Lama Mattar: LAU’s Multi-talented Faculty
The Lebanese American University hosts a range of the finest faculty members in the region. Many of them are not only proficient in their fields, but are also multi-talented and are thus an asset to invest in. Dr. Lama Mattar, Assistant Professor of Nutrition on Beirut campus, is one of those faculties to be proud of.
In addition to her expertise in nutrition, Mattar has a deeply-held passion in photography that she discovered five years ago. “I think it is very important for people to explore their passions, because human beings have a lot of potential and we simply need to foster rather than suppress them,” affirms Mattar.
Her passion had granted her the second place in a very prestigious photography contest, Photomed Liban, in 2016. “I used to share my photos only with very few close people… Then I realized that there is no point in doing visual art without exposing it, so I did a website and was encouraged by a photographer friend to submit my portfolio to photomed,” she asserts.
This led her to establish her first exhibition last September under the title: Inked Minds. The exhibition comprised portraits of tattooed men and women since portrait “is the Royal Gateway” to unveil people’s emotions. Through her exhibition Mattar aims to counter prejudice and overcome the labels that ‘non-compliant’ individuals are captivated in. “It is with clarity - but also softness - that we see the inked enchantment on bare skin, with due respect for others,” states Mattar.
Mattar did not study photography yet she cultivated her photography skills through self-teaching and attending seminars between Paris, Beirut and Monaco, because for her “photography is a mean of expression like writing is for a writer.”
Moreover, Mattar is an advocate of animal rights. She is a board member of Animals Lebanon and the chair of the committee of cats at LAU. “I feel so good when I am with animals. It is a very noble cause, and animal welfare has direct benefits on human welfare,” confirms Mattar.
Mattar had always wanted to become a vet but since the major was not available in Lebanon and due to her brother’s diagnosis with coeliac disease at a young age, she was involved in nutrition and hence chose to delve into the field. “Coupling it with my love for teaching, I decided to pursue my PhD to continue my career in academics,” she proclaims.
Indeed, Mattar reflects the core spirit of the School of Arts and Sciences at LAU which is to merge the two fields, Sciences and Arts, through a long tradition of liberal arts education, so as to reveal the beauty of both and prove that “individuals are in reality very different from the inherited label that society imposes on them,” as Mattar truthfully concludes.