Outlook Newspaper The American University of Beirut
Vol. XLII, No. 9 | Tuesday, December 8, 2009 | The Independent Student Publication Since 1949
The American Task Force for Lebanon meets with AUBites Abraham Daniel Hajjar Contributing Writer
he American Task Force for Lebanon (ATFL) is a strong organization that means business. They wish to help students as much as possible, with the aspiration to improve the country in the long run. The ATFL is a group of Lebanese-Americans who care about Lebanon and wish to support it in all the ways it possibly can. They came to Lebanon to get a good understanding of the situation and one of their stops happened to be at AUB. This stop took place immediately after they had met the Lebanese President, General Michel Sulei-
man at the Presidential Palace in Baabda. They met with around 10 students from different majors, who were mainly a part of Outlook and the yearbook committee, in addition to the bystanders at West Hall Common Room, on Wednesday December 3. At first, a brief introduction was given by the Dean of Student Affairs Maroun Kisirwani, after which he left the room so that the meeting could begin between the ATFL and the students. The ATFL group then gave a description of who they are and what the purpose of their visit to AUB. Once that was over, they asked that students explain about themselves and why AUB is a good
place to learn. The ATFL then started asking different questions, and they ended up moving towards the issue of Lebanon’s future. This diversion towards the Lebanese issue finally revealed what they were concerned about, and that is of course, Lebanon. The way they asked the questions showed their great concern for the country and their willingness to properly understand what the problems are, to be able to properly help in fixing it. The main ideas discussed were the majors of each student, why they like AUB, what do they expect the average salary be upon their graduation, does AUB help
in advancing democracy, the freedom within AUB compared to the surrounding, the main problems of Lebanon, where do they see the country heading, and other topics along this thought path. The key question they asked every student after their speech was, “Do you plan on staying in the country?” The majority of the students said “Yes!” However, one or two students said the detestable and hated “No.” With every answer to these questions and as students started throwing their opinions around, the enthusiasm and interest between the ATFL group and the students could be realized. Each member gave a significant in-
Suspended elections cause tensions Fouad Badaoui Staff Writer
he Student Representative Committee (SRC) elections have long passed and still the University Student Faculty Committee (USFC) is incomplete with rumors of conflicts reaching us. What adds the cherry on top of this year’s elections is the fact the AUB community was informed on December 3 that the Board of Deans has decided “to defer elections of Arts and Sciences cabinet and USFC members pending investigation of allegations that compromise the integrity of the process.” These yearly elections are known to stir up grudges, as rival political factions attempt to get as many cabinet and USFC seats as possible. This year, as usual,
terest in the students’ ideas, to the extent that at one point they applauded a student who properly portrayed and convinced them of the underlying problem in Lebanon. It was in his opinion that the core problem is in the schoolContnued on page 4
! آف ٌة أم حلول؟:ملحمة ال ّتعليم
موسى شلح وفاطمة بوحليقة كتاب صحافيني
most candidates were divided among the 2 groups Students at Work (SW) and the Student League (SL). According to Dean of Student Affairs Maroun Kisirwani, the new tension peak was reached on the evening of Tuesday, December 1, when the newly formed SRC was to elect its cabinet. Right after the Faculty of Agriculture and Food Sciences (FAFS) representatives had elected their cabinets, one of the winners announced that he was actually with SL, but went through the elections disguised as an SW candidate. Kisirwani explained that SW thought of that student as a “Trojan Horse.” Trojan horses are not uncommon in SRC
كما قابلنا اجلهة املسؤولة عن,دوائر مختلفة الدكتور ّ مي ّثلها شخص,التّسجيل اجلامعي .معني سالمة ّ تن ّوعت آراء,في بادئ األمر الطالب بني من شجعوا وجوده ّ وبني من,أ ّيدوا النّظام القائم وبني من رفضوه,ّعديل ّ مع قليل من الت جذري فيه وقد قاطعا وطالبوا بتغيير رفضا ً ّ ّ استحوذت هذه الفئة بطلاّ ب االختصاصات ّ املكتظة وال س ّيما دائرة علوم احلياة ودائرة طالبة سنة, تقول ميرمي قاسم.التّعليم aeducation m (ثانية في دائرة التّعلي م انتقاء ما ّد ٍة ال ترغب أنّها جُتبر أحيان ًا على,)jor ٍ الدوائر األخرى يسلبونها موا ّدها ّ بها أل ّن ط ّالب Minor in في إطار انهائهم لشهادة تعد ّ أو أل ّن بعض هذه املوا ّد,Education ,في خانة العلوم االجتماع ّية واالنسان ّيات ّ فتكون األفضل ّية هنا للكل إلاّ صاحبة تتعجب سارة , كذلك.االختصاص نفسها ّ من أ ّن األولو ّية-حيدر –سنة ثانية تعليم ّ هم,السنة األخيرة الذين قد ّ تكون لطلاّ ب ,أمتّوا صفوفهم املشتركة من قبل (إنكليز ّية حني أ ّن سنتهم األخيرة,) إنسان ّيات,عرب ّية فتقترح سارة أن تكون,التخصص حتفل مبوا ّد ّ
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Editorial & Opinion 2-3 FHS Host a Climate Change Lecture Campus News 4-8 UN Climate Change Letter to the Editor 9 Conference Entertainment 10-11
Photo from Facebook.com
ّ ،عن اخملتبر قد يتعارض,لكل ما ّدة وقت معي مع ما ّدة أخرى يستوجب أخذها في الفصل عدة نسخ ّ ما يدفع الطالب أن يضع،عينه قد تصل إلى خمسة نسخ,مختلفة جلدوله أو أكثر يختلف فيها ترتيب الصفوف واألوقات واملد ّرسني حسبما يجده مفتوحا ويسجل ومع أن كل مادة قد ينزل منها عدة.فيه ,يفضل وقت غير آخر ّ شعب إال أن الطالب قد ّ إنّها.أو دكتورًا على سواه الطريقة الوحيدة ولكن أحيانا ال يحالفنا احلظ,للتّسجيل ,في ذلك ويسبقنا من له نصيب في ذلك فيقع الطالب في احليرة بني اختيار الوقت املناسب أو الدكتور الذي سمع عنه كثير من ّ واذا امتألت.االيجابيات يبدأ,الصفوف ّ كل ّ الطالب رحلة جديدة في وضع جدول آخر مع ّ امكان ّية استجداء عطف أحد ليبدل ّ الطالب أو مالحقة أستاذ،معه شعبه من الشعب ،من األساتذه ليفتح له محل في ذلك الصف !وتضيع األوقات ذهابًا وإ ّيأبًا ألجل عني اجلدول هذه هي أجواء التّسجيل التّي تطغى على قد جتدونها.اجلامعة األميرك ّية في بيروت ّ تهكم ّي ًة بعض ّ العلمي لكن البحث ّ ,الشيئ ّ وجمع األد ّلة,يستوجب التنقيب والتّدقيق ّ نتمكن من اطالق األحكام حتّى,الكافية إنطال ّقا من. املنوطة مبوضوعنا,املناسبة ّ التقينا بعددٍ من,هنا الطالب واألساتذة من
ICPC World Finals 2010 AUB ECE/CCE Team Qualify to World Finals
Bliss Street, West Hall 208 tel: 01 350 000 ext.3193
ويخفت وقع, تتسارع د ّقات القلوب... وتتلعثم األلسنة,الصدور ّ األنفاس في ّ وتنعدم,من وهل ا ّللحظة الطمأنينة في ألصاالت االلكترون ّية في مكاتب .املآقي ّ الواحد يضع يده,تعج بز ّوار املناسبة ّ اجلامعة , في وجه حاسوبه ينتظر الفرج,خده ّ على ّ ّ ألسكون بات من شيم والكل ال يك ّلم ّ .الكل ّ بأناس اكتظ فقد اخلارج ا أم ,الغرف هذه ّ ٍ انطال ًقا,يستهلكون حواسيبهم ال ّنقّ الة من املقولة التّي تزعم بأ ّن تسجيل املوا ّد يتم بشكل أسرع ّ التّعليم ّية في جامعتنا وحتدي ًدا في أمكن ٍة مع ّينة,عبر تلك احلواسيب متت ّ وإن كانت تلك املقولة ال...أكثر من غيرها ألصفوف تقفر من ّ .الواقع بصل ٍة أو بأخرى أوقات وفي,طلاّ بها في هذا اليوم املنشود ٍ يحددها نظام التّسجيل بنا ًء على مع ّينة ّ ّ حصلها كل ّ نوع االختصاص وعدد املوا ّد التّي ال بل أ ّن البحث املك ّثف عن جداول.طالب ّ ملدة قد يؤ ّدي الى,ما ّد ٍة مع ّين ٍة ّ تعطل النّظام وحرمان التّلميذ من,خمس عشر ًة دقيق ًة فقام,تسجيل ما ّدة رغب فيها منذ شهور ٌ .زميل له بسلبه فرح النّعمة منذ اللحظة التي تنزل فيها املواد املقررة يبدأ الطالب في رحلة إعداد,للفصل التالي ناهيك,اجلدول املتك ّون من خمس مواد أو أكثر
AIDS Awareness Day Red Cross raises AIDS Awareness
Editorial & Opinion
Editorial “Winning isn’t everything, Charlie Brown!”
Mohamad Yahia Hamade Editor-in-Chief I could almost hear Linus saying that (the editorial’s title) while attempting to overtake a “service” this Saturday on my way to Outlook’s weekly layout session. It seems like being competitive and being the victor in routine activities defines one’s life; mainly mine. Winning and the whole “coming first” mentality is deeply rooted in everyone. I’ve heard people say that they want to be the best and rule the world on several occasions. I’m guilty on this charge as well. Being the best at what you do and winning is all what matters at AUB. Whether its USFC elections or the Founder’s Day Essay Contest, being a winner is what everyone works for on campus. The whole “everything I do here is a challenge with others” is normal for all AUB students. We are conditioned to excel, strive for perfection every step of the way, and be winners in any situation we are in. This attitude isn’t just in the classroom and exams; it is also evident on campus. Anyone with an iPhone a few months back would be a winner, however, now that person is a loser when facing the new BlackBerry-holding AUBite.
The overachieving and cutthroat attitude in is an asset, but becomes a burden at the end of the day when this someone begins to use unlawful means to win. The SRC elections were concluded a few weeks ago, with the USFC elections soon to follow. However, due to student over-enthusiasm and eagerness to win, some parties began blackmailing and shaking down their opponents to secure political victory on campus. Unfortunately, for them and the rest of the student body, the Board of Deans decided it would be in AUB’s best interests that the USFC elections are halted until further notice. I don’t want to go into details, mainly because Outlook already covered this in a separate investigation; this editorial serves another purpose. Every sensible person should wake up and live their lives. Study hard and play harder, there’s no need for you to bother yourself, and the administration, for a dispute over student government. Lebanon didn’t have a government or a president for a few months. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not undermining the USFC, but I believe students can govern themselves with the existing voted members. All that is required from you now is to go to your advisers and register for next semesters courses. As for me, I’ll leave the whole student government issue till next semester, return to my Windows Mobile phone, and worry about next Saturday’s layout session.
Christmas is Around the Corner
Nidal Abil Mona God, evolution, or...both?
What is life, how did it start? Humans have always searched for answers about how life on Earth started. Religion had definitely offered some clues. Nevertheless, the picture was still vague. In 1880s, Charles Darwin provided a coherent scientific explanation of evolution, through natural selection. Ever since, a deeply polarized intellectual debate has emerged. Nowadays, many people perceive evolution and religion as mutually exclusive. I believe in both simultaneously. I believe in evolution because of the facts presented and I believe in God because of faith. Yet, it’s necessary that we clarify the ambiguous relationship that links science to religion. Evolution explains diversity of life on Earth. First and foremost, evolution is a scientific theory that is supported by facts and evidence, such as fossil records, Mendelian Genetics, and molecular studies. Evolution is change in the genetic material of a population of organisms from one generation to the next. It is accompanied with the appearance of intermediate live forms and this change is not random. It is through a process that causes helpful traits (those that increase the chance of survival and reproduction) to become more common in a population and causes harmful traits to become rarer. This process is called “natural selection,” and leads to adaptation. To the people that claim they do not believe in evolution, I say people can not believe or not believe in science, for science is based on facts and truths. Evolution is not something to be believed in. It is supported by evidence and is testable. Believing in evolution is like believing in gravity. Reasonable people ought to accept science because it produces verifiable predictions, which actually apply to the physical universe. Furthermore, peo-
ple are encouraged to question scientific facts. Nevertheless, questioning and inquiry are to be based on solid scientific grounds. We can not question a full-pledged scientific theory just because it’s not mentioned by religion, or contradicts our interpretation of sacred writings. Our system of belief should be based on investigations and in-depth study, rather than being based on dogmatic and superstitious ideas. Science is dedicated to eradicating ignorance, and uncovering the truths of the universe, as uncovering the truth of the universe would remove all sense of mystery and the supernatural. That’s why, saying “Evolution is just another theory” is unacceptable. It’s unacceptable because it undermines science, knowledge, reason, and evidence. Personally, I do believe that religion, in many aspects, agrees with science. For instance, there is a verse in the Bible that says the earth is a circle, Isaiah 40:22. That verse was written long before the Roman Catholic Church, in the Middle Ages, taught that the earth was flat. Besides, the Quran describes how the embryo is formed in womb in incredible accuracy and consistency with current scientific knowledge. As dialogue between the scientific and religious communities continues, the mutual understanding grows, and common concerns that require collaborative research and discussion emerge. Creation has been discussed in almost all sacred writings. The creation of humanity (in any scared book) shouldn’t be taken literally, but rather be viewed as symbolic and allegorical. I believe that the intent of these writings is to describe the humankind’s relationship to creation and the Creator. The sacred writer had not the intention to convey the sacred sessage through a strictly scientif-
ic language, for he aimed at communicating knowledge in a popular and comprehensible way. Thus, the language and logic used in all sacred writings was to match the simpler minds of the old ages. According to sacred writings (Bible and Quran), God has created the Universe, Earth, and Man. But, sacred writings don’t explain the mechanisms, or how Creation was done. What if evolution was part of the divine plan of Creation? Why can’t evolution itself be a creation of God? Maybe there is some silent force that guides which species succeed and which fail in the process of natural selection? What if biological evolution is simply a natural process within creation? Evolution might simply be a tool that God employed to develop human life. Science is not meant to explore how God has been influencing evolution, because science is only concerned with the physical natural world. It has nothing to do with mythology and the supernatural world. Hence, God’s role in evolution is open to interpretation. Creation, in the light of evolution, is an ordered gradual process that took time and man was not formed out of nothing, but out of a prior creation. The traditional view is one of God as a sculptor, but the view of God as an evolutionary biologist seems more logical and consistent with science. In this sense, evolution and religion tend to be complementary. One way to deal with the conflicts between science and religion is to consider them to be separate categories of thought, which ask fundamentally different questions about reality and posit different avenues for investigating it. By doing so, every party respects the other’s perspective and tools of inquiry.
Editorial & Opinion
f you’ve missed out on Outlook’s issue a few weeks ago, then you skipped on reading a very intriguing Op-Ed written by my colleague Laya Haddad. Basically, it addressed the age-long question: “what do women want?” It turns out that they don’t want much, besides passion and dedication-she’d marry you even if you were a jobless but a passionate writer, as a matter of
was never one granted with natural luck. In fact, I pride myself on having, at every point in my life, almost forced my luck. Because of this, a fear of jinxing any good situation keeps me from expressing extreme joy without considerable trepidation. However, here I am, in a humble op-ed, perhaps defying the fates (for fear of uttering the more controversial alternative) when I state I have never been happier to live in Lebanon. I was riding in a “service” the other day, and because it is usually on such rides that most of my reflective thoughts arise, I stopped and realized how peaceful these
Elie El Khoury The truth about men fact! Reading that op-ed made me look deep within myself, to peel the numerous onion skins of my manhood, in an attempt to answer, “What do men want?” You see, being born and raised in a country where males are painted as the Mercedes-Benz driving, excessively smoking, ruthless hunters, sets a pretty high bar of “virility” to keep up with. Thus, before you know it, you find yourself chasing after a tough major, a sports car, a (surgically enhanced, over-embellished, lightly dressed) woman, amongst others. But is that what men really desire? I beg to differ. It is only fair to admit that nothing beats the sense of accomplishment from an engineering degree (or whatever your major is,
I’m sure its cool as well), or the adrenaline rush of driving way beyond the speed limit, or the thrills of chasing a female. But beyond the momentary satisfaction of such endeavors, men seem to be wanting more. Perhaps it is the driving force behind the whole over-masculine image, but this exaggeration is simply due to fact that men are scared. Yes, ladies and gentlemen, the pressure to be up to society’s expectations drives us men to seek pleasure in a place where we end up losing track of our true desires. We become committed to the stereotype, often hurting ourselves and the ones around us in the process, and seldom ending up empty handed. So what do men really want? It turned out to be simple: men just want to feel appre-
ciated. Think about it. We work hard to provide when most of the revenue go to other parties. We commit ourselves to tiresome and sometimes dangerous practices to gain the trust of the people around us, and a smiley “I had fun tonight,” makes our night (and day after). This is what makes all the difference for us, not the wealth, not the prestige, not the status. I conclude this by noting that, all good things come to an end and this moment of truth is meant to remain as ink on this paper, never destined to leave its pages, no matter how accurate or just plain crazy it might be. I prefer it stays that way, since no matter how much a man might crave for affection, he will never tolerate jeopardizing his ego… And that my friends is the truth about men.
Mary-Ann Awada Normality in stints days seem to be, how uninterrupted their flow is, how utterly normal my life seems. For the longest time that I can remember, politics has not crossed (or forced itself) into my mind. Here I am, hopping from class to work to cab to home to party to café to gym. It seems too good to be true. And then I made another observation. I’d noticed lately a certain restlessness in the general atmosphere. Everyone I’d meet the past couple of months would complain about listlessness or lack of enthusiasm. I had encountered this listlessness myself: Anything I tackled, I could start off well, but week after week, my energy seemed to diffuse until I trudged along, barely making deadlines, arriving late to classes, skipping gym. I am unable to maintain exceptional, longterm performance.
Maybe it’s just me. But it does seem to me that this epidemic is yet another social consequence of the Lebanese condition. We have perfected the ability to perform well in short stretches, but we need breaks- constantly, frequently. We have been accustomed to riots breaking out, days off for one traumatic reason or another, strikes. In reality, our lives have been infused with a dramatic, action-fold that, unwittingly, we have come to almost thirst for. Is it possible that the lifestyle we have been put through (put ourselves through?) in previous years, though definitely horrific and jarring, has possibly nurtured a laziness in us? Sitting at home watching the news in times of trouble, stopping our lives for brief stints has become part of our culture. This is the first time in years that normality has dragged on for so long of
my adult life and the truth is it is disorienting. It appears people can get used to anything, and hesitantly, I am getting used to normality. I am adapting to the idea that the AUB calendar presented to us will actually be implemented as given, battling a desire for a few unforeseen days off to catch up on my sleep, and simultaneously, counting down the days to just get through this year safely. I just hope the perpetual threats of tension are just threats (we can’t even rid our vocabulary of the word “wade”). In any case, when I get too reflective, all it takes to jar me out of my reverie is a good ol’ Lebanese “service” driver. God bless Beirut driving.
Op-Ed فاطمة بوحليقة جميل التّنوع احلضاري والفكري واملذهبي واألجمل من ذلك،الذي يعيشه لبنان أن يعيش كل فرد في اجملتمع هذا التنوع ويتقبله بصدر رحب ويستقي منه ما .يفيده في حياته االجتماعية والفكرية ،خلف أسوار جامعتنا جند هذا التنوع جليًّا أصناف وأشكال من البشر من خلفيات يتعايشون وينتاقشون في شتى.متباينة وتوجهاتهم األمور وإن اختلفت أراؤهم ّ ّ .اي اختالف أو حت ّيز ّ تظل زمالتهم فوق ما نعيشه في جامعتنا العريقه ج ّو قد ال أي مكان ّ جنده دائ ًما خلف أسوراها أو في السنة ال ّ ولكن في فترة مع ّينة من،أخر فمع،أعلم ملا يختلف هذا الوضع قليال اقتراب كل موسم لالنتخابات في صرح جامعتنا يزداد نشاط الطلاّ ب في هذا الصدد وجتدهم كخلية نحل تعمل بال ّ فكل فريق يغني على لياله،ملل أو كلل ٍ ٍ يحضر ويضع اخلطط ويعد العتاد ,طب ًعا ّ ، ويحسب كل ّمن سيصوت لصاحله وال,رأسا على عقب ّ وبعد ذلك تقوم ً الدنيا ,تقعد إن نقص اسم من قائمة النّاخبني وا ّلتي يتم وضعها قبل االنتخابات حلصر وقد عشنا هذه األجواء.األعداد واألصوات ووجدنا كيف،من فترة ليست ببعيده كان احلماس على أشده في عيون كل من .املشرحني والناخبني في اليوم املشهود وحتى أكون صادقة كانت صباحاتي, قبله بأ ّيام,القول فهنا،مختلفة ومساءاتي استثنائ ّية من يصبح وهناك من ميسي وهنالك من الي بابتسامة عريضة وآخ ٌر يسأل ّ يومي ( والبعض يدخل في املوضوع،عن أحوالي دغري) هل سيكون صوتك لنا ؟ اريد أن أعرف ماهي التغييرات التي جرت لم ال نسمع،انتخابي عقب كل موسم ّ ملاذا لم مي ّر هذا اليوم،أو نرى شي نتج عنها بسالم ؟ ملاذا ال يدخل كل منتخب ويدلي بصوته بدون أي تأثيرات؟ ملاذا نشهد كل ذلك اإلحتقان؟ ملاذا تثار النعرات في هذا اليوم بالذات ؟ وأنتم من كنتم جتلسون جنبا إالى جنب وتناقشون كل ما يطري .ببالكم وتتقبلون أراء بعضكم البعض أنا لم أعرف طالب هذه اجلامعه إال متحضرين فلماذا في ذلك اليوم تتغ ّير مفاهيم التحضر في قواميسهم؟ أمتنى أن تكون هذه السنه استثنائيه وأن يتم ما لم يحدث في السنوات السابقه من وعود وعهود ألجل ايصال أصوات الطالب ومتطالباتهم
ATFL in AUB
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تتمة ص1 السنة األولى وال ّثان ّية أولو ّية التّسجيل لطلاّ ب ّ تدريجيًّا ,لضرورة تن ّوع جدولهم باملواد ,وع ّلقت قائل ًة“ :ملاذا يكون احلظ هو احملدد ملصيرنا في السنوات الثالثه وملاذا علينا أن نلجأ ملن هم أعلى من في السنوات الدراسيه ليسجلوا لنا صف من الصفوف؟” وتتوافق معها في ال ّرأي زينب حيدر ,طالبة كيمياء سنة ثالثة .وفي فئة أيضا ,تشاركنا رشا املوسوي (سنة الكيمياء ً شعرت بأنّني ثانية) جتربتها قائل ًة“ :لطاملا ُ العداء في الصفوف كما يركض ّ أركض خلف ّ املاراتون وراء هدف الفوز!”. وإذا أردنا االتجّ اه الى اختصاص علوم احلياة ,تقول سيرينا أبو سمرا (سنة ثالثة) أ ّن هذا النّظام أشبهبضربة ّ فتتعجبكيفتكوناألولو ّية حظ, ّ لبعض النّاس دون سواهم في موا ّد مع ّينة ,جمل ّرد أنّهم سبقوا غيرهم في دخول نظام التّجسيل, اجلامعي وهو وتضيف“ :إنّني أدفع قسطي ّ ليس بالقسط املنخفض ,ومن حقّ ي أن أختار ما أريد وأنّى أريد! أتجّ هت في سنتي ال ّثانية إلى ألسجل دائرة ال ّلغة االنكليز ّية ودائرة احلضارات ّ أما سارة بعض املوا ّد فأقفل الباب أمامي ّ ”... السنة األخيرة ,فهي البابا ,طالبة تغذية في ّ ّ تؤكد بأ ّن مسا ًقا مع ّينًا في دائرة التّغذية, يجب على جميع طلاّ ب اختصاصها أن يأخذوه, واإلشكال ّية واضح ٌة ج ًّدا “ :عدد ّ الطالب ّ الذين السعة -كما يريدون تسجيله سبعون ,حني أ ّن ّ تتعدى حددها نظام التّسجيل االلكتروني – ال ّ ّ اخلمسني مقع ًدا ,ما يستدعي التّالميذ أن ميألوا مئات ّ ّ يتمكنوا الطلبات( ) petitionsحتّى من تسجيله .أال ميكنهم من األ ّول أن يدرسوا هم ّ الطالب؟!” ّ كل األعداد حتّى ال يزيدوا من ّ هذا ,وقد اكتفى عبداهلل بكير ,سنة ثالثة دراسات بترول ّية ,بوصف نظام التّسجيل القائم على أنّه قد باء بالفشل. الدكتور كذلك ,فوفي حديث أجريناها مع ّ ٍ عبداللهّ صوفان (دائرة ال ّلغة العرب ّية ,وحائز على شهادته من اجلامعة األميرك ّية في الصفوف في بيروت) ,أعلمنا بأ ّن تسجيل ّ القدمي كان يجري يدويًّا في ّ ظل غياب األنظمة املتط ّورة ,وقد كان التّلميذ يتّجه الى مكتب اخملتص فيقوم هذا األخير بتسجيل املوا ّد املرشد ّ ّ لكل تليمذ بدوره ,وتتضاءل فرص التّالميذ مع كل تلميذ الى املكتب ,وانعدام ّ دخول ّ الطابور القائم أمامه الدكتور معني قدم لنا ّ من جه ٍة أخرى فقد ّ سالمة (مكتب التّسجيل) تفسيرًا مفصالً السابق ,كان عن عمل ّية التّسجيل “ :في ّ الدوائر .تُع ّبؤ <<البطاقات يتم في ّ التّسجيل ّ ثم ترسل البيضاء>> ,يو ّقعها املرشدّ , الى مكتب التّسجيل ()Registrar للموافقة عليها .بعدها ,شهدت جامعتنا نشأة التّسجيل االلكتروني عام ,2000 ناجح مئة باملئة ,فالتّالميذ ال وهو تسجيل ٌ يواجهون املشاكل من ناحية إضافة املوا ّد الى ّ لكل احملددة السعة ّ جدوالهم ,بل من جهة ّ الدوائر ( rchai ما ةّدة ,وهذه املشكلة ناجتة عن ّ حتدد )personsوليس عن نظام التّسجيل ,اذ ّ كل دائرة عدد ّ ّ الطالب ّ لكل ما ّدة ,ونحن ال ميكننا ألسعة أن نتدخّ ل في مثل هذه اإلجراءاتّ . يحددها في بعض األحيان عدد املقاعد ا ّلذي ّ يتعلق أما فيما ّ الصف املق ّرر للما ّدةّ . يحتضنها ّ باملشاكل النّاجمة عن ّ تعطل النّظام ,فبفضل تط ّور التّكنولوجياّ , متكنّا من رصد عدد احملاوالت
التّي يجريها ّ الطالب لدخول نظام التّسجيل, تعدى بعضها ثالث آالف محاولة في فترة وقد ّ زمن ّية قصيرة ,ما يؤ ّدي الى جتميد النّظام القائم حتد من تلك من جهة ,واضطرارنا التّخاذ إجراءات ّ ّعديات من جهة أخرى ,فتمنع ذاك التّلميذ الت ّ من دخول النّظام حلوالي خمس عشرة دقيق ًة. بحكر على ا ّن مشاكل التّسجيل ليست ٍ جامعتنا فحسب ,بل ا ّن ّ كل اجلامعات تعاني من مثل هذه املشاكل ,حاولنا أن جند بعض احللول لها مثل فتح امكان ّية التّسجيل في ّ يتمكن التّالميذ من ثالث فترات متباعدة لكي ّ الدوائر من اعادة النّظر في التّسجيل وتتمكن ّ تقدمي املوا ّد ,أو ترك فترة التّسجيل مفتوحة ملد ّة طويلة ,أو حتّى فتح شعب خيال ّية لبعض املواد ))service coursesالتّي تطلب بق ّوة مثل ,CVSP201وقد كانت أرقام تلك ّ الشعب لكن هذه احملاولة األخيرة لم تتنهي ب ّ ,999 يكتب لها احلياة.من جهة أخرى”. بعدها ,قص َدت أقالم األوتلوك الFAFS (قسم ّ السبب ّ الذي الطلاّ ب) ,لالستفهام عن ّ الدوائر عدد املقاعد في ّ كل ما ّدة, حتدد ّ من خالله ّ فكان ال ّرد أ ّن هذه اخلطوة تهدف الى مراقبة الفئة التّي تقوم بتسجيل املوا ّد ,فبعض الصفوف لزمالئهم التالميذ يقومون بتسجيل ّ عدة .على سبيل ما يؤ ّدي إلى وقوع مشاكل ّ السنة الثانية بتسجيل املثال يقوم ط ّالب ّ يتم فتح مواد طالب ّ السنه األخيره ،لذلك ّ ّ صف متك ّون من 50مقع ًدا بالرغم من أن عدد طالب السنه األخيره يتجاوز ال 70طالب ،فهذه اإلجراء يتم لسبب واحد فقط للسيطره على املتحدثة عملية التسجيل وليس إال .تضيف ّ باسم املكتب“ :لقد اختبرنا التّسجيل القدمي في اجلامعة األميرك ّية ,وممّا ال ّ شك فيه أنّه كان أسهل ممّا هو عليه اآلن ...لم يكن هناك ضرورة لفتح صفوف جديدة ,أو تقدمي عرائض لهذه الغاية ,في ّ مهم من األساتذة ظل تو ّفر عدد ّ اجلزئي فضلاً عن األساتذة املث ّبتني... الدوام ذوي ّ ّ لاً جزئي بدوام ي بد ًا ذ أستا أحضرنا اذا اآلن, أما ّ ّ ليع ّلم مسا ًقا مع ّينًا ,فهو لن يلقى التّرحيب نفسه ّ األساسي للما ّدة ,من الذي يلقاه األستاذ ّ قبل ّ الطالب”. ّ كل هذا ,وقد سمعت ُ بأ ّم عيني زميل ًة لي في بشيئ غريب .أعلمتها ه و تتف االختصاص ّ ٍ بأنّني أريد أن أحذف ما ّد ًة ألنّها ال تتناسب مع جدولي ,وصادف أ ّن هذه املا ّدة يد ّرسها أحد أحسن الدكاترة ,فكان ر ّدها :أمجنو ٌن أنت؟ ما لطالب مشكلتك؟ ما ّد ًة كهذه ميكن أن تبيعها ٍ مالي ق ّيم .خمسون دوالرًا يا مبلغ مقابل ما ِّ ٍ ٍ شيخ! أكان حديثها من باب الفكاهة أم ال ,ال ّ انعكاس تا ّم لالشكال ّية التّي شك أ ّن في هذا ٌ سبق أن طرحناها. وفي زبدة احلديث,حني يقترح العديد من التّالمذة حلوال ً تتمحور معظمها حول فتح الصفوف وترك احلر ّية ّ للطالب أن فائض من ّ يسجل خياراته ,مع امكان ّية اقفال ما بقي من ّ صفوف فارغة,ينبغي القول بأ ّن نظام التّسجيل بعدة عوامل ,جتعل من امكان ّية تعديله محكوم ّ مهم ًة صعبة; ال ميكننا إلقاء ال ّلوم فقط على ّ فالن أو آخر ,بل يجب أن نحكم دراسة املشكلة ٍ لكي يتبلور ّ احلل املناسب من كا ّفة جوانبها, ّ في ال ّلحظة املناسبة .أ ّيا ً كان األمر ,بانتظار اإلكسير ّ الشافي لها ,هذا وضع التّالميذ في جامعتنا ,وتلك هي ملحمة التّسجيل.
that they are saddened every time a student says that he/she wants to emigrate, yet gain hope and happiness when they say “yes I want to ”stay. Deck: Task Force and students show mutual interest in topics relating to Lebanon Call-out: “The way they asked the questions showed great concern for the country and their willingness to understand properly what the problems are to be able to ”properly help in fixing it.
45 minutes, however it was apparent that the students wanted more, because each one of them had their hands held up high, with the hope that they could further offer their opinions to this promising group. It was obvious that the ATFL were happy to meet the students, as it gave them a rare opportunity to meet the upcoming generation. After the meeting and while chatting with the members, they expressed their delight to be at AUB. They also explained
ing system, because it does not teach students the true meaning of citizenship but is just a purely academic institution. The student expressed that during his years at school he had sang the Lebanese National Anthem once per year and never more than that. He expressed the need to properly improve the system in that aspect and to teach students what it truly means to be a Lebanese and not just a person living in Lebanon. The meeting lasted for a good
Elections get frozen and tensions run high at AUB Contnued from page 1 right one for the students, they would not change it. They also stressed that, in their opinion, all the “commotion” was caused by no more than a handful of “hardened political activists” out of all those involved. According to them, this small group of approximately 15 students ruined the election process for 7500 others. “This is what’s frustrating […], that they claim credit for their parties rather than look out for the ”interest of the university, said Nezameddin. He criticized the fact that these hardliners have a political agenda that precedes in importance their fellow students. “Firmness. We should be firm with violators, if we can find them,” was Kisirwani’s reply to how the administration react to the violators. He added that the freeze itself is like a message to those manipulated by the hardliners and can be considered a “form of punishment for all students, for ”their immature behavior.
since “real physical aggression is being used.” For fear that the situation on campus would “deteriorate into ”unpleasant consequences, the Board of Deans decided to freeze the election process. Associate Dean Talal Nezameddin commented that they “could not ignore those threats or say, in full conscience, say that these were democratic free elections.” The Dean’s Office itself has been contacted by political parties, some of which are opposed to the decision of delaying the elections. Kisirwani said he had told them all that the “decision was taken in the interest of our stu”dents and of AUB. Nezameddin said that the necessity of the freeze is harmful to AUB since he thinks “AUB should be portrayed as an example to the rest of the country of the way elec”tions should be conducted. Nezameddin believes AUB, with its diversity and democratic way, should be considered a beacon for Lebanon. He and the Dean explained that as long as they were convinced their decision was the
elections and are usually the cause of great confusion. As a reaction, Faculty of Arts and Sciences (FAS) SRC members from SW decided not to have their cabinet elections “on grounds that they want to reexamine their strategies.” It was therefore decided that the FAS elections would be postponed, but not by more than 48 hours as per USFC bylaws. It was during these 48 hours that the Dean’s Office had received several complaints that candidates from both sides had been threatened before and during elections and “some of them really withdrew their nomination on the grounds ”that they were threatened. Kisirwani added that some threats implied physical harassment. Threats are also common in the electoral process in AUB. The calm before the storm ended on Wednesday, December 3, when a group of students “practically physically handled” another student. Kisirwani stated that the prospect of a politically oriented physical attack on a student was one step too far
"It all puts the spotlight on the problem of climate change.” -Lea Kai
Tackling climate change from all related aspects Tala Kardas News Executive
n what is the first in a series of lectures related to environmental and health matters, the Faculty of Health Sciences hosted a lecture by Lea Kai entitled “Mainstreaming climate change into national and sectoral development plans” on Wednesday, December 2. The audience was mainly composed of faculty members and interested professionals, while student presence was very minimal. Kai, who graduated from AUB with a BS in Environmental Health in 2003, is a member of the Second National Committee of Communication on Global Warming (SNC), as well as one of the delegates of Lebanon to the United Nations Climate Change Conference, that will be held next week in Copenhagen. The aforementioned committee aims at fulfilling the first objective of any climate change project, which happens to be mainstreaming. Though focusing on link-
ing what and where to mainstream in order to channel climate change issues to national plans, the lecture also explored the steps that should be followed to maximize integration of plans through both technical and policy aspects. Kai also highlighted the importance of reviewing existing and future policies to tackle the issue more precisely and hence propose mitigations. Accordingly, what the SNC has been trying to do for the past few years is take a comprehensive approach towards attaining their goals. In addition to a greenhouse gas inventory, one of their primary goals has been involving stakeholders in the project from the very early stage. As Kai noted, “everyone wants to be involved which could be chaotic, but in our case, has proved to be beneficial.” This benefit was manifested in all the focal points that are involved leading the SNC onto more contacts and allowing expectations to be better explored. Regardless of that, the need
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has shifted from the technical to people involved on the policy level. On that point, Kai said, “We have not been able to meet the Director Generals of concerned ministries and get their approval, even though here we are better than other countries in the region like Syria and Jordan. What we have here is
national competency and we are also lucky to be using a technical regional model that gives us a modeling of the climate projected.” The process has not been smooth for the SNC though, as with every project, there are many complications and limitations that arise, mainly relating here to the collection
of data. She added that there has been a big dependence on estimations and that not everyone of their focal points is willing to share data, which in turn can limit the room for action. On the topic of the upcoming Copenhagen Summit, Kai hoped that the imitative taken by the Prime Minister’s office would lead to more motivation and involvement. She too was surprised by the sudden attention, which is mostly directed towards a political and economic agenda. Nevertheless, Kai said, “it all puts the spotlight on the problem of climate change.” The lecture was concluded by posing the future challenges that the SNC faces, especially in terms of following up to all climate change issues in the Ministry of Environment. A Q&A session followed, in which those in attendance shared their opinions and reflections on the matter at hand, as well as indicating that the issue of climate change should not be left unsolved.
Run naked for a greener planet! Fouad Badaoui Staff Writer Mechanical Engineering student Sherif Maktabi ran on Bliss Street in his boxer shorts along with two friends, Ali Fakhly and Karim Badra, on Monday, November 30. The three are members of IndyAct and were attempting to raise money for the environmental group that plans to help send Arab activists to the Copenhagen United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP15), as they are short on funding and need sponsors. “Exposure will attract attention and sponsors,” said Fakhly as the three were getting ready at House on Mars, the accessory shop near Bliss. They undressed and bore In-
dyAct stickers and marker-drawn slogans that read “Proud Feminist” and “Abolish 534” on their chests and backs. House on Mars posters were clipped to the back of their underwear. The shop is their “biggest sponsor” for the COP15 event, according to Fakhly. When asked what would happen when they reached the Hubaysh police station at the end of the street, Maktabi simply replied, “We’ll probably get arrested” and laughed. “I feel excited,” he also commented as they walked out. They made their way down to Medical Gate in their unique attire, chanting, calling out to friends and receiving various remarks from passers-by. At the gate, cameramen and
news reporters photographed and interviewed them. At this point, Badra is reported to have stated loudly, “I love Earth!” and then started their run. They stopped about 50 meters before the police station for another interview. “I’m not scared of the authorities if they intend to stop us for trying to save the planet,” said Fakhly. Their deed done, they slowly walked in the middle of the street in the direction of the station before turning back and jumping into their getaway cars. No reaction was seen on the part of the authorities, which were the runners’ biggest concern, noting that the entire event went on smoothly. Photo from Facebook.com
AUB to Compete in ICPC 2010 World Finals
Rasha Salem News Executive
rganized by the Association for Computing Machinery, the International Collegiate Programming Contest 2009 (ACM-ICPC) is an annual two-level international competition. Teams first compete in regional programming contests held around the world. Winning teams and wild cards chosen based on outstanding performance then advance to the World Finals. The ACM/ICPC 2009 Arab & North Africa 12th Regional Contest (ANARC) was held this year in the Arab Academy for Science and Technology in Alexandria, Egypt on November 22-24, 2009. The contest included 45 registered teams from 29 universities. Nine countries were represented: Egypt, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Morocco, Oman, Palestine, Syria, and
the United Arab Emirates. The AUB team consisted of third year CCE students Mario Ghandour Achkar and Jad Hachem, fourth year CCE student Oussama Hariz, Coach Nagi Nahas and Faculty Supervisor Professor Louay Bazzi. The team attempted and successfully solved 6 out of the 10 programming challenges of the five hour contest, ranking fourth amongst the competititors. ICPC Executive Director, Dr. Bill Poucher, has granted ANARC two wild cards for the 2010 World Finals, which are to be held in Harbin, China during Feburary 2010. The three teams advancing to the 2010 World Finals are: Faculty of Computers and Information - Cairo University: s2++ (Rank 1), The British University in Egypt: BUE Blizzard (Rank 3), and American University of Beirut: AUB Engineers (Rank 4).
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OSB students too tough for OSB building Fouad Badaoui Staff Writer
usiness junior Alissar Sarieddine was unpleasantly surprised the night of Friday, November 20, when a glass door collapsed and fell on her, as she tried to open it. According to Sarieddine, she was leaving the small Balama study room on the second floor of the Olayan School of Business (OSB). She pushed the door open with her left palm with no more strength than one usually uses to open a door and it “just fell.” “I was shocked. It was raining glass,” said Sarieddine as she recalled the door disintegrating into an almost powdery state and falling down on her. Security was notified and Sarieddine was asked to walk up the only road on campus-up the hill from OSBwhere she was transported to the AUH emergency room.
There, she received the proper medical treatment, including stitches on the back of her left hand and a Tetanus shot. Apart from a few minor scratches and her hand, Sarieddine was unharmed. She is left-handed, though, and said she had some trou-
glass door would collapse that way, Outlook came out empty handed. Assistant to the Dean of Business Hala Azar said that there was no way to verify the facts or Sarieddine’s story. Associate Dean Khalil Hindi did not provide an explanation either but
“The door disintegrated into an almost powdery state and fell down on her.” ble writing a test but received no compensation, despite her situation. The incident took place shortly after the Business School had opened and Sarieddine did state that “it’s a new building and there was so much advertising.” Indeed, the new school is a modern building with many transparent doors and walls. After inquiring as to why a
said, “we trust our students”. It is still unknown whether the door had fallen due to structural inadequacies or environmental factors. Thus, the mystery of why it collapsed remains unsolved and pending an investigation.
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“All that matters are the students, for they are the future of this country.” -Professor Rabih Talhouk
Faculty peer recognition is more vital than monetary rewards: Interview with Dr. Talhouk about faculty involvement in student activities
Mohammad Hijazi Staff Writer
ne of the main things that distinguishes AUB from other universities in the region is the extent its faculty are involved in extra-curricular activities on campus. Perhaps, the best example to give is that of Biology Professor Rabih Talhouk, who has proved his love and enthusiasm towards AUB students. In an interview, he said that he has a strong attachment to AUB students and campus. “Students are the essence of the university and the faculty and staff,” he said. “I am always active with student activities because working with students make me feel young and rewarded again,” he contin-
ued. Talhouk pointed out that service to university is technically part of the teaching contract of full-time faculty, yet each professor may be involved to a different extent in student activities. Some prefer to restrict their focus of teaching courses and research. “To each his own,” he said. “Things will definitely flourish if more people join in and it is my love towards AUB and its students that encourages me to participate in as much activities as my time would allow.” To him, the three basic elements for advancing in student activities are first and foremost, the students, then comes the role of a faculty adviser, and later the higher supervising committee, which in this case
is the Office of Student Affairs. Indeed, Talhouk has been part of several on-campus activities. His main activity during these years has been as adviser for the AUB Campus Yearbook. This is his sixth year in the position where the yearbook team has published three editionsone of which is currently in print, one going into print in a month, and this year’s edition which should be finalized by the end of the academic year. He is also the adviser for the Civic Welfare League Club (CWL) which is a successful AUB student club that offers night-schooling for AUB staff. In his decades of service, Talhouk has been the adviser for the Biology Student Society,
Iraqi Cultural Club, the student newspaper Outlook, and has been part of the USFC for a couple of years. When asked if he thinks there should be a reward system to encourage more faculty to take part in campus-wide events, Talhouk stressed that monetary rewards are not always the best answer. “Peer recognition and respect is more important,” he said. “To know that students are pleased with my work really make my day,” he added. Talhouk said that peer recognition does occur. The Dean of Student Affairs recognizes the work of faculty advisers and appreciates it. “But there is always room for improvement,” he said. “AUB has come a long way from people not being recognized for their
achievement. However, this is gradually getting better and eventually everyone will be please with the results.” When asked about the decline in participation of faculty in student activities in the past few years, Talhouk responded that “the situation in the country reflected on the mood of the faculty and students, which may have caused this lack of participation, but hopefully the political situation is getting better and I hope to see some improvements in this issue.” “All that matters are the students, for they are the future of this country,” he concluded.
AUB and AIDS Awareness Day: Red Cross raises awareness about
serious disease Deedee El-Jilani Staff Writer
IDS awareness day was held at AUB by the Red Cross on Tuesday, December 1. The Red Cross members held stands near Main Gate and West Hall. On the stands, few members would ask passers-by questions about AIDS and if they got the right answer, they would get a Munchkin doughnut. Other members were walking around campus, mainly around West, carrying red roses. When a person would answer correctly, they would get a rose. In either case, if they got the wrong answer, they became more aware of the infectious disease. Later during the day, at around 4:30 PM, a small gathering of Red Cross members were decorating the
floor near Main Gate with an image of the red ribbon that symbolizes AIDS awareness. They used floating candles to border the image and filled the space inside with red rose petals. They began to light the candles at around five and supporters or just random people who were there came by to help with the lighting. After all were lit, the members and supporters stood around the symbol and a picture was taken from the balcony of College Hall. It was a touching moment and people felt as though they contributed to the awareness, even though all they did was light a candle. When asked about their thoughts and opinions on this idea, one Red Cross
member answered, “I am a Red Cross member, I cannot give my opinion.” A few other opinions overheard were things along the lines of increasing the passion and wanting to know more about AIDS. Others were talking about the candles and went along discussing burning cats, which somehow led to their conversation on a game called graveyard animals. All in all, the Red Cross members did all they can to grab people’s attention and increasing general knowledge about the issue at hand.
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Campus News Page 8
“HIV is not a homosexual disease; it is one that comes from practicing unsafe, and not just homosexual, sex.”
An article about what’s almost too embarrassing to be in the title: What you need to know about STIs (and HIV) Yasmine Saab Contributing Writer
n Thursday, December 3, representatives of the NGOs Think Positive, Helem, and Soins Infirmiers et Developpement Communautaire (SIDC) met to answer questions about sexually transmitted infections. Also present was Dr. Faysal al-Qaq, AUB professor and sexual health researcher, who is responsible for the government decree passed just last week that obliges all schools in Lebanon to incorporate a sex education unit into their educational curriculum – including the subject of homosexuality. Helem representative George Azzi accurately noted the reluctance of the majority of the Lebanese population to accept discussion of STIs. This is a result of lack of awareness, poverty, and most notably, social taboo and stigma. These “factors of vulnerability” inhibit one’s understanding of STIs like HIV, and as a result, make one more susceptible to them. The general unwillingness to discuss STIs is caused by two issues. The first of which
is the “that won’t happen to me” idea – which is not a valid reason to not be informed, and is also probably incorrect (some STIs don’t have noticeable symptoms; it’s easy to have one without knowing). The second issue is that this kind of talk is socially unacceptable. While many people may hope they are not around for the day when people discuss their STIs over coffee, our society should be one that allows for an acceptance of the people that carry such diseases, without discriminating against them. While Lebanese law prohibits discrimination against medically-disabled persons (HIV/ AIDS is considered a medical disability), private companies are not directly under its legislation and thus do not adhere to this rule with regard to their employees. If Lebanese social customs allow one to perpetuate misinformation (like that HIV is a homosexual disease rather than a result of unsafe sex), then HIV victims cannot really stand up for themselves while the public view them critically because of their assumed homosexuality. This is where Helem, through advo-
cating of homosexual rights in society, Think Positive, and SIDC and their spreading awareness about the real nature of HIV, come in. Other areas of deficient state care include interrupted HIV medicine availability in our pharmacies, and although the ministry of health covers medicinal expenses, it does not cover the tests required to check for the disease (often costing about $300). It might be interesting to note that AUB’s health insurance plan does not cover either of these expenses. To find an affordable and anonymous place in which to take the required tests to detect the virus (CD4 and Viral Law Test), Hasan Cherry of the Think Positive NGO recommended out-patient departments of hospitals (AUH has one) or organizations like the aforementioned NGOs that guarantee confidentiality. As Nadia Badran, the SIDC representative pointed out, the issues impeding the success of HIV+ rights, as well as STI awareness and advocacy, need time to change. We can start now through getting informed.
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HRPC gathers goodies for the needy: Club collaborates with NGO to
spread good will during the holiday season Outlook Staff
he Human Rights and Peace Club (HRPC) organized a three daylong donation campaign in front of West Hall last week, starting on Tuesday, December 1 for the occasion of the holidays. The event, planned in collaboration with the humanitarian non-governmental organization (NGO) BASSMA, comprised of a stand placed in front of West Hall to collect food and hygiene products. These would later be distributed by the
NGO to the under-privileged families it works with. The stand was decorated with BASSMA flyers, posters of the event, and slogans that read, “Donate food and hygiene products to the needy”. Boxes, some of which had signs that indicated what to put in them like “Canned food” and “Grain,” also surrounded it. As students put bags of rice and soap bars in the boxes, passers-by flocked to the busy stand to learn about the event. HRPC member Petra
Chamseddine said she was “proud of the people who donated.” She also noted the first day was slow as most people still were not aware of the campaign. The Vice President of HRPC, Fouad Badaoui said that he was reminded of the kind of divided society Lebanese students live in, when donators were suspicious as to whom the goods would be going. “People just developed this natural paranoia,” he said. In fact, several contributors asked if the needy families belonged
to a specific confession or neighborhood. Badaoui also stated that the campaign was originally two days long but that Wednesday was successful enough to convince them to continue until the end of Thursday: “It doesn’t make much sense to stop while people are still giving.” By the end of the third day, the club had gathered more than 12 boxes full of contributions that were sent to the NGO. Yet some, like Biology Junior Layla Nasr, a supporter of the HRPC, thought
more could have been gathered. She doesn’t blame the stand or the HRPC members who worked, but the “lack of interest in the topic” felt by most students. “It’s not everyday you find someone willing to walk around with a gallon of vegetable oil,” commented Badaoui. He did, however, call the event a success, since in his opinion, it did motivate a lot of people to think of others. “There is still some good in the world,” said Chamseddine in reference to those who did find the time to donate.
Letter to the editor
Just be Lebanese Has anyone ever wondered why the Lebanese face difficulties living in their country? The answer might be very clear especially because of electricity and water are not supplied efficiently, timewasting traffic jams, politics, religion, and wasta! These difficulties would have certainly destroyed any big country in the world. Fortunately, we are resisting all of them. This may be something to be proud of. Personally, I see that all those difficulties and struggles that we, as Lebanese and non-Lebanese, face are just the effect of our ignorance of the reality we are living in. Yes, we are ignorant no matter what our grades at college are and no matter how many languages we speak and books we read. Our problem is that we ignore our identity and mistakenly
consider others as idols. This would not have been the case had it not been due to our bias towards media and external influences. We always compare our Lebanon to the United States or Europe. But why? Those countries have their own cultures and traditions. They are different from us, but this does not mean that they are better. I was amazed at how Lebanese living in the West, when coming back here just sniff around and hate everything they see, complaining that the West is better. Maybe the roads are better, but what else? I believe those people should look at our country in a different way. They should plan for its bright future by overcoming its present and not running away. External influences also play an important role. Lebanese living
Sebastian Nasrallah here and abroad are taken by politics and the work situation outside. This is normal, but is only a consequence of what the people have done with this country. Imagine if people did not vote for the wrong people or if they did not participate in that single day in April 1975 leading to the war, which is responsible for the miserable state we are in. You might think I am blaming the people, and you are right. We are the source of the misery we live in, we are the people who work in the government, and we are the people who drive and provoke the traffic jams. Why don’t we think the other way around? Why don’t we look forward to solving these problems of traffic and electricity, to vote for good people and work more fairly? Is it a hard job to do?
I really understand when people get desperate to find a job and then get so provoked here that they travel. I also understand the psychological effects of the deprivations that the government provokes (after all I live in Lebanon too). But what happened to our will to struggle towards independence and to our lives? Shall we always look at the West as the superior empire that is ruling us? And if not why are we imitating them? Most of the people at AUB either speak English or French all the time and others dress in a fake western personality. Some even do both at the same time Sticking to our history is certainly wrong, but to forget it, is worse. We, as Lebanese, have things to be proud of. Other than that we created
The exemplary of deliberative democracy As the student elections conclude, one starts to thinks that not just Lebanon or the rest of the Middle East, but the rest of the world, could learn from the student-elections at AUB. The university has encouraged its students to takes multiple perspectives into account and orientate themselves towards mutual understanding and common action, in accordance with the ideas of founding father Dr. Daniel Bliss. AUB has been instrumental in the establishment of conditions that are conducive to reasoned reflection and re-
fined public judgment. It has actively facilitated the students’ mutual willingness to understand the values, perspectives, and interests of others, which are not just values of deliberate democracy, but
pression and seeks to foster tolerance and respect for diversity and dialogue. Graduates will be individuals committed to creative and critical thinking, life-long learning, personal integrity and civ-
“One could not but wish Every day was Election Day!” of the University itself and thus assured in AUB´s mission statement: “The university believes deeply in and encourages freedom of thought and ex-
ic responsibility, and leadership.” The respect for dialogue and commitment to critical thinking is clearly reflected in the
many debates and hearings AUB has hosted. Students have been engaged in intense deliberation in every corner of campus, re-framing their interests and perspectives in light of a joint search for common ground, and mutually acceptable solutions. Elections at AUB are to be regarded as an open and shared discovery process, rather than a ratification of fixed positions. The institution thus schools its students to overcome the sectarian challenges and partisan entrenchment that the country has suffered from, for all to long. The universi-
the alphabet and our possession of so many treasures, we have our unique culture. We have our own kind of music (the Rahbanis for example) and food. We have the best universities and schools in the Middle East and the Arab world. We have the brightest minds and athletes, and of course, we have media and press. All those are a result of many decades, or even centuries, of work that we should value and respect. To solve our problems today, we should just value ourselves and our identity. We should be confident of ourselves as Lebanese and work for the common wealth of the future of the country, and not just stick to our ego and biased minds, leading to the disappearance of Gibran Khalil Gibran’s race.
Tore Rørbæk ty’s encouragement of active participation and focus on the process of deliberation makes me sure of one thing: decisions at AUB will be taken by those in possession of the better argument! I would like to pass the baton on to the spokesperson of each student-coalition, so that ideas of student-democracy are furthered and more important, so that everybody be informed on how they managed to inspire and involve their fellow students.
Entertainment Page 10
ultiple Grammy winner Norah Jones is back on the scene with her latest effort “The Fall,” proving she can be successful even with a slight diversion from her typical jazz style that made her famous in the first place. Her track list offers both ends of the spectrum, going from the extremely upbeat in the beginning to completely slowing things down towards the end. By doing so, Jones gives her listeners a perfect and carefully chosen final product that is certain to keep many company on long, cold December nights. First single and album opener “Chasing Pirates” indicates what one can expect from the album, especially with a strong musical background and Jones’ trademark strong vocals. It is understandable though that many will not like this track, as it evokes no memory of previous hits such as “Don’t Know Why.” Strong guitar elements are dominant over the traditional piano sound that fans of Jones have been used
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to, yet it seems to work somehow. In fact, the guitar theme is so dominant over the entirety of the album, that this could cause a rift amongst old and new fans. Moving forward, the tracks “Even Though” and “Light as a Feather” both center on the
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- The Fall
ery often, great music comes from little known artists or bands. Augustana is a perfect example. In 2002, this American alternative rock band from San Diego, California recorded their first single “More than a Love Song” which originally was a high-school love song. They chose the name “Augustana” which means monsoon season in African. The original members included Dan Layus, Josiah Rosen, Kyle Baker, and Simeon Lohrman. They recorded a full length record, “Midwest Skies and Sleepless Mondays” which was released in Spring 2003 with only 1000 copies were produced. Later that year, the band recorded “Mayfield
notion of love and its implications- another theme that is repetitive on “The Fall.” Musically, “Even Though” continues along the same pattern of its predecessor but “Light as a Feather” is too slow that one has the urge to just skip over it.
Augustana EP” and only 25 copies were made. The band found fame with their second album, “All the Stars and Boulevards,” which sold 300,000 copies in the United States, including over 1,000,000 singles of “Boston,” which probably is amongst the catchiest alternative songs of all time. The band released their third and latest album, “Can’t Love, Can’t Hurt,” on April 29, 2008. The first single from the album is titled “Sweet and Low,” which also went in with a bang. Songs from their albums were featured on the soundtracks of famous television shows such as One Tree Hill, Numb3rs, Scrubs, Smallville, and Big Bang Theory. The band is current-
The fourth track “Young Blood” stands out instantly as it ups the mood from the first note. Here, Jones combines a guitar-fuelled musical background with her intricately woven lyrics and vocals that just compel you to hum along. “I Wouldn’t Need You Now,” “Waiting,” and “It’s Gonna Be” also do not disappoint, yet they seem to be lacking a certain element that will keep them in the back of the listener’s mind. The final track in the set of almost or completely upbeat songs is “You’ve Ruined Me,” a beautiful song that will probably get lost in the shuffle. It seems to be the only misplaced track and should have been included around the beginning of the album. “Back to Manhattan” starts off the slower portion of “The Fall” and proves to be the best of the entire product. The piano is allowed full control, with the occasional interlude of guitar, and of course, Jones’s beautiful vocals that frame the entire piece. Though not as beautiful as their predecessor, “Stuck”
and “Tell Your Mama” are two songs that must be given credit for their ingenuity. It seems that as the album draws to a close, Jones delves deeper into her emotions, offering pieces that display true musical artistry. The closure of the album comes in the form of the love letter “Man of the Hour.” To say it is unconventional is an understatement, as the singer chooses to highlight her lover’s flaws instead of his better qualities. She comes to conclude that she loves him no matter what, as he will never hurt her. All of this unfolds while a background of rhythmic guitar plays on, ensuring perfect harmony between the two elements. The only problem with “The Fall” is its length, as many new listeners may get bored after listening to the first few tracks, thus failing to reach the true gems of the album. For fans and those interested in her style, Norah Jones’ fourth effort is one not to be missed, especially during this season.
Mohammad Hijazi ly working on their forth album. Out the pool of songs Augustana has, only a few songs could be suggested for Alternative fans. “Boston” begins with piano followed by drums and guitars chiming in later. This song will be instantly familiar to fans of “The Fray” or “Snow Patrol.” Earnest vocals with strongly melodic instrumental backing are the order of the day. A music video was released for the song which starts with the lead singer (Dan Layus) playing a piano on a beach with the sea at low tide initially, later showing numerous other abandoned pianos. More alternative songs include “Sweet and Low,” “California’s Burning,” and “I Still Ain’t Over You,”
which should have been in the spotlight. As for the rock fans out there, songs like “Meet You There,” “Either Way I’ll Break Your Heart Someday,” and “Twenty Years” will quench their thirst for decent music. Although generally their songs are not of Hard Rock type, they can be listened to on many different occasions. Students can kick back during and listen to Augustana while studying because they give a soothing feel and rhythm to the room. Once you listen to any of their songs, you will automatically get hooked to their style.the spotlight.
am going to be honest here, my expectations of the movie were pretty low heading in to watch it. The title of the movie itself left a lot to be desired. However, once I began watching the movie, I was pleasantly surprised. The movie itself is set in an apocalyptic land strewn with zombies everywhere. A plague has spread across the globe that has transfigured human beings into nasty, puke-mouthed creatures incapable of humanly conduct. It seems like a plot that has been exploited countless times in previous movies. The movie, however, takes a different track by taking a supposedly gory and dark theme and twisting it using a comedic perspective. The reasons for the origins of the zombie disease that we see throughout the movie are not well explained, although there are many hints along the way- we will not get into that in order not to provide any specific spoilers for anyone considering watching
the movie. The timeline and previous sequence of events, as well as the reasons as to why the survivors we see have survived, are also not explained. In fact, virtually nothing is explained. Everything must be taken at face value in this movie, leaving great dark holes in the plot that we are forced to fill up with our own creative imaginations. The main characters in the movie are the lone survivors of this vicious disease, who as individuals, are vastly different from one another, yet mesh together in an intensely comedic fashion that enthralls the audience and provides the perfect mix of bravery, intelligence, dumbness, and cowardice. Jessie Eisenberg’s nerdy, insecure ‘Columbus’ character and Woody Harrelson’s redneck, zombie-killing ‘Tallahassee’ play very well off each other and provide a uniquely comedic scenario that develops between the two main characters that are so fundamentally different from one an-
bold student production, 7 Jewish Children, premiered last Monday, October 30, at the Lebanese American University (LAU). 7 Jewish Children, directed by LAU student Fuad Halwani, chronicles the journey of the Jewish people in their search for a place to belong, from the perspective of a Jewish woman. The role of the Jewish woman was performed by LAU theater graduate Assil Ayyash, who said of the role, “I loved the script. It was one of the most challenging that I have ever been presented with, to take the role of a Jewish woman [being an Arab one].” The actress elaborated on the fact that her Arab upbringing and perspective on the Palestinian-Israeli con-
Zombieland other. Tallahassee’s main mission in life is simply to locate all the Twinkies in the world and bash as many zombies as he can. Together with the geeky Columbus, they wander across America doing the only thing they can do in this diseased world, fighting zombies. All in all, Zombieland is an entertaining movie that takes the classic “zombie” theme scenario and propels it in new directions. It has plenty of those little moments that will just make you laugh without you really thinking about it, and there lies the brilliance of the movie. The jokes really are simple and dumbed down, but are cast in such a way that seem really hilarious. It doesn’t pretend to be a sophisticated movie with a sophisticated message, nor does it pretend to be just another one of your typical zombie movies. It really is there to make you laugh- just be prepared to leave your brain at the door.
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7 Jewish Children
flict was something she had to face and tackle as someone who had to portray the other side’s story. The Palestinian-Arab angle was not overlooked in this play, however. It was ingeniously unfolded through musical accompaniment, composed by sound designer Arek Dakessian, and the movements of a single silent onstage figure, actor Hussein Nakhal. A melange of only four instruments formed a wondrous melodic characterization of Palestinian spirit and the final sound of the doudouk at the end of the play denoted the everlastingness of this spirit. Together, the musical dimension interwoven with the actor’s mindboggling physical narrative movingly reflected the Palestinian reaction to each point
of the story, progressing from carefree satisfaction, to outrage and confusion at the occupation of their country. Written by Caryl Churchill in the aftermath of Israel’s 2008-2009 military attacks on Gaza, the play covers the seven-part (hence the play title) plight of the Jewish community, beginning with the Holocaust to the present day. The seven stages are symbolized on set by seven white dresses that cleverly create the backdrop of the stage area, and the seven ladders assembled across its floor. The rest of the tale is told by Ayyash’s intensely emotional monologue that oscillates between violent and tender, provoking a mixture of emotions in the audience that makes them pity and hate her at the same time.
That the play conveys and acquaints the audience with the vulnerability of the Jewish side of the experience is a point of interest and brave open-mindedness. To Ayyash, this reflects the true and natural purpose of art and artists, which is to speak out. She also expressed her pleasant surprise at the audience’s ability to sympathize with the (Jewish) character’s account. Halwani’s LAU production of 7 Jewish Children signifies the first of its kind in modern Lebanese theater, and heralds an encouraging movement toward greater expression. To this end, the play simultaneously mirrors and assists an increasing cultural progression towards freedom both in the creative world and outside it.
out of the box
The Outlook team Chairperson
Mohamad Yahia Hamade
Mariam El Ali
Tala Kardas Rasha Salem
Members at Large
Rachid Akiki Simon Barakat
Rawan Abu Salman Mary-Ann Awada Ali Badran Moussa Chalah Nadine Ghaith Maryam Hoballah Mhd Izzat Husrieh Khalil Issa Wajiha Jurdi Kheir Elie El Khoury Sandra Sawaya Maya Terro Tarek Tutunji Mohammad El-Jabi Fouad Badaoui
Abir Abdul Ahad Qater Al Nada Mohsen Dima Barbir Tariq Buhilaigah Mohammad Al-Mad
Generalized Anxiety Disorder Generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) is much more intense than the normal anxiety people experience when they have an exam or go on a first date. GAD is an anxiety disorder that occurs without any provoking, as it is chronic and unfounded worry and tension. GAD involves anticipating disaster and often excessive worry about health, money, family, or work. People with GAD cannot shake their worry, even though sometimes they realize that their anxieties are unjustifiable. If the anxiety is severe, people with GAD can face difficulty accomplishing the simplest daily activities. GAD rarely occurs alone and is often accompanied by other anxiety disorders, depression, or substance use. GAD is characterized by a minimum of six months of chronic, exaggerated wor-
ry, and tension that is much more severe than the regular anxiety that most of us regularly experience. Some symptoms of GAD include: irritability, inability to relax, and being easily startled- amongst others. People with GAD also suffer physical problems, a few are: headaches, nausea, and sweating. Most of you may be wondering about the causes of GAD. Anxiety disorders are complex and usually result from a combination of genetic, behavioral, and developmental factors. Studies suggest that genes play a role in the origin of anxiety disorders. Experience, however, also plays a part. Scientists are using brain imaging technology and neuro-chemical techniques and are finding a network of interacting structures that are responsible for these emotions. Most
of the research focuses on the amygdala, a section of the brain that works as a communicator between the parts of the brain that process sensory signals and the parts that interpret these signals. Thus, it appears that different sections of the amygdala may be responsible for different forms of anxiety. GAD is commonly treated with medication and/or cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT). CBT has been proven to be very useful in treating anxiety disorders. The cognitive part aids people in changing their maladaptive thinking patterns and the behavioral component seeks to alter people’s reactions to the anxiety-provoking situation. Medication, though, may vary from anti-anxiety medication to anti-depressants.
Heads Up on Health
It’s all about the smile… The majority of you probably know about the “tooth in a glass of cola” experiment where, in every pretty much every science fair, someone demonstrates cola’s ability to eat through tooth enamel. It is not pretty, but sadly, very true. Soda, though, is not the only food that affects your grin. When it comes to bad teeth, sugar is not the only factor to stay away from. Soda, fruit juice, and sports drinks are not only sugary but also acidic which creates the perfect home for bacteria that cause cavities and gum disease. Sipping all day on one or more of these drinks is more than what your saliva’s acid-neutralizing abilities can take. So what to do? You may
choose to sip water, instead or buy yourself some straws, as sipping through them reduces the amount of time your teeth are exposed to a drink. Sticky stuff, like gooey caramels or fruit roll-ups are to be avoided. The “sticky” list also includes bread, crackers, chips, sweet rolls, and other refined carbohydrates that cling to teeth and hang on for at least 20 minutes, which is not good. One realistic fix is sloshing some water around in your mouth or chewing a stick of sugarless gum that is sweetened with xylitol. The gum helps remove sticky food particles from your teeth and xylitol curbs cavity causers and increases healthy saliva. However, in order to have a stunning smile, you will
need to become best friends with cheese, crunchy things, and tea. Eating a bit of cheddar (or cheese in general) at the end of a meal helps protect teeth— it stimulates the production of cleansing saliva and the calcium in cheese helps harden teeth. Moreover, crisp apples, celery, and carrots are nature’s little toothbrush alternatives. Not only do they help rid your mouth of food particles, but also their rough, fibrous texture actually scrubs away as you chew, slightly brightening your smile. Drinking tea (black or green likewise) after eating can also help in preserving your smile’s beauty by destroying the germs that cause cavities, gum disease, and less-than-fresh breath.