Featured Interview with Mr. Ragheb Alama

Mr. Ragheb Alama
1. Ragheb Alama, you are one of the most prominent artists in the Arab world. You also have profound interests in education, politics, and environmental causes. Tell us how you think being a public figure and influencer allows you to have an impact in each?

When a person strongly believes in a case and in their country and God has placed them in a position to spread happiness to others, it then becomes a duty to continue further with such steps. I believe that the United Nations chose me to be their ambassador because they saw in me the passionate person who cares about society and not just an artist who performs and excludes himself from the surroundings.

2. Your advocacy for education is also extended to students with special needs, and you supported this cause in this year’s BMA Youth Race. Tell us more about the importance of this cause and the significance of inclusion of kids with special needs into schools and societies.

I believe that people who don’t accept others especially those with needs belong to a broken society. Unfortunately, growing up, we were raised in an environment that laughed at people with needs instead of encouraging acceptance and that’s what led to the deterioration of Lebanon.
Now with the evolution of technology and education, we have come to realize that such people are found to have special talents and knowledge that some of us don’t have. And instead of considering them as burdens we should take advantage of such skills.
They are humans like all of us who need our support and care. They are our source of happiness.

3. Does our educational system provide enough attention and support to students with special needs?

Yes, especially with the support of Mr. Elias Abou Saab, Minister of Education & Higher Education, in the process of merging children with special needs in regular classes and allowing them to engage with other students in both public and private schools.

4. Your second passion is for environmental causes. Tell us what it means to you that the UN appointed you as their Green Ambassador? How do you evaluate this experience and how do you plan to materialize it?

This is a very important topic targeting our civil society knowing that our government unfortunately is far away from finding suitable solutions to protect our nature.
God presented us with such beautiful nature and climate, where we can plant anything starting from a mint plant to a cedar tree. What our government is not willing to do, should be done by our civil society, youth and university students to serve our country and humanity in general. With our youth, we will reach a change in our governmental structure and eliminate the corruption.

5. What are the best and worst moments in your job?

Worst Moments:
On the personal level, we lack freedom. With the invasion of technology our lives have become difficult and communication has become minimal with others. We barely have any time for ourselves without having people taking photos or invading our privacy.

Career wise, our jobs do not have legal rules to protect us as artists. We also get affected by the economic changes that hit our country.
Best moments:
Standing on stage, surrounded by all the amazing people that support me. And being in the studio recording new songs.

6. Finally, what is your message to MUBS students, especially during these turbulent and critical times in the country and the world?

My main message to MUBS students is to believe in one another and not in politics, religion or even race. It is time that we overcome the question of “what is your religion?”
We shouldn’t differentiate between people based on that... If you want to love me, you should love me for the person I am.
With unity and love, we will build a better country for our children that believes in equality and provides freedom to practice their own beliefs.

MUBS Green Design Day

MUBS held its annual Green Design Day on April 15, 2016. The event was attended by MUBS students, in addition to a number of high school students. It was an enjoyable day packed with fun, and flowing with knowledge on health and environmental awareness. 
The activities during the event included:

  1. 1. Bicycle Ride, by Beirut by Bike
  2. 2. MUBS/FSUL Cycling Championship
  3. 3. Zumba + Aerobics, sponsored by Fit Stop Gym
  4. 4. Graphic Design Exhibition
  5. 5. Lecture by Mr. Paul Abi Rached
  6. 6. Terre Liban Green Contest
  7. 7. Healthy Food Table, by the Healthy Club at MUBS
  8. 8. VEA Hbr Up-Cycling Competition

Stemming from its commitment to environmental causes, the Graphic Design (GD) Department organizes annually an exhibition on Up Cycling Projects to spread awareness among the university students.
The guest speaker for this year was Mr. Paul Abi Rached, President of "Terre Liban". Mr. Abi Rached was very impressed by the students' projects as he expressed his intention to collaborate with the GD department in future ventures.
Mr. Patrick Zoughbi, Founder and General Manager of VEA, and Ms. Nelly Baz, Managing Partner at Hbr and Contributor at Comma and ArabAd, also attended the event and distributed trophies and certificates to the winners of the MUBS students’ contests.

Results were as follows:
Best Industrial Design: Ayad Malaeb
Best Experimental Design: Rayan Naboulsi
Best Adaptable Design: Mohammad Abboud and Zeina Choujaa (Product Design)
Best Adaptable Design: Taha Sibaii (Fashion Design)
Best Adaptable Design: Nizar Nassrallah (Product Design)
Best Adaptable Design: Rawan Abou Said (Accessories)
Best Adaptable Design: Lara Aridi (Jewelry Design)

The winners earned internships at Hbr and VEA to develop their ideas and produce them. The winners for "Best Adaptable Design” will also sign an agreement alongside VEA, which entitles them to royalty fees on the sales of their items. Additionally, the GD Department will be working on a research project, in collaboration with Hbr Creative Platform, during the upcoming semesters.
Another contest that involved high schools’ students, the Terre Liban Schools’ contest, took place during the event. Students were to execute a 3D model for the “Terre Liban”, using reused and recycled materials. A number of high schools presented their projects and three schools were selected.

Results were as follows:
First place: Batloun Technical School 
Second place: Choueuifat Official Secondary School
Third place: Shouf National College 

The Green Design Day was a testament to the sense of allegiance within MUBS family. The event embodied the spirit of MUBS, thus combining awareness, knowledge, creativity, youthful joy, and responsibility, all coming together for a common cause.

Health Days at MUBS

Having your vision, blood pressure, blood glucose, and body composition analysis tested for 5,000 L.L sounds like a dream! Well, the School of Health Sciences (SHS) at MUBS made that a reality by organizing two open-house health days in Aley campus (April 6) & Damour campus (April 14).

MUBS, in alignment with its community service mission, is committed to community awareness and support whenever and whenever it can. The SHS team holds this mission dear to their hearts and translates it in all their extracurricular activities. Those two health day events welcomed people from Aley and its surrounding villages (Aley Health Day) and the Damour & Chouf area (Damour campus).

The greatest part of those days was that SHS students took part in working live with patients by measuring their blood glucose levels, blood pressure, vision acuity, and body composition analysis. This experience is tremendously important for our students. Not only it will give them practical experience of what they learned in their courses, but it will also teach them patient-provider communication and nutrition education skills. Furthermore, our students will have a high self confidence in treating patients and informing the lay public later on in their life.

The SHS team would like to thank Aley campus staff, the Health Club- Aley, SHS students, and the UCTD-Jal el Dib staff for all their help and support in making this event a success.

"Effects of High Energy Visible Light" Seminar

As part of its “Science in the Community” Seminar Series, the School of Health Sciences (SHS) organized a seminar on the "Effects of High Energy Visible Light" presented by Mr. Sharbel Abi Ephrem, Optometrist and Business Development Manager at MENA HOYA Vision Care Europe. The seminar took place on Wednesday April 13th at the Damour Campus in the presence of more than 40 attendees.

Mr. Abi Ephrem opened his talk by introducing the audience to high-energy visible light and blue light. He then discussed the harmful effects of being exposed to blue light such as the irregular function of our circadian rhythm (Biological Clock) and the consequences that might be encountered as a result. Mr. Abi Ephrem concluded his seminar by advising the attendees to be careful by limiting the daily use of mobile and computer devices.

Sports- Nutrition Training at UCTD- Jal El Dib

On the 9th of April, the University Center for Training and Development (UCTD) at MUBS, Jal el Dib held a Sports & Nutrition training session with more than 60 participants.

The training focused on the following topics:

  • Definition and benefits of physical activity and post workout meals, meals before and during a competition: presented by Ms. Carole Kamel, CEO of Advanced Sports Center.

  • Physiology: Anaerobic (Type II fibers) and Aerobic (Type I fibers) and Doping vs. Supplements: presented by Dr. Ziad Harb, University Professor, Researcher, Member of the Lebanese & French Society of Sports Medicine, and CEO of NUMED.

  • Types of exercise and sports supplements: presented by Mr. Robert Maalouf, Owner/Personal Trainer at Le Gym

The training concluded with the distribution of certificates to all participants.

Blood Donation at Damour Campus

The School of Health Sciences at MUBS, in collaboration with “Donner Sang Compter/DSC” Association and “AUB Medical Center”, held a blood donation campaign at the Damour campus on the 7th of April, 2016.
A number of students, faculty, and staff donated blood, thus making this campaign a real success.

Social Work Workshop

The Association of Universities, Institutions, and Departments of Social Work, in collaboration with the Modern University for Business and Science (MUBS), organized a workshop on April 5, 2016 entitled “The Risks and Challenges of the Social Work Practices”.

The workshop commenced with a speech presented by Dr. Hoda Sleem, Secretary General of the Social Work Arab Society and Dean of the School of Education & Social Work at MUBS, followed by Dr. Hatem Alamy, Chairman of the Board of Trustees at MUBS, and Dr. Ali Cheaib, President of MUBS.

After the opening ceremony, MP Dr. Atef Majdalani spoke about the role of the parliament in protecting the social workers in the field. Then Dr. Ahmad Jammal, Director General of Higher Education, presented about the importance of establishing policies that protect social workers, in collaboration with the Lebanese and Arab universities.

Sessions held during the workshop were as follows:
The first session was headed by Chairman of the Human Rights Commission of the House of Representatives, MP Dr. Michel Moussa.

The second session was headed by MP Dr. Kassem Hachem.

The third session was headed by the Founder and Director General of Abaad Organization, Mrs. Ghida Inani.
Finally, the recommendations session was chaired by Dr. Awatif Abdel Hamid from the House Representative in Sudan.

A Groundbreaking Virtual Exchange Program with Stanford and other American Universities at MUBS

In recent years, so much has been made on the role of globalization in bridging cultural distances and educational disparities among countries and across borders. The tools for such lofty goals have mostly focused on online learning and the ability of faculty and students to communicate and benefit from each other’s expertise and research. In Lebanon, and despite the hype, we have generally lagged behind in utilizing all available routes to promote active exchange of knowledge and information. Institutions that have taken the lead in this exchange and movement towards globalization were either resorting to very limited face-to-face exchange, or passive online learning. The former method is complicated by the political instability in the country, and the former has been proven by research to be of limited long-term benefit as it lacks student engagement and face-to-face interaction.
At MUBS, we have always valued active, participatory, and interactive learning environments. We aspired to bring that same philosophy to our exchange programs. As a result, we have embarked on a pioneering program with Stanford University in California, USA to start the MUBS Virtual Exchange Program that allows MUBS and Stanford University students and faculty to study and work together on a daily basis in select courses and utilizing world-class educational platforms created by Harvard, MIT, and developed by Stanford (Stanford EdX Lagunita Platform).

The benefits of student exchange are vast and multi-layered. Beyond interactive learning in classrooms of 25 students or less, across borders to exchange information and discuss academic material that culminates in a common project presented by groups of four students (each group contains 2 American and 2 Lebanese working on a daily basis through videoconferencing and common course work), the benefits of this exchange are cultural and long-lasting.

Human beings tend to form positive stereotypes of those they resemble, and negative stereotypes of those who are different, creating in-groups and out-groups. Stereotypes are then used to explain behaviors not only of groups, but also of individuals. Such attitudes reduce complex realities, simplifying the multiple causes of human behavior to a single factor. Furthermore, stereotypes can be difficult to suspend because they are also typically linked to strong positive or negative emotions—depending on the nature of the stereotype. When such stereotypes are used to explain behavior, to evaluate performance, or to predict the potential of individuals and groups, conclusions that are reached using such flawed categories will also be flawed.

Unfortunately, we can detect the negative repercussions of stereotypes in our national and international communities. As educators and professionals from MUBS and Stanford, we will try to make our students cognizant of the explanatory frameworks used to judge others, especially out-group members, when working with individuals. Such cognizance is necessary for an objective and realistic understanding of specific communities.

For many decades, educational institutions have set up face-to-face student exchanges to help counter stereotypes and broaden perspectives. In spite of its benefits, though, face-to-face exchange is a difficult and expensive form of educational experience, one that is more often available to students from rich nations, and requires these students to have the means and flexibility to live far away from home for an extended period of time. As a result, we have developed this exchange because our experience suggests that cultural trait stereotypes held about life in the Middle East and the United States can be altered to become more differentiated and objective by engaging students at MUBS and American universities in a cooperative, group educational activity, mediated by technology.

In every field, today's professionals routinely collaborate with counterparts across multiple borders and oceans, sometimes meeting face-to-face and sometimes meeting through the intermediary of technology. Ease and fluency in these settings is an important professional asset. As a foundation, the exchange will use a form of problem-based learning to help prepare students for this kind of professional collaboration. Developed by faculty and researchers in both the U.S. and Lebanon, the exchange will also emphasize cross-cultural learning, and through new media and technologies it will promote collaborative learning. Working in cross-national teams and empowered with digital tools, students will be tasked to solve the same kinds of problems that they will soon be tasked to solve as professionals, with counterparts they may continue to know long after their common course has ended.

As students at MUBS, the Virtual Exchange Program with Stanford will help prepare students to join this century's global workforce. This innovative and pioneering program is a testament to our university’s impeccable record in academic circles on the international stage. We are currently planning on expanding our courses to include common courses with Georgetown and George Washington University, which sends a signal on what MUBS is striving to achieve and the standing we hope to realize among the top-ranking universities in the world.

Nael Alami, PhD
VP for Research and Innovation
Modern University for Business and Science

Congratulations to Mrs. Diana Maddah and Dr. Nisreen Alwan for Winning the AUB’s KIP Project Academic Research Award

Congratulations to Mrs. Diana Maddah, faculty member at the School of Health Sciences at MUBS, and Dr. Nisreen Alwan, Dean of the School of Health Sciences at MUBS, for winning the American University of Beirut's KIP project academic research award.
This $5,000 award is made possible through a generous federal assistance award from the US Department of State.
Mrs. Maddah's and Dr. Alwan's research project, entitled "The perception of students enrolled in Lebanese rural schools towards the role of women in their communities", aims at exploring the perception of students enrolled in Lebanese rural schools towards the role of women in their communities and the perceptions of women themselves about their status in their society.

Congrats to MUBS Student Hisham El Tawil!

Hisham ranked second in the Lebanese Universities Table Tennis Championship 2016, which was held at LAU on Saturday April 9.
Way to go, Hisham!

Interview with Mrs. Enas Abu Hamdan
Faculty member at the Graphic Design Department at MUBS
Educational Background: Master’s Degree in Graphic Design and Visual Communication- Lebanese University- Faculty of Fine Arts.

Mrs. Enas Abu Hamdan

1. Can you brief us about the Green Design Day and the significance of such event? Following last year's successful event, what additions did you have this year?

MUBS Green Design Day is a yearly event that educates students about topics related to nature and how to protect it. This day is full of activities that encourage our students to become ecofriendly.

During the GDD, participants accessed our Graphic Design exhibition. There was also an environmental lecture with Mr. Paul Abi Rached, LHEE and Green Line associations, Zumba classes by Fit Stop Gym and a bike race. In addition, the day included sports tournaments in table tennis, basketball and mini football. Our guests also had the chance to taste the delicious healthy snacks.

The continuous success of this event motivates us to expand it by the year. What was interesting about this year’s event was that ‘Hbr Organization’, which we cooperated with in one of their contests, announced the results of the competition during the GDD.

2. What was this year’s Green Design Competition? What were the prizes?

This year we cooperated with “Terre Liban” which is an environmental association. High School students (Grade 12) who participated in this contest were required to design a 3d model tree which is the logo of this association. Students who participated in this contest had the chance to earn a scholarship at MUBS.

3. What are the latest projects and competitions your GD students are working on?

In our Graphic Design Department, we encourage our students to participate in contests and competitions in Lebanon and abroad in order to practice real life work and to grasp knowledge on how to deal with clients.

During this semester, we participated in different contests like Liban Pack, Drugs competition and Rubber Reusing contests for Lebanon. Last semester, we participated in a project to design an indoor plant magazine for Fragmento Universo- Spain and we won the competition. This semester, we are working on re-branding InstaShop – Dubai.

4. can you share with us any creative idea on how to use recycled material to the benefit of fashion or home accessories?

Nowadays, people are more aware of how to save nature by choosing to reuse old items for different needs.

Regarding this subject, there are many ideas one can think of.  Girls can use old cds and dvds to decorate bags and clothes in a stylish way. We can also use bottles and glasses to plant flowers. Furthermore, wheels may be used as decorative items for plants or to make beautiful furniture and chairs for our gardens.


By going green, you will guarantee a healthy and clean lifestyle! I try to recycle as much as I can, but unfortunately we don’t have the proper recycling equipment and bins in all areas.


Our country is unfortunately full of garbage. By recycling we will at least protect our environment which will then guarantee fresh air and cleaner beaches to enjoy during the summer.
Unfortunately, I don’t recycle. I find it sometimes hard to do so especially at home where recycling bins are not available.


By going green we can protect our beautiful nature that Lebanon is famous for. Our country is known for its tourism, so we should not ruin that!
I am not going to lie, I don’t recycle. I think because it is not enforced nor implemented properly.


Having a clean environment reduces erosion, pesticides, and many health issues.
I recycle as much as I can, but sometimes I forget since it is not yet common in Lebanon. At MUBS, I remember to do so because of the bins located on each floor.


Going green is being eco-friendly.
I don’t personally recycle because it is the government’s duty to provide a clean and healthy environment.


Going green is very important. With a clean environment comes a healthy body because the trees purify the air and protect us from diseases.
No, I don’t recycle because I am not used to it. .


Nature is our mother, so it is our responsibility to take care of what we do to it. Going green is a way of living.
I do recycle; at first you find it disturbing, then it becomes a habit.


Going green is very important since it shows that we care about our nature and that leads to a clean and healthy environment. Regrettably I don’t recycle… simply because we are not used to it.


The importance of Going Green is to reduce air pollution and greenhouse gases, to stop global warming and its effects.
Yes, I recycle because I care to have a healthy environment.


There are several benefits for going green:
   - Lower costs: Recycling products requires less energy than those items produced from raw materials, this can preserve the natural resources.
   - A more sustainable world.
   - Better quality of life.
Sure, I do recycle to live in a clean environment.


The importance of Going Green is to reduce the environmental problems facing the whole world.
Yes, of course I do recycle to protect my environment and reduce pollution.


The importance of Going Green is to have a healthier life.
By going green, we will witness a decrease in pollution, cleaner air and environment and of course better health.
Yes I do recycle. We need to start recycling even with limited resources. We need to save our nature and lives. .


Going green is a way in conserving natural resources .We are running out of natural resources including wood, oil, and clean water, very quickly!
Sure! Recycling saves trees and protects wildlife habitats.


By Going Green we will be reducing pollution
"Go Green," to keep future generations happy and clean!
I definitely recycle, mainly to help in solving the garbage problem we have been facing in Lebanon recently.


We only have one planet to live on, so we need to take care of it while we can.
Sure I recycle! I want my children to live in a clean environment.


By going green we cultivate more plants and trees in vacant lands, and help maintain the ecological balance on earth, so that all living beings can survive and thrive in their natural habitat.
Yes I recycle! Recycling helps reduce pollution.

  • If all the aluminum cans Americans threw away in one month were stacked on top of each other, they would reach to the moon.
  • It takes 75,000 trees to print a Sunday Edition of the New York Times.
  • Americans throw away 2.5 million plastic bottles every hour.
  • Material like food scraps and plant clippings that go into landfills take up costly space and decompose to form methane, a greenhouse gas 20 times more potent than carbon dioxide.
  • Since California's beverage container recycling program began in 1987, Californians have recycled more than 120 billion bottles and cans, enough to circle the earth more than 375 times.
  • It has been estimated that on average a school-age child using a disposable lunch generates 67 pounds of waste per school year. That equates to 18,760 pounds of lunch waste for just one average-size elementary school.
  • Every year Americans fill enough garbage trucks to form a line that would stretch from the earth, halfway to the moon.
  • Each square mile of ocean is estimated to have 46,000 pieces of plastic floating in it.
  • http://unicycler.com/go_green/fun_stuff/recycle_facts

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