Lebanon’s Agrifood Innovation Cluster, QOOT Cluster, hosted a spectacular Christmas Gathering on December 19, 2023, at the enchanting Made by Nature venue in Antelias. The event aimed to celebrate the year’s achievements, strengthen the sense of community among QOOT Cluster members, and provide a festive experience for all attendees.
The event kicked off with a warm welcome note by Mrs. Therese Maalouf, the master of the ceremony. Her introductory words set the tone for the evening, extending a gracious welcome to esteemed guests, including His Excellency Mr. Hans Peter van der Woode, Ambassador of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in Lebanon, Mr. Maroun Chammas, Chairman and CEO of Berytech, and Ms. Nadine El Khoury, QOOT Cluster Board President. Mrs. Maalouf eloquently highlighted the collaborative progress in agricultural innovation, paralleling it with the changing seasons and the bountiful harvest. She concluded with a heartfelt wish for a Merry Christmas to all.
Dr. Marc Bou Zeidan, QOOT Cluster Manager, took the stage to provide insights into the cluster’s direction for the upcoming year. Notably, he proudly presented Christmas Gift Boxes filled with products from QOOT Cluster members, symbolizing a strong sense of community involvement and camaraderie. The packaging for these gift boxes was generously contributed by Unipak The Shop, a QOOT Cluster Associate member specializing in custom packaging solutions.
Mrs. Nadine Khoury, the Cluster President, expressed deep gratitude for being part of such a vibrant community of like-minded entrepreneurs and businesspeople. She shared the famous words of Ambassador Hans Peter Van Der Woude, stating, “Once a QOOTer, forever a QOOTer.” These sentiments echoed the enduring sense of belonging and commitment within the QOOT community.
Ambassador Hans Peter Van Der Woude expressed his enthusiasm on stage, acknowledging the energy and innovation radiating from the QOOT community. He commended the cooperation, trust, and innovation demonstrated by QOOTers, expressing anticipation for the banquet and wishing everyone a great evening.
The event continued with an expert workshop on “Cheese and Wine Pairing,” delivered by Dr. Youssef El Rayes and Prof. Mireille Kallasy. This informative session added a touch of sophistication to the evening, preparing attendees for the banquet with insights on pairing wine and cheese.
“For someone who drafted the concept of an agrifood innovation cluster back in 2016, seeing this dream come true to flourish and grow makes me and Berytech really proud.”Ramy Bou Jawdeh, COO of Berytech
The event’s centerpiece was a breathtaking banquet, spanning three meters and brimming with contributions from QOOT Cluster members. Charcuterie, appetizers, main course, condiments, snacks, fruits, and vegetables adorned the table, showcasing the diverse offerings of the agrifood community. Catered and designed by Le Tablier D’Elie, the banquet was a visual and culinary delight.
In every aspect, the QOOT Cluster Christmas Gathering exemplified the spirit of collaboration, innovation, and shared success, echoing the cluster’s motto, “Together, we grow.” The event served not only as a celebration of the holiday season but also as a testament to the thriving agrifood community in Lebanon, united in its commitment to excellence and prosperity.