Department of Social Sciences sponsors student exhibition on the “Concepts of Citizenship”
The Department of Social Sciences sponsored a student poster exhibition on the “Concepts of Citizenship,” under the supervision of Dr. Zeinab Mirza, on October 25 at the Adnan Kassar School of Business (AKSOB) lobby on the Beirut Campus.
The exhibition, attended by School of Arts and Sciences Dean Nashat Mansour, featured posters in which the students of the POL230 Citizenship class expressed their understanding of what it is to be a good citizen.
Mirza said she wanted her students to become more engaged in the course through a non-traditional project for which they will be graded instead of a written mid-term exam.
“We want to integrate the concept of citizenship in the minds of our young students, especially that the majority of my students are in their freshman year,” Mirza said of the course given to freshman students.
“A course is not meant to be a form of burden. It is about learning. If they are not involved in the course, they will not learn,” she said. “I asked my students to create eye-catching posters, in order to promote our message to the rest of the students in LAU,” she added.
The AKSOB lobby was abuzz with students hanging up their posters, discussing their work and defending their ideas to Dean Mansour, who inspected each project and challenged the students with questions about how they would implement the exhibited concepts.
The themes ranged from gender equality, environmental activism, the right to vote, social work, smoking in public spaces, blood donation and respect of others.
One project featured four posters one calling on citizens to be responsible, to volunteer, to vote and to respect others, another quotes Greek historian Thucydides: “It is men who make cities, not walls or ships” and one poster asks: “Is this the Lebanon You want?” The posters also show pictures of Lebanon before the war and modern-day Lebanon in their background.
For Nour Shehab, 19 years old, one of the designers, the idea behind using pictures of Lebanon was to stress the need for the Lebanese citizens to work together toward good citizenship in order to have a better country. “It’s the citizens who actually make the city what it is,” she said, referring to the quote.
Tala Nashef, 17 years old, another designer, said the Lebanon the people want is the one that existed before the war. “It is the clean Lebanon, where everyone worked together, where everyone voted, where everyone respected their country and where everyone protected its environment,” she said passionately.
Tolerance was a recurring theme in the exhibition. One poster showed two girls lying next to each other. One is wearing a necklace with cross and the other is wearing a hijab. Hiela Ghazal, 18 years old, freshman, said she wanted her project to be more of a visual message. “This shows how respect is a necessity in a community especially that we live in Lebanon,” she said.
Another by Hadeel Koteich, 17 years old, called for acceptance whether based on race, religion, gender identity or sexual orientation.
Karim Fleihan, 17 years old, and Taha Afifi, 20 years old, promoted social work, blood donation and recycling as part of being a good citizen, while Miriam Hamadeh and Samaher Sharbatly, both 18, highlighted the need for gender equality.
“Our poster is about the importance of women. So being a good citizen means that you understand and appreciate them. Women rights are human rights,” Hamadeh said.
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