling to be successful in a still male-dominated society in America and they connected immediately," Kayrouz said.

"Afterwards, the students spoke about the lack of scholarships for their education and how difficult it is for women to find jobs and break through the glass ceiling that holds women down in Arab society. They said Arab women often only rise to power when they are in partnership with prominent male figures in their lives, like a father, husband, or brother but that rising independently on their own merits is difficult."

Kayrouz said a part-time security guard at the University explained how she was holding down two other jobs just trying to survive, but wanted desperately to get a college education to advance her career.

After speaking with the woman, Kayrouz said she decided to fund her entire education for four years at the BAU.

"I told the students when I spoke that sometimes, you can't take on everything but that you could make a difference in the world by helping someone," Kayrouz said.

"Mother Theresa once said 'Never worry about numbers. Help one person at a time and always start with the person nearest you.' I believe that instead of being discouraged by the challenges, that we begin by helping someone. I told them I was Grateful to God that He has so blessed me that I am able to help some others like this student."

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