American Univesity of Beirut

Student Corner

​RCODE Graduate Student Nicolas Gholam's Dedication Leads to Great Success

Nicolas Gholam.jpgNicolas Gholam is the coordinator of the Ardi Ardak National Food Security Initiative, which aims to create sustainable market access for SMEs and local small-scale producers and to rejuvenate abandoned lands. ​

During his time in the RCODE program, Nicolas served (and continues to serve) as Outreach & Operations for the Environment and Sustainable Development Unit (ESDU), allowing him to develop many practices for the market access of small-scale producers.

He helped relaunch the Akleh Community Kitchen,“Food & Roots" (a socially engaged brand that sells traditional, innovative and locally grown mouneh products) and the Ardi Ardak National Food Security Initiative. Nicolas also co-founded two businesses; Karya (a platform for experiential tourism) and Mawsam (an online marketplace for small-scale producers) all under the umbrella of rural development.​

RCODE Graduate Student Rania Bou Said Paves a Path to Success​

​​​Rania Bou Said(2).jpgRania Bou Said is an RCODE graduate and an emerging leader in her community in Lebanon. Her co-developed and low-cost environmental non-profit enterprise, SaWa, which aims to monitor farmers' water practices while guaranteeing a competitive agricultural product, was shortlisted for the Water Innovation Lab (WIL).

 Rania was invited as a Rural Community Development student guest at MENA Food Safety Associates (MEFOSA), to share her knowledge about various aspects of rural community development. The session gave her the opportunity to share her knowledge and interact with farmers and experts. She was able to listen to their stories, experiences and needs. Additionally, she was able to highlight the importance of balancing the Water-Energy-Food (WEF) Nexus, and discuss possible solutions.​


​RCODE student ​​​Sara​ Zayat wins 1st place in MIT Lebanon Challenge Hackathon | June 2020

Congratulations to Mastercard Foundation Alumna and RCODE student ​Sara Zayat, co-founder of Khebez w Meleh, who came in first place in the MIT Lebanon Challenge Hackathon / Knowledge Economy Sector​. The MIT​ Lebanon Challenge is an online Hackathon that was organized by MIT, June 26-28, 2020. 600 selected applicants, 120 mentors, 24 judges, and 51 volunteer organizers from all around the globe came together to design innovative solutions to Lebanon’s most pressing ​challenges.

Khebez w Meleh is a social enterprise that aims to build meaningful connections between rural families and local and international cultural-seekers. It offers rural families the opportunity to generate income by hosting guests and creating authentic and affordable packages.​



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