AUB students about to enjoy their dinner.
As the tables heaved under sandwiches and burgers, the Common Room at the West Hall, American University of Beirut (AUB), was ready to welcome its young guests last Monday evening. A week before, another special dinner at Tasty took place for all the students from the Lebanese American University (LAU) who ULYP has worked with. This was the second annual dinner organized for all the ULYP beneficiaries at AUB.
With around 70 students in attendance, there was a cozy and friendly atmosphere to shake off the chilly winter air, and Madame Melek and the BRIDGE manager Ester were happy to see all the hard-working students. In fact, some are so hard-working that they had to miss the evening to prepare for end of semester and final exams. As a condition of continuing to receive financial assistance from ULYP is maintaining a high GPA, we were pleased to see that the students take their studies and exams so seriously, though saddened to miss them at the dinner. It was lovely to hear the success stories of those ULYP students in attendance, and to see how well they are settling in to university life. I chatted with Hassan, a first-year student majoring in civil engineering who, like many other freshmen at the dinner, was enjoying his new life at AUB. Not the only family member who is succeeding academically, Hassan has a brother who is studying in the United States but he told me confidently “I want to stay in Lebanon or find a job in the Gulf after I graduate.”
For Madame Melek and the Bridge Manager Ester, the greatest joy is to see the changes in the students as they succeed in their studies and became mature, confident and responsible young adults. As a testament to this, some students volunteered to assist with both dinners, while others stayed afterwards to help clean up.
Time at university teaches them not only knowledge, but also personal virtues and responsibility. We know that all ULYP’s students, both here in Lebanon and abroad, have a bright future ahead of them, and that they will use their skills to offer something back to society. One day, they will turn their academic achievement and gratitude into love and power, to help those in need and to change the world for the better.
As Nelson Mandela said, “Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.”
ULYP would also like to say a huge thank you to Alex and his team for the delicious food prepared for the AUB dinner, and to all those who contributed to both evenings.
LAU students tucking into burgers at Tasty.