In a bid to foster a sense of community and environmental awareness, a memorable trip to the Advancing Research Enabling Communities Center (AREC) in Bekaa was jointly organized by the Faculty of Agricultural and Food Sciences (FAFS) and the Office of Student Affairs at AUB (September 9). A total of 75 new eager AUB students embarked on this exciting and educational adventure.
The day began with great anticipation as the students made their way to AREC campus, nestled amidst the scenic beauty of the Bekaa Valley. Upon their arrival, they were greeted with a warm welcome from AREC's Director, Dr. Mustapha Haidar, and his dedicated team. To kick off the day, the students indulged in delicious Saj pastries accompanied by refreshing tea, setting the tone for a day of exploration and learning.
The event was carefully planned to offer a diverse range of activities that catered to both the adventurous and the environmentally conscious. FAFS had orchestrated a day filled with excitement, including classic hayrides, friendly rope-pulling contests, and several other engaging activities.
One of the event's highlights was the hands-on experience of tree planting and harvesting. Guided by AREC's expert staff, the students actively contributed to environmental conservation by planting trees, a tangible symbol of their commitment to a sustainable future. Additionally, they had the opportunity to savor the fruits of their labor, quite literally, by harvesting pepper, cucumber, tomato, basil, and apples, connecting them to the agricultural roots of FAFS and AREC.
“The trip to AREC is more than just a university orientation activity; it's an immersive experience that encourages our new students to connect with nature, their peers, and the broader community," remarked Ms. Tharwat Haddad, FAFS Student Records Officer. "It's about fostering a sense of responsibility towards the environment and instilling values that extend beyond the classroom."
As the day drew to a close, the students left AREC with unforgettable memories, newfound friendships, and a deeper appreciation for the importance of sustainable practices in agriculture and community engagement. The trip to AREC served as an excellent introduction to the values and principles upheld by both FAFS and AUB, highlighting their commitment to environmental stewardship and experiential learning.
“The trip was an incredible experience. It allowed us to bond with our fellow students, learn about sustainable practices, and connect with the beautiful Bekaa landscape," expressed one of the participating students.
With the success of this event, AUB continues to demonstrate its dedication to a holistic education approach that encompasses not only academic excellence but also social and environmental responsibility. The trip to AREC will undoubtedly be remembered as a day of growth, learning, and building a strong foundation for AUB's newest generation of students.