Does your university as a body encourage applications by women in subjects where they are underrepresented?

Empower women in fields in which they areunder-represented

Alumna Najat Ramez Abu Shakra has been appointed as a military  investigation judge.

Based on a collaborative initiative with the Center for Entrepreneurship (CFE) and the Faculty of Business Administration at Beirut Arab University (BAU), and the Lebanese League for Women in Business (LLWB) and RCED, a workshop on “Women Empowerment for SME Management” was organized at RCED-Bekaa during December 8-10, 2016.


  • Promoting business management skills of rural women

  • Enhancing women’s role in local economic development

During the interactive sessions of the workshop, experts and mentors from BAU and successful business women from LLWB provided more than 35 women of all across Bekaa with knowledge and skills needed for business start-up and survival and good practice for building confidence and for resolving real-life business problems.

After a welcoming speech by RCED director, Dr. Safaa Baydoun, and CFE director, Dr. Wassim Itani, experts from the Faculty of Business Administration at BAU; Prof. Nehal Mostapha, Prof. Wagdi Higazi, Dr. Abdalla Nasreddine, Dr. Ekrami Mokhtar, Prof. Ahmad Slim and Dr. Alaa Abbas, exchanged with participats information and experience on challenges and important aspects necessary for successful management of women owned start-up businesses and SMEs. The experts also shared knowledge on the importance of the role of women’s entrepreneurs in economic growth and various aspects of successful business planning, management skills, finance and human resources management and marketing.

Moderated by the engineer Mrs. Najah Jaroush, the LLWB inspirational panel introduced the success stories of several women entrepreneurs; Ms. Yusr Sabra, Mrs. Haya elKassem, Mrs. Lina Idriss, Mrs. Kinana Rahhal and Mrs. Chantal Rbay.

Manager Mrs. Sabine Rbeiz Kassis from BLOM Bank, the sponsor of the event introduced the various funding products and explained the terms and conditions of each product wishing women entrepreneurs all the success through the different steps of their business development.

At closing ceremony certificates were distributed while women participants expressed their sincere appreciation for the efforts of the organizers and their wishes to attend for further training.

In cooperation with Beirut Arab University and the National Commission for Women, and in collaboration with the British Council and the National Committee for the Follow-up on Women's Issues, the Maharat Foundation organized a panel discussion on "Activating the Role of Women in Political Participation" among students and decision-makers within the framework of the EU-funded project DAWRAK . The panel was attended by the President of the National Commission for Lebanese Women Ms. Claudine Aoun Roukoz and MPs Majid Edi Abi El-Lamaa and Elias Hanaksh, as well as the candidate for the parliamentary elections Laury Haytian.

Students and participants discussed issues related to activating women's political participation, such as approving quotas in the election law, the role of political parties in supporting women in political participation, and the strategy of the National Commission for Women to activate women's political participation.

The students raised a number of questions and made several recommendations to the participants in order to enhance the participation of the young in the discussion of public issues and the development of public policies related to the political role of women and to support communication between them and officials and decision-makers.

The event started with BAU President Professor Amr Galal El-Adawi and Head of the Media Department Dr. Gamal Mujahed welcoming the participants and stressing that BAU supports enhancing the role of women at all levels not only in the political realm.

President of the National Commission for Lebanese Women Ms. Claudine Aoun Roukoz noted that the percentage of female candidates increased in the recent elections, but this was not reflected in the presence of women in the Lebanese Parliament, pointing out that women do not vote for female candidates but for a list that is compatible with their political stance.

She also maintained that the National Commission has called for a transitional quota to activate the participation of women in political life, considering that waiting for real equality only is useless at the moment. She added, "Laws reveal a significant prejudice against women. We as a national entity for women's affairs have many law suggestions which we will submit soon. Though women’s participation in the government is represented by 4 ministers out of 30, this is considered an achievement and a great progress at the level of female presence in the government.”

Continuing her speech, she said that the political presence of women needs a law and she encouraged the initiative of Prime Minister Saad Hariri to nominate women for the parliament and the government, adding that Hariri kept his word concerning women's presence in political life.

Within the context of the participation of women in the political parties, she stressed that females must get out of the shadows and impose themselves without allowing males to take the lead, adding "we are witnessing progress at all levels and the upcoming parliamentary elections will reflect this. Stereotypes change with the new generation."

MP Majid Edi Abi Al Lamaa, pointed out that there are many women in our patriarchal society who do not believe in the role of women in political life. "Here lies the danger. We must exert a great effort at the level of education at schools and universities to raise awareness about this subject,” he said.

Abi Lamaa assured that there are many discussions about the quota within the parties, considering that it is a kind of discrimination and imposing it is useless. He added, "Basically, it is linked to raising the young’s awareness through education in order to create a public opinion that is supportive of women's political participation, especially as there are many citizens who are against the quota, which is still considered a controversial issue."

As for the role of parties in supporting women's political participation, Abi -Lamaa expressed his hope for the new generation to change the current situation in the parties.

MP Elias Hanaksh, said that the current parliament members represent not only males but all citizens as well, especially as the problems in Lebanon are shared by men and women.

He pointed out that there is an improvement in the political participation of women through a set of indicators, for there are now six female parliament members and 4 ministers, as well as the post of Minister of Interior in the Middle East for the first time.

He also expressed his support for the approval of the quota, especially as all countries that have shown progress in the field of raising the political representation of women had approved the quota.

Laury Haytian, the candidate for the parliamentary elections, said that most of the female candidates who took part in the elections don’t belong to any party. They accepted the challenge to encourage the new generation to join the political domain. "There is a stereotype concept that women don’t understand politics which we tried to change in the previous elections," she continued.

Concerning the role of parties in supporting women's political participation, Haytian said that parties were not supportive as females candidates were absent from the election lists. The parties do not want the quota in order to maintain their posts and their gains. "We are witnessing a non-traditional situation in the political life; it is a transitional phase and civil society has played its political role, but the best way for women to achieve political presence is through the party, so the battle must take place within the parties for the women's involvement in the political life."

It is worth mentioning that DAWRAK project aims at enhancing women's participation in public affairs. In this context, the project resulted in a set of basic priorities for activating the role of women, including the promotion of women's political participation and civil status law. Therefore, DAWRAK launched two advocacy campaigns around these two priorities.

Believing in the role played by distinctive and special women who are marked in the Lebanese Society, and embracing such women in the field of Researches and Leadership, the Dean of Health Sciences and the Dean of Graduate Studies and Research at Beirut Arab University, Prof. Rajaa Fakhoury and Prof. Hania Nakkash have been honored as  women leaders in research in Lebanon in an event that took place in the Lebanese parliament, in the presence of Beirut Arab University President Prof. Amr Galal El-Adawi, on September 1, 2016. 

The event was organized by the National Initiative for the Centennial of Greater Lebanon, “Lebanon, the State of Knowledge” which is an initiative launched by Mrs. Bahia Hariri in remembrance of the declaration of the State of Greater Lebanon in September 1920. 

The ceremony celebrated the efforts and achievements of Lebanese women in the field of education and highlighted the importance of their role in maintaining Lebanon as a “state of knowledge.” Thirty-one Lebanese women were honored in this event, which was under the patronage of the Speaker of the Parliament of Lebanon, Nabih Berri.

“Philanthropy is Spontaneous, and I don’t believe in Political Bequeathing”

In her first appearance since she held the post of Vice-President of the Walid Bin Talal Humanitarian Organization in 2003, HE Ms. Leila El Solh Hmedeh agreed to be hosted by “Success Story”, an event organized by the Public Relations Administration at Beirut Arab University for the fourth year running. The event was a friendly interview that threw light on the personal, familial and professional aspects of her life, and was attended by Prof. Amr Galal El Adawi, President of BAU, the deans, staff-members and a large political, diplomatic and spiritual crowd, as well as the heads and directors of various organizations, universities and hospitals.  

The event opened with the Lebanese National Anthem and the BAU Anthem, followed by the BAU film. Afterwards, Ms. Zina Ariss Houri, Director of Public Relations moderated the interview, gave an introduction in which she described the honored guest as having achieved glory because she has deep roots and is engrossed in public and political life, which all honorable people aspire to. She also succeeded in elevating the status of women through her ceaseless efforts. Ms. Ariss also added that Leila El Solh Hmedeh managed to become the queen of people’s  hearts because of her philanthropy that sows goodness with the rise of every sun.

After a documentary of Mrs. El Solh’s life, struggle and charity efforts through Walid Bin Talal Organization, Mrs. Solh and Mrs. Zina Ariss moved to the stage where a “studio” had been set up for the occasion. In the interview, she spoke of Riad El Solh, her father’s achievements, highlighting that his name had determined her, her family’s  and Lebanon’s destiny. This in itself was a challenge which made her acquire an exceptional bravery and great wisdom to confront these challenges. 

El Solh wished she had lived her father’s era, a time that enjoyed feelings of pride and true independence, pointing out that the assassin of Riad El Solh had sought to murder Lebanese sovereignty and nationalism which Riad El Solh had embodied together with President Bchara El Khouri.

Ms. El Solh argued that a life of prosperity does not cancel out consideration of the other. This conviction is the basis of her dream to delve into charity-work, being affected by her mother’s activities in the field. She also stated that she does not believe in political bequeathing, which has proven its failure. 

She also spoke of the standards adopted at El Walid Bin Talal Humanitarian Organization, highlighting that the activities are followed in accordance with the prioritization of health services, educational services and developmental services throughout Lebanon. There is no discrimination of any kind, be it religious, sectarian or regional. It is this factor that has secured the success of the organization.

Ms. El Solh also stated that the experience of the Ministry of Industry in Fall 2004 did not live up to her expectations. She added that during that period she preferred to listen, rather than to talk, since political activities are fraught with dispute and skirmishes that are not acceptable for Lebanon. She stated that she is one of the people who prefer to work on the ground and take action rather than to theorize and talk.

El Solh addressed the students and the Lebanese youth, advising them not to stop giving to their country, in all forms and across all available domains. She also called upon them not to emigrate, but rather to invest their energies in the prosperity of Lebanon.

Prof. Amr El Adawi spoke next, thanking El Solh for accepting the University’s invitation and praising her courage in presenting her opinions. In her presence he announced that the Faculty of Health Sciences has attained international accreditation.

The event concluded with the President presenting an honorary shield to El Solh, as a token of appreciation. El Solh, in turn, presented a set of books on Riad El Solh and the History of Lebanon to the University library.

Prof. Mayssah El Nayal, Dean of the Faculty of Arts, attended the conference organized by the May Chidiac Foundation Media Institute. The conference, entitled Women on the Front Lines, was held on Monday 4th March 2013 at the Hotel Phoenicia in Beirut.

In cooperation with the Embassy of the Republic of Indonesia in Lebanon, the Faculty of Human Sciences at Beirut Arab University organized a Discussion Panel entitled "Women in Politics: Indonesia and Lebanon as a Model" in Beirut Campus with the participation of the Indonesian MP Ms. Lena Maryana Mukti, Lebanese MP Ms. Paula Yacoubian, and Faculty Dean Professor Mayssah El Nayal, Panel Presenter and Moderator. The panel was attended by BAU President Professor Amr Galal El-Adawi, faculty deans, BAU Secretary General Dr. Omar Houri, Indonesian Ambassador Ahmad Khazen Khamidi together with the embassy staff, Iraqi Ambassador Ali Al Amiri, Bangladesh Ambassador Abdulmutallab Sarkar, Ambassador of the State of Palestine represented by Mr. Maher Mishael, and representatives of women's associations in Lebanon as well as a crowd of interested audience. The panel started with the Lebanese and Indonesian Anthems followed by Professor El Nayal’s welcoming speech in which she pointed out that the participation of women in politics will have a significant impact as it will contribute to diffusing their capabilities and helping them achieve more gender equality. "In a world that seeks peace, it is necessary to establish stronger democracies, and democracy is never achieved without utmost equality, which requires the full political participation of women,” El Nayal said. In his speech, the Indonesian Ambassador thanked BAU President for his contribution and for the panel. He reviewed the developments of the Indonesian women in the political field and stressed that the role of women in Indonesia is an integral part of the history of the country as they participated in and contributed to fighting the colonists for independence. He also assured that, today, nothing prevents women from participating in the political life and that Islam guarantees them equal rights with men in assuming positions of power. Professor El- Adawi stressed the necessity to free women of all restrictions that hinder the full performance of their roles in the society and in the political life, pointing out BAU’s encouragement of the role of women which is crystal clear in their large and prominent presence at the university at the administrative and educational levels. El-Adawi called for strengthening the role of women more in the political life as this factor is effective in achieving the concept of participation. MP. Ms. Lena Maryana Mukti gave a presentation in which she explained her experience in the Indonesian political life, pointing to the success of the role of women in Indonesian politics after achieving a 30% quota for women, which prompted the political parties to promote women's involvement and seek to increase their participation in the political life. Thus, a law was enacted and Indonesian women, since then, have held important positions in the country. Mukti talked about the political work within her party, pointing out that 54 women assume leading positions in the party, which is a very good figure as compared to the past when women were absent from these positions. MP Ms. Paula Yacoubian said that the annual struggle has a history of race in the Lebanese political life, recalling the roles of Linda Matar and Laure Moghaizel and stressing the inevitability of seeking to achieve quotas for women to correct the historical mistakes against women in Lebanon. For Yacoubian, the representation of women is no longer a luxury but a necessity to achieve participation. She criticized the serious injustice against the Lebanese women and their role during the recent parliamentary elections in Lebanon. Yacoubian called for the correction of the legacies and the conventional archetypes of the patriarchy according to which some families were raised thus depriving women over time of performing their full roles at all levels. At the end of the panel, President El-Adawi presented honorary shields to Mukti and Yacoubian and the Indonesian Ambassador presented shields to both guests, as well as BAU President and Faculty Dean.

Beirut Arab University- Tripoli Campus in cooperation with the Lebanese League for Women in Business (LLWB) in partnership with DOT, ArabWIC Lebanon, Wie, WIT, and under the Patronage of Ministry of Education and Higher Education (MEHE ) and sponsored by UNICEF through a generous funding from the Kingdom of Netherlands, organized "Girls Got IT". This event which gathered over 450 Girls between the age of 14 & 17 coming from Northern public and private schools to explore Engineering and Technology".  

The objective of the initiative was to encourage girls from public and private schools and from marginalized communities to experience the capabilities of IT (Information Technology) and STEM subjects (Science Technology Engineering, and Mathematic) in order to select them as career choices. This event also serves in promoting essential technology skills for today's global economy and to improve girls’ self-esteem through learning by using hands-on activities; in addition to bridging the gender gap in technology-related fields. 

The Vice President for Tripoli Branch Affairs Prof. Khaled Baghdady congratulated all collaborators on this successful event announcing the commencement of the event by holding 21 different workshops opened by  Ms. Asmahan Zein; president of LLWB and followed by welcoming speech from Dr. Wassim Itani; Director of the Center for Continuing & Professional Education & the Center for Entrepreneurship at BAU. The event included speeches for the Keynote Speakers for MEHE Representative; Ms. Nahla Hamati and UNICEF representative; Tamara Zakria and ended up by an inspirational speech for Zeina Daccache; Founder of Catharsis-Lebanese Center for Drama Therapy. 

The event was concluded by Ms. Layal Jubran; CEO & Co-Founder at Mobarmij, Inc. and Ms. Hala Fadel; Co-Founder of Leap Ventures whereby awards were distributed.

Alumna Nadine Kahil holder of a Masters degree in International and Diplomatic Affairs was chosen by the Arab Women Media Network as a member in the executive office. Alumni and career office would like to congratulate Nadine and we are sure that she will represent Lebanon very well.