American University of Beirut

When Communities and Universities Learn Together

Descending from the ivory tower and engaging communities in meaningful ways is no easy feat. Mr. Rabih Shibli, of the American University of Beirut, and Dr. Jyl Josephson, of Rutgers University in Newark, though, have managed to find a formula that has done just that. In a livestreamed roundtable discussion between Beirut and New York, students, researchers and the public engaged in a dynamic conversation on teaching pedagogies that are disrupting the traditional classroom curriculum.

Rabih, Director of the Center for Civic Engagement and Community Service (CCECS) at the American University of Beirut, has conceptualized and implemented community projects and authored publications reflecting the process of bridging developmental planning and experiential learning. His expertise on integrating developmental planning with engaged education extend far beyond theoretical design. Rabih has both created and witnessed the mechanisms of transformative education and community development. “Transformative education is an unstructured learning environment for students to a gain better understanding of societal needs as well as the tools necessary to impact positive change,” he said.

Read a full text summary of the discussion here. Watch the entire discussion here.

Video Highlights of the Discussion


  • ​Jyl Josephson, Professor of Political Science and Women’s and Gender Studies at Rutgers University-Newark

  • Rabih Shibli, Director of the Center for Civic Engagement and Community Service at AUB

  • Nermin Allam, Assistant Professor of Politics at Rutgers University-Newark

  • Malek Tabbal, Director of the Leadership, Equity And Diversity initiative at AUB

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