Dear Colleagues and Students,
We gather here to honor the Lebanese flag and once more express and dedicate our loyalty to our beautiful Lebanon.
Lebanon is going through a difficult time. We are going through some uncertainty about our future and the economic situation makes it hard for young people to be hopeful about building a future.
Let us remember Lebanon has sacrificed a great deal and yet the Lebanese remain welcoming and proud. Lebanon enjoys freedom and the Lebanese understand the power of dialogue and tolerance: Something that is much in demand today in the East and the West.
As bad as it seems, this is a point I want to emphasize. Our differences are our strengths. The West sometimes simplifies our differences on the basis of sect. But actually we have differences in worldviews, in ideologies and in our attitude to how we want to develop as a society. These often overlap across sects bringing together people on a variety of issues. Such differences are healthy and needed.
AUB students recently elected its USFC and SRC representatives in free, fair and innovative elections to prove that Lebanon can be a role model for the region and that AUB is a role model for Lebanon.
What is particularly heartening is the civilized way students handled themselves not just before and during the elections, but also after the elections. Democracy, tolerance, dialogue, peaceful political competition and diversity are values that AUB cherishes with all its will. And they thrive thanks to the best values still remaining in Lebanon and that we can teach the world.
AUB continues to have life and live it abundantly. There are now 100 Clubs and societies activities boasting thousands of members. No one is forcing students to be active and engaged. The calling comes from students themselves.
When I look at this flag I see the inspiring message of civility and tolerance. There is no alternative to the Lebanon that proudly defies all those who doubt it can prevail. Here today, under this beautiful flag, we pledge our commitment to protect the fine reputation of AUB and also keep this country safe from harm wherever we are in the world. Long live Lebanon, Long live AUB!
Talal Nizameddin, PhD
Dean of Student Affairs