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Tolerance matters

The Outreach and Civic Engagement Unit celebrates the United Nations International Day for Tolerance.

[photo]
Salloum addressing the audience.

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On November 18, the Outreach and Civic Engagement Unit (OCE) celebrated the United Nations International Day for Tolerance with a series of interactive lectures delivered by OCE staff members Hassan Baalbaki, Ghina Harb, Rita May Rahme and Rana Salloum, according to their areas of expertise.

OCE Executive Director Elie Samia pointed to the high turnout as evidence that the student body at LAU recognizes the value and importance of this day. “Tolerance is not enough,” Samia told the audience. “We should go beyond accepting differences, but acceptance is a good place to start.”

The OCE team tackled the importance of tolerance from an individual, regional, and international dimension. Baalbaki gave an enlightening lecture on the legal dimensions of tolerance and provided information on the roots of Tolerance Day. And while Harb spoke about tolerance in the Middle East post-Arab Spring, Rahme discussed the importance of negotiating win-win solutions and Salloum, who holds a master’s in professional counseling concluded the event by talking about the transformative power of empathy.

“The celebration of the UN International Tolerance Day was quite inspiring,” says student Nourhan Ahmar.  “It made me realize how much we need this tolerating environment in our beloved country and among ourselves.”

The United Nations General Assembly proclaimed 1995 the United Nations year for Tolerance, with UNESCO as the leading organization. The International Day for Tolerance is now celebrated on November 16 every year.


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