American University of Beirut



Said Rafik Lahamri - Global Undergraduate Awards:

Said Rafik Lahamar i(Algeria) submitted a paper to the Global Undergraduate Awards 2020, in the Anthropology and Cultural Studies category. The paper is entitled “Women and the Arab Spring: Reclaiming Her Story" and was written by Said during his study abroad term at the University of Pennsylvania (UPenn).

Said Rafik Lahmari's paper discusses the role of women during the Arab Spring, and the part they played not only in fighting the authoritarian regimes, but equally (and perhaps more centrally) in raising their voices and fighting against “the societal hierarchy and patriarchy, which imposed masculine dominance on their daily lives." The main goal of this paper was to “highlight the circumstances in which women were living in before the Arab Spring and the treatment they were subject to by men and the government," and then “provide an insight into how women used the internet as a powerful tool to express their opinions, to exercise their freedom of speech, and to self-organize the protests on the ground."

We are happy and proud to report that Said received a High Commendation on his paper from the Global Undergraduate Awards, recognizing it “as being in the top 10% of this category, which was open to all undergraduate students in universities, colleges, and institutes around the world."​

Akasha Kabboul's VirtuCoach

Akasha Kabboul (Lebanon), along with Oday Najad (LAU MEPI-TLU student) and Nada Badi (LAU MEPI-TLU student), created an online platform, called VirtuCoach, in the summer of 2020 to provide 12th grade high school students with physics lessons to supplement and help them through their online schooling journey. The team felt that the educational process, specifically in public high schools in Lebanon, was not properly conducted after the transition to online classes and sought to create a platform that could facilitate the process. The team wanted to provide an alternative source for studying materials for 12th grade students who would not be able to afford tutors due to the current economic conditions. The plan is to continue recording lessons that are required for the Lebanese Baccalaureate. In later stages of the project, the team plans to recruit university students interested in recording lessons about different subjects to expand the platform. The team is also considering broadening the scope of the courses offered on the platform. Currently, however, the project is on hiatus as the students are focusing on their academia and hope to resume their efforts during the summer.

The link to the website is:

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