A collaborative and interdisciplinary workshop was held at Notre Dame University-Louaize’s (NDU) Friends Hall at the Main Campus, organized by the Faculty of Law and Political Science (FLPS) alongside the Ramez G. Chagoury Faculty of Architecture, Arts, and Design (FAAD), and the Lebanese Army Works Regiment. The workshop, titled “Building Bridges between Law, Architecture, and Army,” covered the relationship between civil discourse, architecture, and national security over the course of two days. Present at the workshop were Fr. Bechara Khoury, NDU President, represented by Dr. Michel El Hayek, Vice President for Academic Affairs (VPAA), Dr. Dany Samaha, Dean of the FLPS, Dr. Karen BouJaoude, Dean of the FAAD, Judge Dr. Chadi Hajal, Colonel Youssef Haidar, Commander of the Independent Works Regiment, members of the Lebanese Army Works Regiment, faculty, staff, students, and other distinguished guests.
Samaha opened the event with his welcoming address, invoking the intersection of law, architecture, and army, which collectively work to ensure societal function, sound environments, and security. “The goal of these two days,” said Samaha, “is to underline how these three aspects correlate to our daily lives.” In light of the present circumstances in Lebanon, fields such as architecture, the arts, history, and culture are what constitute a national identity, and their preservation is imperative as older cities and villages in the country steadily witness the decline of their architectural heritage. Samaha ended his speech, stating, “We hope this workshop will be a valuable opportunity for all of us to learn and, more importantly, to foster stronger cooperation between NDU and the Lebanese Army.”
Next, BouJaoude gave a word on the climate crisis and the positive impact that societal awareness has had on establishing sustainable solutions to urgent environmental matters. In order to bolster this progress, it is necessary that, as a collective, “we seek to integrate technological developments in architecture without compromising the environment or the well-being of the individual and community.” BouJaoude continued to say that the ultimate goal of architecture is to maintain both structural and cultural integrity: “We honor our societies and environments by creating structures that are sustainable and able to withstand natural disasters.”
El Hayek followed with a brief recount of the University’s collaborations with the Army, citing NDU’s mission to serve the wider society in general and the student in particular, the two being inseparable from one another. “We wholeheartedly support our Army in preserving the nation’s security and may we witness the full fruits of our joint efforts upon the end of the present crisis in Lebanon,” said the VPAA.
Colonel Haidar then commenced with the workshop, explaining the purpose of the Lebanese Army Works Regiment to be an initiative to rehabilitate Lebanon through several construction ventures throughout the country. Judge Hajal, as part of the workshop, noted the vital role that law plays in civic and military life, as a legal framework determines the bounds within which the military can function, hence the necessity of the interplay between Army and law.
The workshop concluded on the second day by conferring certificates to all participants, and Colonel Haidar was awarded a trophy of appreciation on behalf of NDU for his dedication to both his work and nation.