Citizenship Summer School
CSS 23: Active Citizenship in Times of Crisis
This year, the third edition of Citizenship Summer School (CSS) took place in Beirut from August 16 to 19. As in previous years, and in partnership with Service de La vie Etudiante Universite Saint Joseph, the program once again provided a rewarding experience and extensive insights for all participants.
In total, we welcomed over sixty participants from various academic disciplines and universities throughout Lebanon. During the four days, they gained numerous new insights into the political landscape.
The theme of this year's event focused on the role of citizens in Lebanon and how each individual could contribute to the "greater good" in the country through social entrepreneurship. Various sessions were designed to maximize opportunities for helping both the nation and its citizens. Among other activities, lectures and discussions were conducted on subjects such as active citizen involvement during crises and participation in shaping political decisions. Another seminar explored "social entrepreneurship," and how one could engage in the public sector. A seminar on "citizen journalism" was also offered.
For the first time since the inception of the Summer Schools, we had the pleasure of introducing field visits, adding a new dimension to the already enriching lectures and seminars. This enhancement allowed participants to apply what they had learned, not just in theory but also in practical settings. A visit was scheduled for each day of the event. On the first day, we were delighted to offer participants the opportunity to meet Waddah Sadek, a member of the Lebanese Parliament and the co-founder of Khat Ahmar party; discussions covered the workings of the Parliament as well as policy-making. We also had the chance to meet the mayor of Zouk Mikael Elias Beaino to learn more about their efforts in digitizing services and various local development initiatives. The third field visit was to LiveLoveRecycle, where students could delve into "social entrepreneurship"; they shared with the participants specific aspects of waste management and general recycling in detail. On the last excursion, we visited Siren Associates, an English non-profit organization that specializes in protecting the public sector, with a primary focus on the digitization of government services.