Outlook Newspaper The American University of Beirut
Vol. XLII, No. 15 |Tuesday, February 23, 2010 | The Independent Student Publication Since 1949
Amro Moussa talks to AUB students and Faculty about the Middle East Outlook Editorial Board in colaboration with Mohammad Medawar
here is a serious lack of security in the Middle East, said the Arab League Secretary-General Amre Moussa on Thursday at the American University of Beirut. Moussa gave a lecture entitled “The Situation in the Middle East: A Vision for the Future,” as part of the Issam Fares Institute’s Bill and Sally Hambrecht Distinguished Peacemakers Lectures on Thursday, February 18 before a full house at the Charles Hostler Center. “In my opinion,” stated Moussa, “the Arab system did not totally fail, but it fell short of attaining several of its essential goals. If I were to use your universities grading system, I would give our performance between Cand D.” “This situation has indeed caused the failures in the Arab system and therefore
Photo Outlook Staff
the inability to make a real quantum leap into the future,” he said. Moussa stated that the older generation feels the bitterness for the opportunities
they have been wasting for years. “Let me not bring you back to World War II and its aftermath and how we handled the world in the second half of the twentieth centu-
ry,” he said, “instead let me talk about the cold war and its aftermath. In both situations however, the Arab World paid a heavy bill in many ways.”
According to Moussa, the Arab World was always manipulated as a tool by superpowers. “When the Cold War came to an end, the whole world was changing, but the Arabs were not.” “We did not put the necessary emphasis on education as the real tool to achieve that goal. Not only that, while the world was bracing itself for the new era, we were shocked by the invasion of Kuwait by Iraq, which put the Arab system to a real and serious existential threat, and kept us busy with the crisis and its lingering implications,” said Moussa. The Arab world in apparent disarray as Iraq continues to suffer from bitter divisions, instead of enjoying the fruits of renovation, he said. Sudan under a possible threat Continued on page 4
Meet your new VP
Finally, a better GPA system
Fouad Badaoui Staff Writer
Richard Aoun FEA SRC President
lias Ghanem was elected Vice President (VP) of the University Student Faculty Committee (USFC) on Thursday, January 14. He is a Business senior who enjoys swimming and football and intends to create an “active and efficient” USFC in order to “recap” its reputation after what he considers to be a failed 08-09 USFC year. He expects his new position will
Editorial & Opinion Campus News Arts & Culture USFC News Letter
be “fun” and awaits a strong cooperation between students and the USFC in order to “use our power to the max.” To him, the USFC was created in order to “better service students and improve their campus life” and that includes a more efficient funding for student events. Ghanem says he has been involved in activities relating to “student matters and conContinued on page 5
2-3 4-8 Letter to the Editor 12-13 9-10 Entertainment 14-15 11 Out of The Box 16
cumulative Grade Point Average (GPA) is calculated as an indicator of overall academic performance in a program and is used as a criterion for graduation requirements, for honors graduation or other academic distinctions, and for determining academic standing during study in a program. There are obviously problems concern-
CES CES Ski Trip
ing the GPA issue at the American University of Beirut, with the majority of students being aware of it. The attention towards this subject began on Monday, January 8, 2001, when the “ Sons of Life (Abna’a Al Hayat) had planned to walk around campus wearing sandwich boards to promote the GPA deflation campaign” (Outlook Volume XXV, Issue 2 Thursday January 18, 2001). In fact, two major problems
Bliss Street, West Hall 208 tel: 01 350 000 ext.3193
ULYP Unite Lebanon Youth Project
appear when tackling the issue: - The non-adoption of the standard Grade Point Average (GPA) for academic evaluation. - The more or less unfair conversion from percentage grades to GPA better known as “GPA deflation” (JosephPatrick Dib’s report to the FEA SRC, 29/3/01) As a solution to this problem, Continued on page 5
Movie Review Up in the Air
Editorial & Opinion Editorial Who’s your real enemy, popo?
Mohamad Yahia Hamade Editor-in-Chief “Just loosen up, it’s not like we’re going to be arrested, Yahia.” That was what my friend told me just minutes before armed gunmen drew their automatic rifles at us a week ago. Without any identifying themselves as offices of the law, the gunmen dressed in navy blue fatigues wasted no time and asked for my license and registration. At the beginning, I refused to comply, as they had not produced any identification. However, I decided to play along since my friend was cowering in terror with automatic assault rifles pointing towards us. Apparently, we were parked in a “military zone” which ironically looked like a junkyard. A heavily guarded junkyard. Why I was there is irrelevant. What is important however, is how the police treated lawabiding Lebanese citizens. I am aware that everyone has their stories with the henchmen, excuse me I mean police. Whatever encounters you might have had, I am sure it made you lose your faith in the Lebanese law enforcement agencies. Don’t get me wrong – I am not saying that all the police force is messed up and acts like a renegade henchmen, it is just a minority that corrupts the whole image. I realize that what I am writing
might offend most people, but hey it is a (sort of) free country. My story does not end there. During the same night, the army also pulled their assault rifles on us. Also for parking in a “military zone.” Strangely enough, all military zones in Lebanon look like junkyards. However I digress. You might be wondering what is the point behind this rant-like editorial. Well, honestly speaking, this is just a rant since I cannot shout at the people that “protect” the country; I decided I would do that here. The second reason is that I had another editorial in mind but it was not fit for print – it was politically incorrect. Do not get me wrong, I have always been a fan of the armed forces, just not the Lebanese ones. I am embarrassed by it. All they do is hit on girls and drift using tax-payer bought cars. I am still waiting for someone to explain to me how having gung-ho hooligans driving around doing nothing constitutes serving and protecting the public. Until then, I’ll be avoiding getting confused for an enemy of the state. Maybe by the time the armed forces know the real enemy, they would probably be non-existent by then.
One size does not fit all—Dare to differ
I have spent the last three years or so working to establish my own “connoisseur” list of music. It was definitely worthwhile, though anything but easy. Mission 1 accomplished. I don’t know why I feel the way I do but I find it highly rewarding to stumble upon cool bands that no one (to my knowledge) has ever listened to, let alone heard of, and “share” it with someone else, only to find that this someone has shared them with another person and, voila, you got yourself something similar to a music food-chain. For me, the moment someone
goes like “who sings that?” is the moment when I can say, “mission 2 accomplished.” I mean how many of you heard of Sondre Lerche? Not many I bet, if any. Try googling them! Bam—see what I just did? I sparked some curiosity in you. Didn’t I? From there on, whether you will seriously give this band a try or not is solely up to you. It’s sad, but is as every bit true: Lady Gaga has been topping the charts everywhere with her evermore “pathetic” excuse for a song. Then, there’s this new trance wave that’s piling up queues of fans like crazy. I just don’t get it— the whole trance-isthe-coolest-thing-in-town reply. Puh-leez, are you serious? Hello, tone deaf, but, in my opinion, monotonous head splinters that keep on going for hours and hours, to the point where you’d think your music player got stuck on replay is NOT my definition of music. The cherry on
top comes in the form of MTV rap. Hello again, but last time I checked, rap was all about using rhyming lyrics to express life conditions. To me, plain MTV commercial rap sounds more like anything but “rap.” If you want to have a taste of what real rap is all about, try listening to Tupac and Nas. Mission 3 accomplished! Whenever I watch apparently trance-addicts/drunk party-goers make their way through the crowd with their so called “trance-moves,” or 50 Cent-wannabes rapping about bling bling, drugs, chicks, and booze, I cannot but ask myself: where did all the good music go? Down the drain, I assume. Maybe, or maybe not. But one thing’s for sure: it’s out there alright! It’s only a matter of time before you stumble upon one “good” song soon, and then the rest will follow. I rest my case.
Simon Barakat Stuck in traffic
Why did I wake up at eight thirty when my alarm was set at seven? Here I am, in the taxi, grateful for having put my pants in the right order. I ask the driver about the traffic load, insisting that I am late and his constant optimism meets with failure, as we now wait for hundreds of cars in front of us to move one meter, another meter, and another…. This country, like any other, has its flaws and the driver would gladly list them for you. From the cable guy to the valet services, he categorizes all of them as thieves; I smile back. It is true that living comfortably in Lebanon requires a considerable fortune and for some to respect you, money is all you need. Materialism has reached shocking heights; I am not saying wearing Gucci sunglasses is a crime but being refused a visit to the doctor because your temporary broke, that’s a crime. To my right, a bus vomits black smoke as the large vehicle suddenly stops, almost causing a collision. Pollution, cancer…who cares! It will take some time for Lebanon to meet those higher standards other countries have already reached. I am not being a pessimist as this is real and is affecting every single one of you. Finally, the road clears a little bit and in a matter of minutes, we reach downtown Beirut, the heart that never stops beating. Above me rests the famous White, to my right Skybar appears, and to my left Gemayze is empty, ironically. When it comes to night life we are ranked amongst the top party cities of the world and, yes, this is something to be proud of. A couple of kilometers and I reach AUB, my home for the past four years. They say that university years are the best and I agree, to a certain extent. Every period of your life can be the best when you enjoy the moment, when you do what is required, and when you do it with love; don’t worry about the future at this point, it’ll come. AUB can be unfair sometimes, specifically referring to the registration process, but life isn’t either. This university taught me more than education around books; it enforced values in my mind, some that I’ll surely need in the real world. From freshman year to this point, I continue to meet great people, some that have become like brothers and sisters to me. I have been taught by teachers whom I deeply respect. Some have inspired me and I am proud to say it. When it comes to education, I have a long road ahead, but for now, I’ll enjoy the moment, and for those who know me, yes that means more moonwalking, sorry!
Editorial & Opinion Op-Ed
Emile Zankoul The RAISE factor
Finals are finally done and all grades are out; every AUB student supposedly already knows his grades and his
overall GPA for the Fall 0910 semester. Something that cannot be missed in this process is the raise factor. The true purpose of the raise is the following: in case of an unexpected low average, extra grades are occasionally granted to each student. Here at AUB, the definition stands, except for a couple of words that have been removed: “unexpected” and “occasionally.” As a sophomore, when I first enrolled in this university, I had never heard about that raise. I still remember the first time my innocent mind was manipulated. Back then I’d been told, “Math 201? Don’t worry! All you have to do is get a grade higher than the class average and you’re safe. Last year I got 58 on the final, I ended up passing the course with
an 89!” My poor mind quickly became acquainted with this raise factor, so I said to myself, “Hmm, this semester is going to be easy with that raise thing!” Later, I found that this subject could take place in any type of conversations, being a joker to express every feeling. For instance, it could be used as a way to relieve someone. Before entering the exam room, a real friend would cheer you up with such nice words, “Don’t worry, surely there will be a raise, just do your best!” It could also be used as an excuse as follows: “I didn’t study because my teacher is known for his raise!” It may be a tool used to brag with, adopting a heroic tone, “You won’t believe it! My grade was 22, now it’s 47!” One last example, although the
list could keep going forever, the regretting tone, “I failed the course! I was expecting a raise of 10; he only raised it by 4 points.” As a student, I consider the raise as a double edged sword. It could either be great, elevating your grade to numbers you never expected seeing when you first took your quizzes, but it could also be seen as a traitor, expecting it to help and ending up stabbing us in the back. It deserves this attention because to some (especially engineers), it is a vital issue where they proclaim “my life depends on the raise!” Now as an external observer, I could only consider this raise factor as a problem. In fact, it could only mean two things: either the instructors give exams that are too
hard to be well completed by students, or that the students neglect their duties by not preparing enough the material they have to know, probably lowering their standards prejudiced by the raise. Anyone who would take a look at the library being full 13 hours a day would put away the 2nd hypothesis. So maybe the professors should make their exams a bit easier, or the library should be open for more than 13 hours a day. Until then, our lives will remain under the control of the RAISE factor.
Heather Jaber “Shou jebik la hon?”
Anyone who drives in Lebanon knows how difficult it is to reach one’s destination safely and within an efficient time. Amidst all the traffic and honking, one will undoubtedly meet a variety of angry personalities and get a little lost along the way. I recall once coming home from AUB and taking a bridge I believed to be the correct route. It was my first week driving in the country so I was a little lost to begin
with. After about 20 minutes of driving in the wrong direction, I realized that I was, in fact, driving in the wrong direction. I came upon a rather frightening and narrow stretch of streets and buildings. I slowed down in what was perhaps the scariest part of Lebanon I’ve been in yet. I asked an innocent looking old man which direction the airport was in and he looked at me with wide eyes and responded with my favorite question, “oufff! Shou jebik la hon?! (translated roughly: oufff! What brought you here?!)” This would have been a little funny and not at all annoying if I didn’t receive the same reaction from every other person I asked for directions. What brought me here? My
car brought me here, guys. Now please tell me in which direction my home is without further bruising my ego. Another thing I’ve noticed is that the traffic controllers and policemen are either very stressed or very relaxed individuals. I’ve seen some standing idly on the side of the road as people try to drive on top of each other through intersections and others yelling and turning so red I fear a heart attack approaching. One time, I made a small mistake and hit the gas pedal a little too soon, tapping into one particularly angry police man. He turned around, slammed his hands on the hood of my car, and got ready to scream. When he saw my scared, innocent face- a face I’ve learned to put on in such
situations, he immediately relaxed, smiled, and asked if I could drive him to the hospital to tend to his injuries. I highly recommend looking scared and innocent at angry policemen. This is not to say that there aren’t helpful people in the streets of Lebanon. I can also recall a time I was lost in Borj Al Barajne with my mom, a place where no one should ever get lost. I felt like I was in the small streets of the movie Aladdin and I could never see over the buildings as I tried to find my way out. At the point where my poor mother was about to cry of frustration, we came upon a friendly looking man and asked him how to get out of this place. He began to talk, and when he realized we were not
catching much of these complicated turns with our limited Arabic, he looked around and grabbed a man from the side-walk. After conversing with him for a few minutes, he brought him to us and said simply, “Mostafa will lead you.” I still do not know to this day if the man knew Mostafa, or if they had just met, but sure enough, Mostafa led us out of there, carrying two other men on the back of his motorcycle. There are lots of colorful characters around this country, some more helpful than others. I only hope that you always encounter a kind Mostafa and rarely a “shou jebik la hon?”
Campus News Amro Moussa in AUB Continued from page 1 of partition, Yemen is suffering for turmoil, Palestine is in distress, and according to Moussa, Lebanon might seem calm and progressing, but is in fact a victim. “Nobody in his right mind, would have thought that the Palestinian political scene would reach such a level of irresponsibility,” he said, “this is only one side of the serious challenges the Arab world is currently facing.” “May the wall of shame and accomplice governments fall,” yelled out two students that brusquely interrupted Moussa while discussing the Palestinian issue. The crowd erupted in cheer and claps echoed in the full auditorium. One of the students continued to rebuke Moussa. “Our words are hollow while the people of Palestine die every single day, your words is hollow, your words is hollow,” said the student. “You represent every single complicit Arab regimen that is responsible for the death of every single Palestinian child,” he said. Moussa calmly replied as the crowd was erupting. “I agree with what they said about Gaza and Palestine and that we have to step further and that many of us have the same views as to the Israeli occupation which we need and we are currently work-
ing to get rid off.” “This is all talk, we need action,” exclaimed another student while other students raised their banners. “Of course we do need action, that’s what we are lacking,” replied Moussa, who was still unruffled. “We have to acknowledge that sad reality in order for us to be able to effectively deal with it and rise to the challenge and prove our capacity to change, our determination to move forward, and our credentials to claim a seat as partners in the world’s stage,” he said. There are four regional players in the Middle East: the Arab World, Turkey, Iran, and Israel. The Arab World is currently a handicapped player, said Moussa. Moussa flattered the Turks warmly and commended their intelligent policies and cautious diplomacy. However, he did not show such flattery towards the Iranians. “Iran on the other hand is an active player also, but a rough operator with its tough policy and sometimes intriguing diplomacy,” said Moussa bitterly. Isreal is missing a valuable opportunity to join the Middle East family of nations, said Moussa. He continued by stating that if Israel continues to obstruct and procrastinate it will continue
to be a pariah in the Middle East. “It is a simple rule, either to accept to make peace with the Arabs in accordance with the internationally recognized terms of reference, or stay on the far periphery of the Middle East with no regional role to play or a possibility to get a seat at the Middle Eastern table,” he said. “Let me get back to the other 2 Middle Eastern powers: Turkey and Iran,” Moussa continued. “I am entertaining the thought that turkey should be invited to enjoy a special relationship with the Arab League under a new system that would be devised and which I intend to suggest in the near future.” “As for Iran, I wish we continue to give it a fair chance and the benefit of doubt,” he said. Moussa said that good policy requires a formal dialogue between the Arab Leauge and Iran. The Arab League would be represented by Moussa and other members worried that Iran affects security. “We are also worried about the Nuclear situation and the state of regional security,” exclaimed Moussa. “We are also concerned that the dispute between Shia and Sunni would get out of hand or be used to attain political goals.” “Iran may have its concerned end perhaps complain too.
But Iran should not be categorically considered as our enemy,” he said. During the end of his speech, Moussa gave a brief geography lesson to the audience. He stated that all Arabs share a common history with and that there is no chance that neither the Arabs no Iran would move out of the region. “We are neighbors and will remain neighbors till the end of history if history ever ends,” he said. “We have to think twice before approving a path that would usher in an era of chaos and turbulence in our neighborhood.” Moussa acknowledged Iran’s right as a signatory of the nonproliferation treaty to enjoy all the benefits allowed by the treaty in field of peaceful use of economic energy as a result of nuclear research. However, he strongly opposed Iran’s right to develop any and all military program in the nuclear filed. “The most cautious way is to declare the Middle East a region free from nuclear weapons under international provisioned should include Iran and Israel and indeed all the countries of the region,” he said. “Nuclear weapons have been introduced to the Middle East,” said Moussa. A potential arms race in the region is anticipated to follow. How-
ever, according to Moussa, it is not only nuclear weapons, but also other weapons of mass destruction and their delivering systems. There are also the military occupation threats of terrorism, and several other risks. There is a serious lack of security in the Middle East. Moussa advised Arabs to think of establishing a regional security system. “Arab consultations on such a system should have started by now,” he said. “We have to agree among ourselves on it principles parameters requirements structure and substance.” “Turkey should be consulted and involved at an early stage, followed by Iran after it allows an Arab Iranian dialogue,” he said. “Israel should be involved only after a viable serious process of establishing the Palestinian state and the evacuation of occupied Arab territories put on track,” he said. Moussa hopes to resolve the Arab-Israeli conflict, with a Middle East that reaches the limit in a comprehensive process of negotiation. According to Moussa, this will eventually open the door for establishing a zone free of nuclear weapons, weapons of mass destruction, and in particular their delivery systems.
Where is AUB’s School Spirit?
Campus News One-on-One with Elias Ghanem Continued from page 1 cerns” since school and has shown interest in the VPship starting in his sophomore year at AUB. Stickers distributed on the day of Ghanem’s election had the Social Club’s logo on them. When asked if he considered his position a political victory, Ghanem replied, it was a “combination of finding the person who can do an efficient job and a political victory- a combination of the right person at the right place although, probably, I do have a political opinion and believe everyone should have one too.” One of the most significant engagements of Ghanem’s platform, entitled “Student Platform,” because he believes it came from the students, is about amending USFC and Student Representative Committee (SRC) bylaws. “The highest authorities that govern student activities and student elections in AUB are the bylaws, however they are very brief and do not answer all concerns that students face.” As an
example, he described a situation where much confusion has arisen, if an SRC member would leave prior to cabinet or UFSC elections. In this case, according to him, the bylaws aren’t clear whether that seat should remain vacant during the elections or a second round of SRC elections should take place. This situation is not hypothetical and had actually occurred on Ghanem’s own turf one day before his election, when an OSB student resigned from the SRC. Ghanem wants to clarify these issues to achieve “a fair representation of the students” by using Robert’s Rules of Order, a guide book used by many organizations and committees. Another bullet point on the platform that deserves attention is the one that addresses the tuition fees, bound to attract skepticism. Yet, Ghanem feels confident that, trough intensive lobbying, he will be able to maintain a fixed price for each student, the same one they paid for their first semester
at AUB. He gave the example of the AUB Catalog: when something about a program changes, the alterations do not affect students already in it, just those about to get in. Similarly, Ghanem considers it unfair that returning students should pay the increase every semester. Ghanem also vows to continue several traditions, like student funding for projects and events and “integrating student faculty outreach activities in our community.” He assures that he will also join the campus-wide efforts to improve the quality of printers and computers, as well as to encourage the presence of official, efficient food services facilities on campus. On a final note, Ghanem has the following message to the AUB community, “All matters of the students are my concern.” Ghanem said the USFC belongs to all AUB students, regardless of nationality, and he encourages students to email him with any suggestions or complaints they may have.
Photo Outlook Staff
The Dream of Grade Conversion Has Come True Continued from page 1 AUB has taken a very good step towards correcting the unfairness due to “GPA deflation” by appending a sheet to a student’s transcript relating, realistically, the GPA grades and the percentage grades adopted by AUB. The issue, however, faded away, until November 2009, when the FEA SRCs decided to work on this issue, as it is really affecting the students negatively. The problem was stated during the Town Meeting held with Dean Hajj and prepared by Mrs Nadia Moufarrej on November 19, 2009. Dean Hajj was convinced of
this problem,and its effects on students presenting to any internships or job opportunity outside and he subsequently promised to work on it. In parallel, when the issue was addressed to President Dorman, who was really helpful, he replied that this issue was intensely discussed by the Board of Deans, thanks to Dean Hajj, and he advised us to address the issue to Provost Ahmad Dallal. Effectively, we addressed it, along with other academic issues, to the provost, who was infinitely helpful and understanding and
promised that this subject will be finalized soon. The plan was approved by everyone and we are only awaiting the signature of the trustees of AUB which will be a positive point, helping us to apply this program in the entirety of AUB. This plan is beneficial to all the students, whatever GPA they have, and will be effective after approval. Just to note. each GPA will be converted from 100 to over 4, according to a complex formula and each student will get the grade they deserve. Finally, we have to thank everyone who contributed to
the realization of the grade conversion: President Dorman, Provost Dallal, who took the decision to solve this problem and created an alternative plan, Dean Hajj, the Board of Deans, Mrs Nadia Moufarrej, who really had a major role by organizing the town meeting, as well as following up with Dean Hajj on all the details of the issue. We also would like to thank all the SRCs and students that have worked for this since 2001, all the FEA student representatives of the academic years 20092010, who gave their full support and were ready for
any help. Once more, AUB has shown open-mindedness toward any problem concerning its students. References: http://staff.aub.edu. lb/~weboutl/archive_vault/ gpa.htm http://staff.aub.edu. lb/~webfea/src/GPA.html
CES hosts ski trip marking the end of Fall 09-10
Emile Zankoul Staff Writer
fter the stressing and tiring Fall 09-10 finals had passed, AUB students were given the chance to enjoy a ski trip to Faraya organized by the Civil Engineering Society (CES). All the students were welcome, whether they were studying at AUB or not. The trip’s ticket-sale started in January and the trip was planned to take place between February 9 and 10 . Over 80 tickets were sold, costing $60 for the CES members and $70 for the others. On Tuesday, February 9, those attending had to gather in front of AUB’s Hostler gate at 2:00 pm, where two big buses heading to Faraya awaited. A second stop, before the final destination, was in front of ABC Dbayeh because it was a more convenient spot for some of the more students who wanted to join in. At around 4:00 pm, the two buses had finally reached Mount Smash Hotel, where students settled and placed their bags in their assigned rooms, which were of various sizes, as they could hold between four to twenty-four people. Dinner was
planned to start at 8 which allowed everyone to enjoy plenty of activities with the free time. The hotel, in fact, contains many diverse rooms: a lounge, a gym, a games-room, a heated pool, and saunas. Some played ping-pong, billiard, or baby-foot, some preferred to watch a movie on the hotel’s big screen, others played cards, and others just sat with their friends. After dinner ended, the party started. Students danced to the beats of the DJ as drinks were made available at the hotel’s bar. Despite the fact that an early awakening was scheduled for the next day, sleeping early was not an option, as the party would not end until a late hour. The next day, fortunately, most students managed to wake up on time to have breakfast and to get dressed between 8 and 9 am. Following that, everybody took the bus to go to where the ski and snowboarding equipment were being rented. Once all were well equipped, the bus headed to the slopes where the students spent their time skiing, snowboarding, and
having fun, having agreed to meet back at 2:30 pm. At 3:00 pm, all of the students climbed up the bus which transported them back to the hotel where they had to pack their bags. Lunch, consisting of pasta, meat and rice, and a salad, was ready and served at 4:00 pm. Once everyone was well fed, it was
time to go back home. The first bus was filled with the seniors and graduates, while the second held sophomores and juniors. Both buses took the students back to AUB, which was the last stop of the CES ski-trip. The trip was incident-free and was mainly a success, which compelled the CES to
promise the students a similar trip next year that would be even more successful, as it was the first time that the Civil Engineering Society undertook such an event.
Book exchange maintains academic integrity Rawan Abu Salman and Mohamad El Medawar Staff Writer’s
icharaf, the Initiative for Academic Integrity and Business Ethics, was founded in 2004 at the American University of Beirut. It operates in two parallel streams; in schools and universities, promoting academic integrity and in business organizations, promoting business ethics. One of the activities Bicharaf does to promote academic integrity is the Book Exchange. Currently held at AUB only, the Book Exchange, as an interviewed Bicharaf volunteer explained, helps limit the cir-
culation of unethical and illegal photocopied books. “We are aware of the high prices of original books. We are also aware of the economic situation. It is one thing to ask students to do the right thing and not buy photocopied books. It’s another to provide them with a solution, hence, our Book Exchange was born, which helps provide students with used original books, at prices similar to those of photocopied books.” The stand, which was placed at West Hall for the entire duration of the Drop and Add period, had two sections: a “Wanted” section, and a “For Sale” one. Lists were categorized by faculty to make
it easier for students to find what they were looking for. Those who wish to buy a certain book would browse the “For Sale” list pertaining to the faculty. If the book they want is listed there, they would take the contact information of the seller, contact them, and agree on a price and time to meet. If, however, the book was not found in the “For Sale” lists, then they would write it down, along with their contact information, in the “Wanted” section. The same processes went for those who want to sell; they would browse the “Wanted” list first, to check if someone wants to buy the book they wish to sell. If not, they would
then write it down in the “For Sale” section. “Bicharaf acted as a liaison between students, giving them access to original books otherwise rare to find,” the volunteer explained. “We do not interfere and we do not deal with money; it is entirely up to the students to negotiate the price amongst each other.” He also added that this is their forth year doing this and the credit for this initiative should be attributed, besides Bicharaf, to Dr. Tony Feghali and Dr.Hanin Abdalla who were responsible for initiating this service. Notably, most entries were listed under FAS. Moreover, “many entries” as one of the
volunteers commented “were misplaced.” This is mostly due to common courses required by multiple faculties, leading to this confusion. For example, One could see a Biology 201 book, which is a course under Faculty of Arts and Sciences (FAS), listed under Faculty of Health Sciences (FHS). Under the tough economic conditions and hardships that we are witnessing, such altruistic initiatives and services are vital in providing students with the tools they need to achieve knowledge without feeling the economic burden of our expensive modern society and way of life.
Campus news Cracking the MCAT, the Mother of Undergraduate Exams Rami Diab Staff Writer
he word “informative” is but a mere understatement to describe the fiesta of information revealed to the Biology sophomores and juniors on Tuesday, February 16, when the Biology Student Society (BSS) held its annual MCAT lecture at the Charles Hostler Auditorium starting at 5 pm with the premedical sophomores and ending at 7 pm with the premedical Juniors. The students in attendance came from a variety of departments including Biology, Chemistry, Physics, Nutrition, and even Medical Laboratory Sciences, showed up with one common aim in mind, to gain familiarity with and increase their comprehension of the MCAT examination process. Both lectures kicked off with
a brief introduction of one of the society’s upcoming events, a campaign targeted at climate change awareness, to be led by the committee of Human Rights and Community Service, as part of BSS. A short video, moreover, was relayed and some figures were portrayed, exemplifying the contemporary issue of global warming as well as providing motivation and insight for a plan of action. In attempting not to spark early worry and concern amongst the sophomores, the outline of their lecture was fairly simple. BSS president, Paul Ramia, alongside one of his academically distinguished guest speakers, Biology senior Hanaa Aridi, clarified the important courses to be stressed for the MCAT exam and concluded with general test-taking dos and don’ts. Considering that juniors are to register
and take the MCAT in the current year, their program, naturally, was a little more comprehensive. Ramia and Aridi took the floor yet again and offered their all-inclusive insights on what material juniors should focus on for the MCAT and just how to go about doing it. “We were Biology juniors ourselves once,” commented Aridi. “Apart from being instructed to take the exam in summer, however, we knew nothing about the MCAT. Having attended our MCAT lecture only one day prior to the official MCAT registration date (after a lot of confusion), we wanted the next generation of premedical students to have better advising experience so that they would not suffer as we did.” Succeeding the two speakers was former Biology student and current first year AUB medical student, Ahmad
Kurdi, who provided the audience with a priceless demonstration on registering for the official MCAT Exam. Kurdi took it upon himself, as a most noble cause, to sign into his personal AAMC account and diligently walk the audience through the registration process one minute step at a time, recapitulating on his critical points. Next in line was Sebastian Nasrallah who resorted to sharing the insider secrets of efficient test-taking tips including smart study skills and strategies, briefly going over a few of his own experiences which he felt he should share with his student body, in hopes of shielding them from a similar fate. Finally came Daniel Masri, to top off the lecture with an illustration of the available MCAT preparatory book offers which he and his peers have managed to put togeth-
er for the common service of the premedical student body. El Masri and his bunch are not directly affiliated with BSS but are rather a part of their own miniature association titled MCAT Wizard, which has established a userfriendly internet domain separate from BSS. Needless to say, BSS felt satisfied of having fulfilled its general aim of preparing the premedical student body for the MCAT examination. Meticulous preparation is necessary to “strike when the iron is hot” as they say, and Ramia only further illuminated this truth when he quoted former American President Abraham Lincoln with the following, “If I had eight hours to cut down a tree, I would spend the first six hours sharpening my saw!”
Unite Lebanon Youth Project – Help make a difference! Lojine Kamel Staff Writer
ver wish you could make a difference in someone’s life? The world is home to millions of underprivileged children and Lebanon is no exception. Fortunately, there are youth groups and volunteer centers everywhere specifically targeting those in need. One such faction, right here in Lebanon, is a newly developed NGO called “Unite Lebanon Youth Project,” and it needs your help. ULYP’s main purpose is to create an educational and peaceful environment in which disadvantaged children can learn and cultivate their self-esteem, creativity, tolerance, and cooperation with others, among other attributes. Children from every different background can come to ULYP as a sanctuary, learning place, or even as a recreational facility. In fact, the ULYP campus has
already hosted Palestinian refugee children, an event which inspired the very creation of this NGO. Founded by Melek Nimer and directed by David Bakis, ULYP is situated on a beautiful campus in Debbieh, that boasts a farmland, an outdoor pool, plans for classrooms, a playground, soccer pitch, and other recreational areas. The campus was originally the property of the Nimer family, who donated it in order to create a sanctuary for underprivileged youths. A key aspect of ULYP is its willingness to help any and all children, regardless of their religion, race, gender, or nationality- an admirable quality in a society that often condones intolerance. Bakis particularly emphasized this point, saying, “Our doors are open to any disadvantaged kid. We want them to feel like they always have
a place to go to.” ULYP already has several activities in the works, including the “One-Off Development Program,” a pre-kindergarten learning facility, and the “TawasulPartenrship Program.” The One-Off Development Program’s main initiative is to try out new concepts, such as
a campfire night or concert, within ULYP at the suggestion of a child, adult, or faculty member. This allows for trial and error; if the proposed program is successful, it is instilled into the ULYP program and if it does not, it leaves room for more ideas. ULYP also plans to create a nine-month pre-kindergarten school year for children from ages 3-5. The Tawasul-Partnership Program is geared specifically towards Lebanese, Palestinian, or Iraqi volunteers who are looking to help mentor the younger children at ULYP. AUB students are welcome to help tutor or coach these children, an endeavor which provides its own intrinsic reward, if not volunteer experience. ULYP, however, still requires funding in order to reach its goal of becoming a serviceable center for chil-
dren. If you are interested in donating or volunteering in the future, contact Bakis at dbakis@unitelebanonyouth. org. For more information regarding ULYP, please visit www.unitelebanonyouth. org. It’s not every day we are offered the chance to really make a difference, especially where it matters. There are disadvantaged children all over Lebanon who desperately need help. Mahatma Gandhi once said “be the change you want to see in the world.” AUB students can be that change.
AUB research group and NGOs target tobacco legislation
Tala Kardas and Maya Terro Staff Writer’s
ccording to the latest statistics in Lebanon, around 75 % of Lebanese children are being exposed to second-hand smoke either in their own homes or when they go out, which puts them at greater risk for a slew of diseases. This is so because according to the latest research, exposure to only half an hour of second-hand smoke is equivalent to smoking between one and four cigarettes. In line with this, a series of actions have been taking place in Lebanon to lobby policymakers about tobacco control policies and raise awareness of the public on such issues. The most recent of these took place in Van Dyck amphitheatre on Thursday, February 12, whereby the Faculty of Health Sciences (FHS) at the American University of Beirut hosted an unprecedented conference with its contentious topic among policymakers and great attendance. Indeed, according to Dr. Rima Nakkash, assistant research professor at the AUB Faculty of Health Sciences (FHS) and coordinator of the AUB Tobacco Control Research
Group (AUB-TCRG), “The press conference was a success as judged by the overflow of attendees.[It was] the most attended tobacco control event in Lebanon that I have ever witnessed.” In the presence of AUB academics, media representatives, and members of the Lebanese society and parliament, the conference was lead by Dr. Iman Nuwayhid, Dean of the FHS, who stated that “academic and research institutions have a big role to play in positively influencing policy-making.” Following Dr. Nuwayhid, was Nakkash who repeatedly stressed on the fact that “the most important role is AUB’s role as a respectable academic institution in shaping and influencing national and local policy making.” A draft bill for prohibiting smoking in public is currently being discussed by the Parliament’s Justice and Administration Committee and researchers and health professionals are lobbying legislators to adopt strong provisions and wording in the law, in order to maximize health benefits by providing them with evidence. She also noted Lebanon ranking in as the 3rd highest coun-
try having particulate matter in its air due to smokingrelated activities. Similarly to all the other lecturers who would succeed her, Nakkash emphasized on the promotion and advertisement of tobacco, which should be completely banned, so as not to encourage non-smokers to smoke. According to Dr. Ghazi Zaatari, who heads the Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine at AUB and is a member of the tobacco control research group, “Three out of the four most lethal cancers in Lebanon have a direct link to smoking.” Despite this fact, Lebanon has one of the weakest tobacco control policies in the Middle East. In fact, studies have shown that 150,000 children and 350,000 adults will die prematurely because of smoking or second-hand smoke in Lebanon, unless tobacco control measures are improved. He also stressed upon the direct link between increase in smoking and advertising by giving the images that tobacco companies usually direct towards the youth, such as an increase of feeling masculine or independent upon smoking. In regards to the nargilueh, a
trend that has been becoming more prominent recently, Zaatari said that it had the same effect as smoking cigarettes and that “all body parts are directly or indirectly affected.” Speaking about how legislation would not harm business where smoking is allowed, Zaatari said that there is nothing to be lost and the claim that “Lebanon is a touristic country and would lose greatly from such a law is an invalid argument.” The third speaker and the conference was Mrs. Rania Baroud, the Vice President of Tobacco Free Initiative (TFI), the first of its kind in Lebanon as it deals solely with tobacco and its adverse effects. She stressed upon the dangers children are exposed to in their own homes due to smoking family members. This subsequently leads to these children following suit and adopting the habit early on in their lives. In fact, in a survey conducted by TFI amongst adolescents between the ages of 13 to 15, 60% have smoked Narguileh and 30% still do so on a regular basis. Baroud, whose work has been focused on schools recently, said, “Public places remain even after school has been taken care
of. One person dies every 10 seconds due to tobbacco, therefore we shouldn’t [legislate] half-half but do it completely.” Throughout the conference, every speaker stressed on the point that smoking in public places should be banned completely and that the law is not against smokers but against harming non-smoking. According to Wael Hmaidan, Executive Director of IndyACT and one of the speakers at the conference, “[...] every person has the right to go out without having to be forced to inhale other people’s cigarette smoke. Having smoking and non-smoking areas does not work. It did not work outside of Lebanon and it will not work in Lebanon.” Indeed, the conference was concluded by a live demo that showed the ineffectiveness of doing smoking and no-smoking sections in the same room. Dr. Monique Chaaya, a professor at FHS involved with the AUB-TCRG, stressed on “the issue of the press conference pushing implementation of public health laws that is based on evidence [...] most of all the demonstration at the end was a very useful.”
At the beginning of the performance, the evening was quiet. Suzanne was busy in the kitchen preparing more meals and her eccentric husband, was “stealing” his own silverware. Other than that, everything was going as planned. Then, in comes Yasmine’s mother, Saria (Zein Malouf). All the differences are made obvious when the difference in the two mothers’ appearances is contrasted.The two families are different in many ways. Nader’s family belongs to the “upper” class. Fadi is a hard working man who opened his own company and “lost his scope with reality” as Al Awar said. Nader studied in Europe, while Suzanne is so-
phisticated and a perfectionist. As for Yasmine’s family, they are from the “lower” class; they struggled to get where they are today. Karim is a quiet man controlled by his wife, Saria who “wears the pants in the relationship” and puts her daughter and husband down, embarrassing them. Yasmine, like her father, is quiet, polite, and innocent.While they are having dinner and after Saria comes in dressed improperly, bombs sound and they are under attack by Israeli fighter jets. They all rush out of the elaborately furnished dining room, to the basement that has old unused furniture. Stuck in this situation, the two different
families are forced to work together through this mess. The mothers, although seem different, are both the controlling members in their individual families- the fathers are both subordinates but for different reasons. The eccentric father, Fadi, is similar to Saria, the eccentric mother and the up-tight mother, Suzanne, is similar to the polite father, Karim. Struggling to get along with failed attempts to keep the mothers happy and the fathers content, the couple’s love shatters. They start showing their real feelings towards each others’ family breaking them apart. The final irony was that Fadi ended up being able to open the
jammed door and get out while the rest were too busy arguing to notice.The actors and play were found enjoyable and lovable by everyone as their behavior depicted the mentality of different people. The theme as Al Awar stated is “absurd,” as they were just playing the different types of people that exist everywhere. “They’ve seen these people around… they see themselves and others in the characters,” said Talhouk. Houjeji talked about writing the script, “It was fast… I didn’t even feel the time pass.” All the actors and crew, nevertheless, would agree with Malouf when she said ,“I had fun. I enjoyed it.”
Bomb Soir, and Good Night
Deedee El-Jilani Staff Writer
tudent enrolled in the FAAH 283 class put on a strictly student production act called Bomb Soir on Thursday, January 21. In the dimly lit Bathish auditorium, five people sat down on the bright stage to have a peaceful dinner: Nader (Jamal Al Awar), his fiancée Yasmine (Bassima Houjeiji), his mother Suzanne (Myra-Lana Atoui), his father Fadi (Omar Talhouk), and Yassmine’s father Karim (Mazen Zein). The actors were the script writers themselves. The play was additionaly supervised by Adoni Maalouf, who also helped in the direction of the play.
Arts & Culture
Environmental Health students target climate change through creativity Tala Kardas and Lynn Itani News Executive & Staff Writer
nvironmental Health students, in collaboration with the Faculty of Health Sciences Student Representative Council (FHS SRC), hosted “In Earth We Trust” on Monday, January 18, at the Issam Fares Hall. This event aimed at increasing awareness about climate change through video, theater, music, and dance performances- all produced by students. The importance of this matter attracted people from all walks of life and was covered by a multitude of local media outlets. The event started off by a word from one of the student organizers and host for the evening, Environmental Health senior Rana Tarhini. As she discussed the problem the world is facing at the moment, she noted that “all what was expected to happen in 2080 has happened in 2006.” Tarhini also mentioned the lack of political will, which has prevented the Copenhagen summit from succeeding in achieving the set forth goals. Ragheb Alama, UNESCO’s environment ambassador in the Arab region, was one of the evening’s many stars. Following an introductory documentary urging the community to “change climate change,” Alama said a few words on the occasion. He warned that we are currently witnessing only “a small effect of climate change,”commenting that at COP 15, “the two largest countries in the world were in an economic race, rather than one related to who serves the planet first.” He believes, however, that “there is another year left
for negotiations, which gives us hope” and that the world must continuously strive for sustainable development. Alama stated that “activists will use their full strength” as a special committee will be formed that activates other Arab countries and stresses on the dangers of climate change, with respect to the entire region. Alama concluded his speech quoting Paulo Coelho, stating that mother nature will always be more powerful than man. Sponsors United Lebanon Foundation also spoke, thanking those who planned the event and stressing on the importance of “focus[ing] our plans on environmental projects in all regions in socioeconomic classes.” The first of the student productions came in the form of a sketch. Dressed as delegates of several nations including Lebanon, United States of America, China, and the Maldives, students reenacted the proceedings of Copenhagen sarcastically. The performance included a reporter who was interviewing these delegates as they spoke with their designated accents. Humorous responses included “Teetee teetee, mittel ma rehteh mitel ma jeete” as well as “maawadeen alaykon, khodo el a’arar aanna.” At the end of the sketch, a “gift bag” was donated to developing nations, as though bribing them to remain silent. Famous local stand-up comedian Mazen Abdallah preformed one of his routines related to the Lebanese culture while relating it to climate change. He remarked, for example, that “skirts will get shorter in Gemayze as the
Photo from Facebook.com
temperature rises.” Music was also a mean by which these students’ voices were heard. Ahmad Tarhini presented the Climate Change Song with the chorus “Hot eedak bi eedeh, ta nezraa shajra jdideh”. Ezzat Kayss, a young school student, and Elie Bitar both amazed the audience with their piano talents and several songs were performed by Louai Mehrei with a backing band. Sara Obeid joined in with Merhei to passionately sing “Ya Aashikata El Wardi,”as the band provided the background music. Jinane and Nai Abi Ramia demonstrated the sadness incurred by the slow deterioration of the Earth through a contemporary dance routine to the song “Lithium.” The performances were concluded with a Dabke performance by the Amjad Group and several Environmental Health
students. During this performance, the audience stood up clapping and dancing in response to this Lebanese heritage experience. Dean Iman Nuwayhid of FHS thanked the students and faculty members for their contributions, stating that “his heart has grown with what the students have created.” He was very proud of the students, noting that the event was a “100% student production.” He also stated that “we could all improve the environment,” and that “such events demonstrate a starting point for all of us to work together towards that goal”. Dean Nuwayhid also honored Ragheb Alama and Dr. Milad Sibaali, who both signed a large signature promise board, signifying their commitment to protect Earth from climate change. Rana Tarhini, the hostess of the event, commented that
“this was an opportunity to not only raise awareness and show care for the community, but also a chance to entertain people while teaching them about aspects that affect Lebanon and the Arab world.” Environmental Health senior Dania Turjaman, also an organizer, thanked Dr. May Massoud, SRC advisor, for her efforts and stated that the event “exceeded expectations, was well-organized despite the time-limit, and sets an example for other universities and schools.”Also along the same line of thought was Environmental Health junior Alaa Abu Daher, who also thanked AUB for giving students “the opportunity to be studious but at the same time exhibit their creativity and talents.”
Welcome Spring 2010
arts & culture Milk Mania
Did You Know? In one particular experiment, nine out of ten calves that bred on pasteurized milk dropped dead! (Diamond, 253)
Rami Diab Staff Writer The media’s got us all suckling cows! What is it with the overabundance of milk goods these days anyway? From five, six, even seven star hotels, posh restaurants and cafes, central malls and supermarkets, to the simplest motels, most elementary eateries, minimarkets, university canteens, and school cafeterias, milk is everywhere! Question is, just how nutritious is milk? In answering the above query, first off, let us examine primarily why milk is produced. Maternal mammals possess the unique quality of manufacturing milk, a highly nutritious and wholesome food substance for the maturation and development of their young. Have you ever chanced to see a young monkey suckling a cow? That’s right, you haven’t, nor would you ever catch sight of any mature primate behind a cow’s utter. Even you, in your most emaciated, scrawny state would not go down on all fours, reach your head out, and suckle a cow’s teat, or would you?! If weaned calves abandon their milk-drinking habits altogether, (as we humans do when we’re weaned), where then is the logical reasoning behind robbing young calves from their rightful nourishment? Is it possible that Mother Nature in all her splendor has erred in her fabulous design? If milk is so nutritious for our kind, why did She not withdraw us from weaning, so that we may suckle our mothers till death do us part? Is not a canvas in its early stages oblivious of the colors which the Artist will bestow upon it? How then, in vindicating that we must consume milk daily to grow big, burly and broad, can their exist the slightest chance that we, the created are wiser and more knowledgeable than He, the Creator? Regarding these cows, grand dairy corporations not only suck the milk out of them, they literally suck the life out of them! For starters, they are bred in dark barns - pitch black - supposedly it helps keep them quiet, but more incriminating is the fact that it deprives them from valuable vitamin D-providing solar radiation. Another thing is that these cows are fed no iron, not only do they exhibit an iron shortage as a result, but they become anemic (blood deficient) as well, which is duly reflected in their milk content. But that’s no reason for us consumers to worry; the milk companies have got our backs, fortifying our milk products for us right? Wrong! Truth is, the rigorous processing of milk (and many other food products) has proved detrimental to health. When pasteurized for instance, milk is heated to a scorching 170° C. Sure it kills off the most heat-resistant bacteria, but that’s not all it puts an end to. Proteins and enzymes are all disfigured by the 130° C mark! Protein? Who needs protein, it’s the calcium we’re after in milk, right? Calcium, I’ll have you know, not only is scarce in milk (you could probably get more calcium from a handful of raw almonds), but is convoluted with the complex protein casein, which is by the way a staggering 300% more abundant in cow’s milk than that of humans. Casein, milk’s most notorious protein, despite the taxing process of digesting it (and digestion is our bodies’ most energy demanding bodily process by the way), has also been verified to induce clogging of the respiratory system. Have you ever found difficulty breathing after a hale and hearty coco crisps’n’milk breakfast? Any wonder that milk is regarded as one of the most mucus forming food substances on the market? If milk is so detrimental for our health then, why on earth do we drink it? Like I said, the media is working day and night to make sure we can all get our precious milk as sweet, soft, and salivating as it can be. How often do we look around and see malnourished, ailing cows in milk ads? Anyhow, don’t take my word for it; just go ahead, “Google” those great effects of milk on your health, but you’ve been warned, so don’t have a cow! References: Blatt, Harvey. “America’s Food.” Animal Products. (2008): 241-265. MIT Press. Cambridge, Massachusetts, London, England. Print. Diamond, Harvey and Diamond, Marylin. “Fit for Life II: Living Health.” Animal Products. (1987): 241-265. Grand Central Publishing. New York Boston. Print.
The Zaki Nassif first Choral Festival Concert – a striking success Maya Terro and Lojine Kamel Staff Writer
ack in April 2009, buzz was heard revolving around the Zaki Nassif Choral Festival and Competition. Some eighty choirs registered to perform and boys wearing neat suits and girls in lovely dresses were seen around campus at the time. During the festival, many of the choirs showed great aptitude for choral music. The participating schools were asked to perform a song by the late music prodigy Zaki Nassif. According to Dr. Paul Meers, director of the AUB choir and one of the organizers of this successful event, “The Zaki Nassif Music Program at AUB welcomed over 70 children’s choirs and over 30 youth
choirs to its first annual choral festival and competition in April 2009.’’ At the end of the elimination, only 9 choirs were selected out of the participating schools. The 2009 Choir Competition Concert took place at Assembly Hall, when the Zaki Nassif choir competition winners gave an outstanding concert in the warm presence of their families, friends, and choral music fans. According to Meers, “Saturday night, January 23, the six highest-scoring groups performed in Assembly Hall for a full house.”. The choirs of the following schools were included: Imam Sadr choir, Aramoun public school, Madrasa Al-A’ila Al’Mukadasa, Balamand school, The Lebanese School for the Blind, and Madrasa Al-Sayida Frier. Each of the six choirs were allotted a
ten minute period, in which they performed two songs of their choosing. Many chose to perform religious songs commemorating Christmas time while others performed patriotic songs celebrating their Lebanese heritage. Madrasa Al-A’ila Al’Mukadasa (The Holy Family School) in Jounieh was the first to perform with two unique songs of their own. Midway through their performance, the audience broke into bouts of rhythmic applause, which only enlivened the already jovial choir. Following them was the Imam Sadr choir of Sour, composed of an angelic chorus of girls, robed entirely in pink and white. Third up was the Aramoun public school choir, who introduced a string orchestra for the first time that evening,
which complemented the choir beautifully. Even halfway through the concert, the audience remained active and excited, applauding and singing along with familiar songs. The second half of the night was met with equal enthusiasm, with performances by the Madrasa Al-Sayida Freir (School of Lady Frier), The Lebanese School of the Blind, and the Balamand school choir. Madrasa Alsayida Freir, from Furn AlShubak, were the fourth to perform, although certainly one of the best. The choir was the largest of the six, yet they had the first and only solo of the night, and finished to a standing ovation. The fifth choir, from The Lebanese School of the Blind, was perhaps the most memorable and uplifting of the eve-
ning. Although relatively small, the choir’s voices were all in unison and sang in a cheerful up-tempo style, much to the audience’s delight. Rounding off the night was the Balamand School choir, wearing a selection of brightly colored mauve ties and smiles that aptly reflected their enthusiasm for singing. Their last song was decidedly upbeat and merry – a fitting end to the entire concert. Talent should not be wasted. Indeed, some of the talent displayed in the competition was outstanding. In Meers’ own words, “It’s great to see so many talented young singers and their dedicated directors perform songs of this region, and I’m very glad it will be an annual event.”
Who we are: The USFC is the student government at AUB formed of 17 student members and 7 faculty members. Each faculty is represented by a certain number of students from the faculty SRC and an elected faculty member. The USFC is chaired by the University President. In the absence of the president or his/her designee, the vice president shall chair USFC meetings. The members of the USFC for the academic year of 2009/10 are: Dr. Peter Dorman (President), Elias Ghanem (Vice President) (OSB), Nadine Hamdan (Secretary) (OSB), Yehya Oueini (Treasurer) (OSB), Adnan Sardouk (FAS), Hicham Mansour (FAS), Jade Demian (FAS), Nour Al Jalbout (FAS), Roger Kahil (FAS), Johnny Bassil (FEA), Nourhan Farhat (FEA), Mohamad Olaymi (FEA), Tara Bizri (FAFS), Ghassan Rachid (FAFS), Ali Halas (FHS), Samer Alameddine (FHS), Hussein Assi (FM), Ramzi Mardam Bey (FM).
Faculty Members: Drs. Zeina Kassaify (FAFS), Hanin Abdallah (OSB), Nada Melhem (FHS), Ali El Khalil (FM), Khouzama Knio (FAS), Abdel Fatah Abdel Rahman (FAS), Fadi Karameh (FEA).
Ex-Officio Members: Dean of student affairs Dr. Maroun Kisirwani, associate dean of student affairs Dr. Talal Nizameddin, the coordinator of student activities Ms. Hiba Hamade, and the chairperson of the Senate Committee for Student Affairs Dr. Nadim Farajalla.
Responsibilities & Power: The USFC communicates to the student body information on University issues; defends the right of all students to have freedom of speech and an opportunity to express their opinions, study problems of university-wide interest and submit recommendations for their solutions to the proper university authorities, promote and coordinate the social, recreational, and non-academic cultural activities of students at the university level, supervise and coordinate the activities among the SRCs in the various faculties of the University. Platform: This year the USFC plans to: Ø
Accelerate the food services facilities on campus
Increase the reading periods for the spring final exams
Amend the USFC/SRC bylaws to answer all student concerns
Lobby against the increase in tuition fees and present a strategy to maintain current rates for continuing students
Aid the university libraries in promoting the networked printers as a solution to the ongoing problems students are facing.
Involve students in socially responsible activities that create awareness among AUB students.
Fund AUB students, clubs, and societies in any project that will benefit AUB as a whole.
Your role: The USFC is passionate to push forward proposals to improve campus life at AUB. We are expecting ideas/suggestions/comments to be submitted to our committees. Please don’t hesitate to email us. Contact Information: University Student Faculty Committee Office: West hall room 328- Extension: 3185 Email: email@example.com
Letter to the editor Confessions of a Valentine Elie El Khoury Staff Writer
ebruary 14 1946, ENIAC, the first general-purpose electronic computer, is unveiled. February 14 1989, the first of 24 satellites of the Global Positioning System are placed into orbit. February 14 1929, seven people, six of them gangster rivals of Al Capone’s gang, are murdered in Chicago, Illinois. February 14 2010, Valentine’s Day. Propelled by the curiosity and deep boredom on such a jolly occasion, I have decided to figure out what makes us humans tick on that very day. Meet Joe, a computer whiz who has probably spent more time online than he has with his mother. The man has be-
come a guru in fixing up dates and rendezvous with girls he just met online. Joey’s ways never came to my likings, but nonetheless, the man was definitely a credible reference when it came to human social dynamics (ironically). He simply put it, “Valentine’s Day is nice and red, girls feel left out if they don’t have a valentine, and that’s why all the nice guys (me) tell all the lonely girls that she is my valentine.” Meet David, a natural. He lost his virginity to an older girl at the tender age of 13, and took on dating instead of therapy ever since. Being the heir to a huge business, David developed the habit of breaking every task and in-
teraction down to an investment and potential revenue situation. Having settled down with a girl for quite a while now, he gave me an alternative perspective, “I hate Valentine’s Day! It was created for business! For selling balloons, flowers, and perfume to guys trying to prove their worth to women and attempting to improve their chances of getting lucky (no matter the definition of “lucky”) by fulfilling their materialistic needs.” I was starting to form a pretty dark prejudice of this whole V-Day issue. Are these few credible testimonies, indeed representative of the majority of society’s stereotypes, I had to have some more faith
in humanity! So I turned to my final source of February 14 knowledge. Rachel is a feisty petite brunette with a chemical engineering degree. Men usually gave her their phone number and she reciprocated by leaving many restless souls wondering for long sleepless nights whether she was in fact too much of a challenge to keep up with. Rachel’s green eyes sparkled as she described all the emotions that gushed in when she had her first kiss on that very day, many years back. She ranked her best Valentine’s as the day she received only a flower. No canned compliments, no gifts, just a sincere expression of affection- the
memory of which still gives her butterflies. I find it fair to give credit for all the “V-Day-ers” out there, who put much effort and thought into rendering this day as a success (for themselves at least, or themselves first in some cases). Some thrive to be the smoothest and the others choose to flaunt the biggest egos. They all seem to want one thing, though, and that is acknowledgement. Which leads me to believe that by the end of the day, Valentine’s Day exists so Joe can expand his phonebook, David can outsmart the system, and for Rachel’s heart to skip a beat whenever she remembers that day…
Letter to the Editor: Biology Department selling green potatoes during registration
eniors in the Faculty of Arts and Sciences at AUB, or throughout other faculties, usually look forward to registration because they have the upper hand in choosing what courses they want very comfortably and easily. This year, however, that was rarely the case, especially at the Biology department. This department offered very little classes required from senior students during phase one of registration. During the first five seconds of online registration, all senior classes such as semi-required courses and electives from the department were full, leaving half of the students begging
for courses. Only undesired courses that were either too early, too late, or undesired because of their uninteresting nature remained until the juniors claimed them. The department tried to cope with this failure to satisfy students’ needs by sending an e-mail to graduating students-who needed coursesto petition for opening capacity in new courses that would be offered later. It was a very tedious and time-consuming process that did not yield desired results, nevertheless. Students who petitioned for one course were “forced” to take another course because of the fear of not graduating on time. The department was
registering students in unfavorable courses because they wanted to “market” them. Of course students complained, but it was made clear that they do not have any choice if they wanted to graduate. Few students refused these courses, but they were obliged to sign that they refuse these “oh so generous” course offerings, and claim full responsibility of not having any major courses. Unfair as it is, this situation closely resembles a person going to the grocery market to buy potatoes with the salesman forcing the costumer to buy green unripe inedible potatoes or black very ripe bananas because
he wants to get rid of them. Did it not occur to the department that the students have the right to choose what courses interest them? Did it not occur to the department that students are paying thousands of dollars for these courses? It’s not like they are so generous giving these courses for free. But the vulgarity does not end here. Most of the courses offered have zero or negative capacity available, because the department decided that whomever wants to register any new course has to petition on paper, completely disregarding the role of electronic registration, and taking back this process de-
cades. Even if any student decides to drop a desirable course, another student cannot take his place because of this genius arrangement on AUBsis. Seniors had never had to work so hard and worry so much about registration. This year, they were begging for their courses to the student assistant and chairperson, only to be assigned in courses that the department thinks are right for them. I have to say that the Biology department has to be the most democratic of all departments in AUB, and I am very proud and not a bit disappointed where all my tuition fees are going.
Letter to the editor Letter to the Editor: In Memory of Karim Haber Yusra Adra
considerate for its repercussions. At the age of 22, Karim Haber, a best friend, a brother, a partner, and a colleague lost his dreams to fate. We love you and we will stand at your graduation,call out your name to receive your diploma, and applaud for your accomplishments.
and we looked forward to growing old and letting our children have the bond we had. Your picture haunts us and your smile paralyzes us. How can we look back at our past without envisioning your soul in every step? How can we stand at the funeral ?and say our last goodbyes How can we laugh when we can’t hear the echo of your ?laughter Fate-a word too small and in-
Letter to the Editor امين مكارم لقد مرت سنة و نصف على انطالقة النادي العلماني في اجلامعة االميركية في بيروت .سنة و نصف مضت على العهد الذي قطعه مجموعة من الشباب لتغير هذا اجملتمع الطائفي املنقسم ,عبر نشر مبادئ العلمنة و العدالة االجتماعية .سنة و نصف كانت مليئة باالحداث و النشطات العديدة التي قمنا بتنظيمها .و هنا نذكر احملاضرة االفتتاحية لنشاطات النادي العلماني و التي عرفت الطالب في اجلامعة على مفهوم العلمنة و عن كونها احلل ملشاكل اجملتمع في لبنان. نظم النادي العديد من املسرحيات الساخرة من اجملتمع احلالي و السيما مسرحية زواريب للفنان القدير رفيق علي احمد ,و مسرحية متلنا متلك. كذلك قام النادي مببادرة ناجحة لتوحيد النوادي ذات الطابع العلماني و غير الطائفي و نتج عن ذلك تاسيس التجمع العلماني الذي ضم باالضافة الى النادي العلماني سبعة نوادي اخرى .و كان من اهم نشاطات التجمع االسبوع العلماني و الذي تضمن محاضرة عن الزواج املدني و اخرى عن شطب القيد الطائفي و مسرحية حتت عنوان “ال مش بلد” حول احلرب االهلية .و قام العديد من الطالب بشطب طائفتهم عن اخراج القيد. قام النادي بتنظيم معارض صور, االول متحور موضوعه حول الطبيعة
و االرض اما الثاني فكان حتت عنوان “ ثوار من العالم” و تضمن صور لشخصيات عديدة قاومت الظلم, االستعمار ,و االحتالل .ايد النادي بقوة حقوق الشعب الفلسطيني فشارك بحملة “طالب من اجل غزة” والسيما التجمع الضخم الذي جرى رفضا للحرب على غزة .كذلك شارك النادي بحملة التضامن مع االقصى. لم يكتفي النادي بتنظيم النشاطات فقام باملشاركة في انتخابات اجمللس الطالبي اقتناعا منه مبحاولة التغير من داخل ذلك اجمللس الذي كانت تعطله االصطفافات السياسية,فاسس حتالف “الطريق البديل” و الذي ضم باالضافة اليه مجموعة مستقلني .و حصد التحالف 15مقعدا .و هنا ننوه بالعمل اجليد الذي بدء اعضاء نادينا في اجمللس الطالبي في كلية العلوم الصحية و الذين نظموا ندوة حول “ تغير املناخ” مبشاركة الفنان راغب عالمة. في سنة و نصف جنحنا في خلق جو علماني في اجلامعة عبر النشاطات التي قمنا بها كما ان ما لفت نظرنا تعاظم عدد املؤيدين لفكرة العلمنة في اجلامعة .من هنا نعد اجلميع باكمال الطريق الذي بداناه مبزيد من النشاطات في فصل الربيع املقبل. امين مكارم
life will not prevent you from social recognition, they will not release your stress, they will not halter a good time at a party, but they will simply, just simply, continue your path, alive, to fulfill your dreams. Karim, we hope you can hear and feel us. Please hear our prayers and feel our love. We cannot believe you’re gone. We looked forward to attending your graduation
sense of humor and his beautiful smile- truly, a youthful smile. We, as his family and friends, cannot further express our grievances as we understand the wrathfulness of fate. You as students or even as parents, however, can continue Karim’s legacy and lead a cautious and in parallel, a hopeful life. Following simple safety regulations and leading a healthy
A friend, a colleague, a brother, and a son witnessed his fate on January 24, 2010. Karim Ghassan Haber, born and raised in Abu Dhabi, began attending the American University of Beirut in 2004, with the intent of pursuing a Bachelors degree in PSPA, which was to be completed this past fall. Karim was a unique character, a child full of life, love, and hope. We remember and still live with his
Entertainment Book Review Maya Zankoul, a 23 year-old graphic designer who graduated from Notre Dame University (NDU), released her first book during August 2009. Entitled “Maya Zankoul’s Amalgam,” the book is the first of its kind in Lebanon. Zankoul’s work started on the internet, through her personal blog www. mayazankoul.com. It consists of short stories in the form of comics and sketches, posted every day or two. Those stories involve many themes and their main goals are to criticize the Lebanese society’s negative aspects, to promote several causes,
Maya Zankoul’s Amalgam
dressed in Burberry clothes. She also criticizes the advertising world in Lebanon and how it is mainly based on the female body instead of creativity. Drivers and taxis’ flaws are mentioned in some of the sketches too, along with the imperfections of Lebanon’s highways whether it is the holes, the dead animals found all over, or the idea that some pedestrians decide to cross dangerously. Moreover, the fact that appearance and looks are a big part in the Lebanese society is exposed in a funny way, by describing glamorous beaches or by highlighting the use
all her stories together in a hard copy book, which she eventually did during the summer of 2009, with the support of her coworkers. The first book signing took place in August 2009, at Art Lounge, after which the book was available at Virgin Megastores (where it reached the top 5 two months ago), Librairie Antoine, and many other bookstores.
but also to tell personal stories that any of one us may encounter every day. The main character of every story is the author herself, being the narrator every time and transmitting each moral with her original and unique tone that is powerful and deep, yet very comic. Every short story consists of the narrator going through a daily hassle, drawn comically with funny comments. For instance, Zankoul talks about unpleasant situations she faces at work, with employers that tend to be selfish at times, through a character who is always
of sunglasses in closed places. In a sketch, the concept of maids is condemned, especially how they are mistreated by mother, while still being fully counted on when it comes to raising the children. Finally, some sketches are just personal stories that hold morals that could be inspiring or that simply make the reader smile. With time, the blog gained success and popularity that kept increasing, along with encouraging comments. The illustrator then explained that if she was to develop her blog, she would like to place
Album Review One Life Stand-Hot Chip British electro-rock connoisseurs Hot Chip have been leaving their distinguished mark on the music world for the past decade. It is with their new release “One Life Stand,” however, that they really cement their standing as a band that can combine the latest technologies, tongue-in-cheek lyrics, and melodic voices in one album. Though the use of auto-tune is greatly obvious, it serves a point here, unlike with the rest of the music being made available to the public at the moment. Born out of the concept of transforming “a one night stand into a one life stand,” as vocalist Alexis Taylor has put it, the band’s fourth release dabbles with issues of commitment and long-term relationships, be it romantic or non-romantic ones. The overall theme is delivered beautifully thanks to ingenious lyric-writing and Taylor’s smooth high-pitched vocals combined with second vocalist Joe Goddard’s dreamy bass voice. The carefully tailored instrumental part, courtesy of the rest of the group, serves as a plus point. The album opens with a steady percussion beat, be-
fore Taylor begins to sing the first verse of “Thieves in the Night,” a song that deals with finding the love of a lifetime and hanging onto them, especially after the long search. The key verse in the song “happiness is what we all want” is something everyone can relate to and it is highlighted by the very upbeat background music. Second track “Hand Me down Your Love” has a distinct jazzy feel to it with very simplistic and repetitive lyrics, making it easier for the listener to remember this when going through the record. It continues the theme that was established in its
predecessor, ensuring cohesion. The perhaps best track of the whole record comes in the form of “I Feel Better,” the album’s third track. It opens up with a string arrangement with faint percussions. As Taylor and Goddard sing the first verse together, their vocals are auto-tuned, though the delivery is excellent. When Taylor sings the first chorus, starting with “I only want one life, together in our arms,” the string element is more prominent, before segwaying into an almost Latin beat that will make anyone get up and dance. It is certainly a track that one will re-
Photo from Facebook.com
peat several times especially since it evokes instant association with loved ones. “One Life Stand,” the first single comes in fourth and is partially harmed by being after a distinct song like “I Feel Better.” It should not be underestimated though as it sets the whole theme into focus, combines the work of both vocalists, and has a catchy beat that almost all DJs should learn a thing or two from. The element of non-romantic love manifests in the fifth song, aptly titled “Brothers.” On this track, Goddard sings an ode to his brothers and all the things he used to do with them, including playing X-
Tala Kardas box, but it is also a call to return to what used to be. “Slush” is a return to the romantic element, set to the slowest music on the entire album. There are virtually no electronic elements used, giving the song a pure sound. “Keep Quiet,” the ninth track, follows the same vein. “Alley Cats” is also distinct for having the most pensive lyrics, alluding to several aspects such as romance and motherly love. Goddard provides lead vocals here while Taylor sings harmonies. The focus on the melody and the ability to make people dance is placed heavily in track eight, “We Have Love.” It is predicted that this song will be played at parties all over the world, thanks to its catchy instrumental arrangement. The album ends with “Take It In,” the ultimate ode to acceptance and love. It is not a slow song by any means, distinguishing it from the typical closing track found on other albums. This album is certainly recommended for lovers of dance music but also for people wanting to expand their horizons and listen to something unusually thoughtful.
Movie Review At the 2010 Golden Globes, Up In the Air led the nominations with six nods including best director, best actor, and best dramatic picture. The movie is about Ryan Bingham, played by George Clooney, who is an “outplacement counselor,” hired by a human resources consultancy to fire people when corporations do not want do that themselves. Charming and persuasive, Ryan travels around the country for 300 days a year to convince employees of the positive aspects of their career termination with the purpose of hypnotically boosting their morale. The firing scenes are satirical of the economic recession, as these realistically miserable situations represent the most humorous moments of the movie. These scenes actually include reallife victims of the economic recession who show on screen to unleash their anger and grief. Ryan considers airports, airplanes, and hotels as his home. He philosophically comments that “To know me is to fly with me” for he truly
enjoys the unstable lifestyle and considers travelling as an art. He loves American Airlines and Hilton Hotels and his ultimate goal is to gather one million miles of travel. His image reveals that he is an unemotional person focused on his career; he states in one of his speeches that “the slower we move, the faster we die.” Hence, he avoids serious commitments to relationships or starting a family yet a quasi-wife and a quasi-daughter are introduced to his world to change his perspective. Ryan then meets Alex, played by Vera Farmiga, who is the female version of himself. Their relationship begins with comparing the content of their wallets - travel points, room keys, credit cards, and memberships, but not family pictures. Farmiga suits the role of a smart woman who enjoys the corporate lifestyle and high status. Also clever and ambitious, Nathalie, played by Anna Kendrick, is the human resources consultancy’s latest employee. The young and modern Na-
Band Review Lady Antebellum is an American country band that originated in Nashville, Tennessee in 2006. It consists of three singers: Charles Kelley, Dave Haywood, and Hillary Scott who share the lead and the background vocals.They released their first song “Love Don’t Live Here” in 2007, and which served as a single in their debut self-titled album in 2008.This album was certified platinum in the United States. In July 2009, their song “I Run to You,” from this album, became Lady Antebellum’s first Number One. Soon after, they released the single “Need You Now,” which became their second Num-
Up in The Air thalie introduces the concept of “glocalism” as her plan is to save costs by conducting firing sessions through video conferences, which Ryan strongly opposes. In a quest to prove the necessity of such face-to-face communication, Ryan and Nathalie become travel partners and Ryan becomes Nathalie’s “trainer.” They develop a strong friendship as they discuss and debate personal issues and experiences. The major strengths of this comedy-drama stem from its relevance to the current economic context, its witty script, as well as Clooney’s performance. Clooney is charming with his attractive smile and sparkly eyes; he is a friendly, serious, and charismatic professional but also reveals goofiness. His life is entertaining but his unsettled epiphany at the end of the movie sends a rather gloomy message to those who avoid commitment.
Photo from Facebook.com
ber One and the lead song off their second album that holds the same name. Although this band is relatively new to the music scene, it has been nominated and awarded several recognitions, some of which are prestigious. They were nominated for four Grammy Awards over the span of two years, while taking home the award for Best Country Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocals for “I Run to You.” Also, they were awarded Single of the Year and the Vocal Group of the Year for the same song by the Country Music Association (CMA). This band stands out from
others, especially due to their uniqueness in the country genre which in found in very few musical groups. They are also unique since they do not have one lead singer like most bands, but rather two males and a single female singer. The band’s debut hit “Love Don’t Live Here” shows off their ability to harmonize and work together quite well in their performance. It shows off Kelley’s vocal talent, mostly, but Scott blends quite well. It’s far from the best track on their debut album, however, that is not a bad thing. In fact, this song is a great start because it immediately shows off who the band is
and acts as a great introduction to their unique and enjoyable sound. The most interesting aspect of “Need You Now,” their second album, is the tone of melancholy throughout. It directly shows how cheery the band’s countenance generally is, on stage for example, but more so because of how often they put sadness into songs that, on the surface, should not be sad. “Perfect Day,” the perky live-inthe-moment song, is mostly about trying and failing to carry that feeling beyond one passing moment, about the knowledge that the moment always passes. On the rest of the album, melancholy pi-
ano lurks at every corner, coloring the mood. When the vocalists proclaim their happiness, the mood evokes doubts. The saddest-sounding happy song on the album is the duet “When You Got a Good Thing.” As the title indicates, it’s a song of satisfaction and comfort, a declaration a couple has found a great love. The tone, though, is completely downcast. Everything about the song musically states dissatisfaction. This band is definitely recommended for country music lovers but also for fans of alternative rock music, as Lady Antebellum’s songs tend to have an alternative feel too.
out of the box The Outlook team Chairperson
Mohamad Yahia Hamade
Mariam El Ali
Tala Kardas Rasha Salem
Member at Large
Rawan Abu Salman Mohamad Al Medwar Fouad Badaoui Fatima Buhilaigah Moussa Chalah Abraham Daniel Hajjar Rami Diab Yasmine Fansa Nadine Ghaith Maryam Hoballah Mhd Izzat Husrieh Lynn Itani Heather Jaber Wajiha Jurdi Kheir Lojine Kamel Elie El Khoury Timmy Malkoun Rita Obeid Roupen Ohannessian Yasmine Saab Wally Saad Sandra Sawaya Maya Terro Ilija Trojanovic Tarek Tutunji Mohammad El-Jabi Emile Zankoul
Qater Al Nada Mohsen Dima Barbir Tariq Buhilaigah
Boosting your long-term relationship Here are 6 more tips that the experts have addressed for perking up your relationship and keeping it fresh. Usually when asking for advice to maintain a successful relationship, people focus on the don’ts such as don’t nag, don’t blame, don’t cheat. However, the happiest couples focus both on dos and don’ts, and for once, this line of advice is focusing on the positives in a relationship and its importance in seeing the positive aspects of a relationship. Plus, they payoff great, leading to more fun and more growth. 5. Let your partner resemble your ideal self Everyone has an ideal self, a self that consists of all one’s goals and aspirations. This suggests that one should choose a person that has the attributes he/she values the most and wishes to attain. This suggests that partners should resemble each others’ ideal selves. 6. Notice what’s new about your partner. Pay attention to your partner and notice what’s new, such as a new haircut or a new look. So, become engaged in your partner and actively pay attention to them. This maintains the freshness in the relationship. 7. Put your feelings into writing. Some guys might think that it is too mushy to write down your feelings, but it does help and seems to boost up romantic emotions. One study at the University of Texas showed that when participants wrote their feelings to one another this seemed to prompt good feelings 8. Provide support IN SECRET Studies show that the most efficient form of support is one that’s subtle. When your partner is going through tough times, hidden acts of kindness are the best to brighten up his/her day. 9. Get in touch A warm hug or a simple touch can boost your mood and increase the connection with your partner. 10. Take care of yourself Focusing on your life and your happiness also pays off in relationships and brings a more positive attitude back into the relationship.
Heads Up on Health
The food myths battle—fact versus fiction. There are tons of food-related claims out there. Some are easy to dispel using facts like even if your soda happens to taste like real lemon, it does not in any way imply that it is all-natural. However, other claims can make even the most informed of us have second thoughts. For instance, does drinking water help you lose weight? Here’s one way to find out: keep on reading. Does working out on an empty stomach burn more fat? Yes, it does. In general, when you exercise, your body burns calories from fats and carbs. As a fact, working out on an empty stomach might burn a few more calories (since you won’t have as many carbs to spare). However, do not expect fat-melting miracles—according to recent research, overall calories burnt in both cases is about the same. Does drinking water help you lose weight? It depends (but don’t get overexcited now). There is no such thing as a water-diet. Water can make you lose weight only if it makes you eat less. There is nothing to it really—adding water to a normal diet is not associated to weight loss. However, when water is used as a substitute for sugary drinks or snacks, then the calories saved in this case will help shed those unnecessary kilos that you could have otherwise gained. Does spicy food boost metabolism? No, it does not. Our metabolic rate depends on a number of factors that include gender, weight, height, age, and body composition. Accordingly, the amount of calories needed by the body to maintain its basic functions of life is determined based on these factors. Eating spicy foods cannot noticeably increase metabolic rate and help you burn more calories at rest. Although it might raise your body temperature temporarily and increase your heart rate, ‘hot’ foods in general, over the long term, will not alter your metabolism rate. Will eating after 9 p.m. cause weight gain? It might. However, contrary to common belief, it does not do so because your metabolism slows down at night. What really matters in this particular claim is how much you eat and why- not when you eat- in the course of a given day. Accordingly, some of us who eat at night out of boredom or other emotions (instead of hunger) will wind up consuming more calories than they need for the day—calories that are then stored as-viola- fat.
Published on Dec 30, 2010