Gloria Abdo : USJ student life manager
I am a sociocultural reference, with more than 20 years of experience in the educational world and civic engagement. I am a Ph.D. researcher in Leadership and Human Resources with a background in Leadership and Community Development. Currently, I am managing the students’ life department at USJ, in addition to teaching Community leadership, civic engagement, volunteering and community service. I am a social engineer and a lobbyist; linking people, groups, and organizations. I am also a certified mentor for social entrepreneurs and a certified plant-based chef.
What drives me in life is my engagement for freedom and justice. I believe in the power of the people and individuals for the common good.
I participated in the Parliamentary Visiting program in Berlin and Brussels in June 2019 along with a group of Lebanese and Jordanian Experts and Parliamentarians. For me, it was a high-level strategic experience. It gathered:
- The input of the political systems and the active participation and involvement of all citizens in all levels of civic participation.
- The importance of transparency and accountability in day-to-day governance.
- The interrelations and interdependence of a citizenship model through political parties, elections, youth participation, and good governance.
What I learned is a change of perspective on how citizens today and more specifically on how the system can interact and gather all the components actively to create change. Besides, that change needs time to mature and to have its rightful place in the big picture or right piece in the puzzle. Ideally, I learned after this visiting program to believe more and more in the citizenship participation on all levels of governance. We need a new perspective on citizenship participation in Lebanon.