American University of Beirut


LDEM Students tutor international course on Designing Sustainable Communities


Student commentary: “We had a very interesting lecture about the complex geopolitical issues of the middle east, but what was most interesting is having this conversation with an interdisciplinary audience from different parts of the world."

Guided by Nayla Al Akl and Dr. Beata Dreksler, LDEM students Tima Farhat, Michelle Abi Hable, Ranim Hariri, Luna Mansour and Yasmin Rizk will serve as tutors in the international online course: Designing Sustainable Communitiespart of the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) funded Middle East Social Innovation Lab (MESIL). The students will tutor and mentor a group of international students from Germany, Lebanon, Jordan, and Palestine as they work on the case study: the Artas Valley in Palestine. Another 10 LDEM students are also enrolled in the course. Due to the pandemic, the workshop is fully online. The course is composed of 8 multidisciplinary groups and includes students and tutors from the disciplines of landscape architecture, spatial planning, architecture, and business. Students will work on innovative community management and organization, community-based approaches for improving livelihoods, and enhancement of the local economy on the neighborhood level. In their work, they will use different learning methods such as Theory of Change, community- and challenge mapping, and Social Business Model Canvas. The workshop began October 6, and will conclude on December 15, when outcomes will be presented to stakeholders in Palestine.

​This is the fourth workshop in the DAAD funded program: Higher Education Dialogue with the Muslim WorldMiddle East Social Innovation Lab (MESIL)  and is carried out in cooperation with Hochschule für Wirtschaft und Umwelt, Nürtingen-Geislinger (Germany), German Jordanian University (Jordan), Birzeit University (Palestine), and American University of Beirut (AUB). Previous workshops took place in Ajloun, Jordan (June 2019), Klein-Tischard neighborhood of Nürtingen, Germany (November 2019), and again in Jordan (Spring 2020 – fully online).​

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