The School of Arts and Sciences at AUD has recently launched the MEST Forum, a monthly series of intellectual/scholarly activity to be held every last Tuesday of each month during the fall and the spring semesters. The first such forum focused on ‘Peace Education in Lebanon: Case Study in the University Context’ and included an academic presentation and debate.
The goal of the MEST Forum is to provide opportunities for AUD academics and visiting scholars from a range of disciplines to share their researches related to Middle Eastern and North African issues. The Forum also intends to bring together MEST scholars and AUD’s community, including staff, students and professors who are interested in Middle Eastern historical, political, economic, religious, artistic, social and cultural issues.
This first forum was led by Dr. Pamela Chrabieh Assistant Professor, Middle Eastern Studies. Dr. Chrabieh’s presentation included an introduction to the current Lebanese context in relation to war and war memory, an overview of Peace Education initiatives in Lebanon and the main characteristics of a pedagogical approach she developed and applied in her classrooms with 3000 students at St Josef University of Beirut, Notre Dame University and Holy Spirit University-USEK from 2007 till 2014. In a context of continuous physical and psychological wars and the inexistence of a common national memory, thus common history and identity, the new generations are inheriting the experience of war as still living memory, and are molding/converting this remembrance into some form of fixed historical and existential knowledge, allowing cycles of violence to be perpetuated. Peace Education plays an important role in breaking these cycles, by cultivating the knowledge and practices of a culture of peace.