In an old heritage house in the center of the old city of Byblos, the “International Center for Human Sciences”, which is unique in the world, is located on a property that was provided by the Ministry of Culture – General Directorate of Antiquities. It took the Center 27 years to see the light, and here it is today in the heart of historical Byblos, overlooking the archeological area that witnessed seven consecutive civilizations, over 7 thousand years. It has regained its leading role in the embrace of scientists, researchers and academics in various scientific and cultural fields, to be the launching point for an international network through which a dialogue between research centers and universities in the world can be achieved, and to work on the exchange of experiences, the publication of studies, holding international forums, and to put Lebanon on the world cultural map.
- 1955: Maurice Gemayel suggested establishing the “International Center for Human Sciences” in Byblos.
- 26 April 1970: The Council of Ministers approved the project .
- 5 November 1973: The Executive Council of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) issued the Resolution No.(93EX/4.5.3) under which the International Convention between Minister of National Education and Fine Arts, Edmond Rizk and the Organization Director-General, René Maheu was signed. But the events that took place in Lebanon in 1975 prevented the implementation of the project.
- 13 – 14 February 1992: UNESCO held an international conference in Paris to re-launch the project and to establish the Center.
- July 1995: During his official visit to Lebanon, the Director-General of UNESCO, Federico Mayor, signed a “declaration of intent” with the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Fares Boueiz, regarding the establishment of the Center, which regained the outline and the basic orientations contained in the 1973 Convention, and confirmed them.
- 1996: A project for a new Convention between the Lebanese government and UNESCO was prepared, and the Organization’s Executive Council authorized the Director-General to sign it under the Resolution No. (151EX/Dec.9.10)
- 16 June 1997: The Lebanese government approved the terms of the Convention, and UNESCO named Dr. Yoro Fall (Senegal) as Director of the Center, to benefit from the Organization financial and cultural support.
- 4 March 1998: The official signing was made in Beirut, between the Minister of Foreign Affairs Fares Boueiz, and the UNESCO Director-General Federico Mayor.
- 22 February 1999: The Lebanese Parliament issued law No. 27, which authorizes the Lebanese government to ratify the Convention.
- 25 October 2000: Decree No. 4266 was issued, regarding the application of the Convention that was signed between the Lebanese government and UNESCO; the Center was to be developed under the tutelage of the Ministry of Culture. Professor Theodor Hanf (Germany) was appointed as Director of the Center.
- 24 April 2007: The Director-General of UNESCO, Koïtchiro Matsuura, signed the new Convention, which ranked the “International Center for Human Sciences” in the second category, and now it is working under the auspices of UNESCO.
- 3 May 2007: The Minister of Culture, Tarek Metri, signed the new Convention.
- 17 August 2011: Lebanese Parliament issued law No. 135, which authorizes the government to ratify a Convention between the Lebanese government and UNESCO on the Center.
- 2012: The Board of Directors of the Center was formed, after consecutive correspondence between the Minister of Culture, Gaby Layoun and the Director-General of UNESCO, Irina Bokova.
- 8 – 9 February 2013: At the invitation of the Minister of Culture, Gaby Layoun, the first meeting of the Board of Directors was held, to develop the basic principles and the new strategic directions for the work of the Center and its activities.
- 23 April 2013: The Board of Directors appointed Dr. Adonis Al Akra as Director of the Center, and he started work on the first of May 2013.