Students of LIR 316 (Lebanese Writers) at Notre Dame University-Louaize (NDU), have had a string of productive hands-on experiences Spring Semester of 2019. The students had two educational fieldtrips visiting the Rihani and Gibran Museums, and hosted award winning contemporary Lebanese writer, journalist, and activist Joumana Haddad.
Dr. Naji Oueijan, Professor at the Department of English and Translation – Faculty of Humanities, accompanied his students to the Rihani Museum, where Dr. Ameen Albert Rihani, Secretary General at the Institute of Lebanese thought and nephew of the famous Lebanese poet, was kind enough to give them a tour of the museum and to explain its holdings. The visit to the Gibran Museum in Bcharre provided the students an opportunity to see Gibran’s paintings directly on display. The visits enabled the students to engage directly with the historical contexts of the authors’ works and the circumstances around their creation, and provided them with new insights into their class readings.
Joumana Haddad, award winning Lebanese poet, author and activist, visited the students to discuss her life and work. In a dynamic Q&A session, students were able to ask Haddad questions relating to her life, activism, and how it informs her work.
Hands-on sessions in the humanities which help contextualize the works are a welcome addition to any student’s repertoire of references, as they study the intricacies of literary analysis.