The Department of Media Studies (DMS) at the Faculty of Humanities (FH), Notre Dame University-Louaize (NDU), under the patronage and presence of H.E. Minister of Information Melhem Riachi, organized on November 10, 2017 an official press conference in Pierre Abou Khater Hall, NDU main campus, to launch a campaign against extremism titled, “Box Out Extremism.”
Attending the event were Vice-President for Administration at NDU Fr. Samir Ghsoub, FH Dean at NDU Dr. Kamal Abou Chedid, and DMS Chairperson at NDU Dr. Maria Bou Zeid as well as the campaign ambassadors, basketball players Rony Fahed, Basel Bawji, and Emir Saoud.
Dr. Bou Zeid discussed the “International Peer to Peer (P2P): Challenging Extremism” competition sponsored by Facebook and the U.S. State Department under the supervision of Edventure Partners. She stressed the importance of fostering student learning and the integration of theoretical knowledge in practice; hence, the idea behind Box Out Extremism falls within the program categories of experiential learning. Dr. Bou Zeid also highlighted initiatives taken by the Ministry of Information to involve students in the launch of the Association of Media Academics as well as its efforts to welcome all students into its institutions: agency, radio, and television.
For his part, Riachi said, “We need to focus more on building a full-fledged human being, rather than focus on building structures, because human beings are an essential element in protecting land and sovereignty.” He continued, "The presence of basketball players among us here today brings new meaning to the expression ‘basket in’ to protect human beings and ‘box out’ to prevent violent extremism."
Riachi added, "The new structure of the Ministry will soon be announced, and its Civil Service Council - Department of Research and Guidance will include a specialized informatics department, a communication department, and a dialogue department, and NDU students are an essential component of this project. The basis of its establishment is to provide students with the opportunity to let their voices be heard through all foreign media representative based in Lebanon.”
Students then gave a detailed presentation of the campaign.
Fahed, Saoud, and Bawji called on the youth to show sportsmanship and reject extremism.