‘Les portes’ Artwork and Poem published by Indelible at the American University in Dubai

Indelible is a new literary journal edited by my friends at the American University in Dubai. A special thank you to Dr. Roula Maria Dib for publishing a photo of one of my paintings and a short prose poem.


“Les portes”, by Dr. Pamela Chrabieh
Oil and acrylic on canvas, Beirut – Lebanon, 2012


“Doors are the keepers of secrets, memories of the past and dreams about bright futures. Doors’ closures give the feeling of fences that speak. Behind doors, there are people who live, love each other, argue, are sad or happy; there are furniture and objects, sounds of voices, smells of soup … Doors are boundaries, presence, absence, call, communication, access, defense, rupture, transition, intimate, and universal. Doors are protective shelters, guardians of passages between the profane and the sacred. Doors are chances to do something different, they are places of departure and entrances into new worlds.

Doors are ecumenical images of life’s immanence.”

Dr. Pamela Chrabieh is a scholar, writer, visual artist, and activist. Author of several books and papers with a 20+ year experience in higher education, communication, content creation, and the arts, she has exhibited her artworks in Canada, Lebanon, and the United Arab Emirates. Previously Associate Professor of Middle Eastern Studies at the American University in Dubai, she currently owns and manages a Beirut-based company offering expertise in Learning and Communication. http://pamelachrabiehblog.com and http://spnc.co

Source: INDELIBLEAUD.COM (March 2019)

Mind of a Winner: Master Your Vision

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I was invited as a guest speaker at the Executive Women Magazine “Mind of a Winner: Master Your Vision” one-day summit to give a speech on standing out from the crowd.

This motivational event took place on November 17, 2016 in the Zabeel Ladies Club and gathered 200 local and expat women, CEOs, managers, entrepreneurs, artists and activists.  Women shared valuable insights and narratives about career progression enhancement, success in a highly competitive market and leadership potential consolidation.

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Middle Eastern Studies Forum: Peace through Arts

On the afternoon of April 11th, 2016, the Middle Eastern Studies Division at the School of Arts and Sciences held the last of its monthly MEST (Middle Eastern Studies) Forums of the 2015-2016 academic year, titled “Peace through Arts.” The event consisted of MEST students showcasing visual art, songs, poetry, dances, and food that symbolize peace.

The organizers, Dr. Nadia Wardeh and Dr. Pamela Chrabieh, began the event with short introductory speeches. Dr. Wardeh presented first a dictionary definition of peace: “a state of non-violence or truce” and stressed the importance for peace to become “the nature of the human state, not a temporary phase in human life.” She then emphasized the “ripple effect,” in which everyday actions such as a smile or a hug between individuals can easily lead to world peace. According to Dr. Wardeh: “To say it frankly, unfortunately, peace is what is missing in the world around us (…). In our war-torn world, it seems like there are no human values, thus, no peace. But today we want to prove that peace can be big and small, seen in the entire globe or in brief moments.  Indeed, peace is what we are doing today (…). Think of when you drop a stone in a pond. It generates a small ripple at first, but after a while, that little ripple spreads throughout the entire pond. Now, think of world peace. If someone apologizes to someone else, if someone smiles to someone else, if someone feels the meaning of the greeting he/she uses all of time, Peace be upon you, imagine what we can achieve!”

Dr. Chrabieh followed by specifying the fundamental motivations behind organizing this event: “The madness of some religionists who try to win followers by hook or by crook and the misinterpretation of sacred scriptures for various interests have led to religious persecutions and holy wars. Despite these terrible experiences, as Middle Eastern Studies faculty and students, we believe that religions’ fundamentals play an essential role in people’s search for inner peace and peace in society. We believe that war begins in the minds of people, therefore it is in the minds of people that peace should be constructed”. According to Dr. Chrabieh, the pillars of peace’s defenses are dialogue, education, mutual respect and conviviality. “Differences in religious beliefs and practices should not hinder the progress of many individuals and communities working for common causes such as the causes of humanity and peace. The Middle Eastern Studies division envisions an AUD community in which people of different backgrounds and identities live together in respect and mutual support, creating paths to peace. Today, we celebrate this vision and the initiatives of many professors and students who work in harmony and cooperate in the true spirit of service (…); we celebrate through various arts. Art has the potential to raise awareness. It also serves as an avenue for creative and collaborative learning, and engagement”.

Following the introduction that also included the recitation of sacred scriptures emphasizing peace by Dr. Wardeh and Dr. Chrabieh, Qamar Tahboub, student host of the day, announced the performances awaiting the participants: Christian and Islamic heritages in songs, Dabke dance as a symbol of unity in diversity, peace poetry recitation – from Palestine, Azerbaijan, Japan… – and self-produced poems by students. Hala Abulhawa’s poem for instance narrated her inner thoughts from when she was first introduced to the “Peace Through Arts” event. Abulhawa explained her initial difficulty in thinking about a way to represent peace, and finally concluded that “[she] realized [she] could not just find peace in the air […] it comes from within us.” Omar Shazly’s poem, written in Arabic, responded to the stereotyping of Muslims as terrorists, pointing out that the very name “Islam” is derived from the word “peace” in Arabic. Videos of all these powerful performances and more can be found on Dr. Chrabieh’s YouTube channel: www.youtube.com/user/nemr76

The final event of the forum was the “peace buffet,” in which food brought in by students from different cultures was shared. The students who prepared the food provided explanations on its meanings while serving it to their peers. The food was united under the theme of peace; some dishes are traditionally made to welcome visitors, and represent hospitality, while others are made on wedding days and represent joyful community occasions, or represent national unity such as Tabboule in Lebanon.

During the buffet there was a screening of videos created by Dr. Chrabieh’s Islamic Art and Architecture students. Participants were also invited to visit the art exhibition held at the entrance of the venue, which featured paintings, calligraphy, digital images, photography, and installations about peace, all created by Dr. Chrabieh’s students. Dr. Chrabieh shared also the story of a real life example of peace achieved through art. In Redlands, California, a mass shooting caused few months ago the rise of Islamophobia in the region. A good friend of Dr. Chrabieh, Katia Aoun Hage, organized an Arabic calligraphy workshop for students at the Grove School, a public school in Redlands. Ms. Hage is a musician, poet and art teacher, and used her artistic skills to teach the Grove School students the calligraphic strokes of the Arabic letters. During the session, Ms. Hage was able to deconstruct misconceptions and build bridges, truly embodying “peace art.”

The Forum and real life examples of peace achieved through various arts provided a hopeful conclusion to the semester, inspiring all individuals present to cast their own ripples of peace in the world. Dr. Wardeh concluded with a poetic note: “The MEST Division’s mission is to break any cultural, religious, ethnic, and social barriers among people and to build bridges of acceptance, tolerance, respect and appreciation of the “other”.  I had tears in my eyes and my heart danced while watching MEST students eagerly and actively contributing to and participating in this event. I can claim that today, we have succeeded in finding an amazing ideal kingdom of love and peace.  Our kingdom is composed of diverse musical notes which was built by each citizen in the MEST program. Today our message was: religions and wisdom command love, tolerance and forgiveness to bring the entire world together around peace”.

Dr. Chrabieh also concluded with the important function of art: “that of helping in creating and promoting a culture of peace; this culture is not something we wish for or an unattainable ideal; it is a culture we make, we embody and we share”.

Credits: Dr. Pamela Chrabieh and Ms. Haeley Ahn

Policy, Global Citizens and World Peace. Case studies: Lebanon, Canada and the UAE

Assistant Professor of Middle Eastern Studies Dr. Pamela Chrabieh was invited as a special guest speaker to give a lecture entitled “Policy, Global Citizens and World Peace: How can Governments influence policy to create better Global citizens and work towards World Peace? Case studies: Lebanon, Canada and the United Arab Emirates”.

Dr. Chrabieh introduced first her audience to the concepts of policy, glocal citizen instead of global citizen and the peace process as she defined it based on four interdependent dynamics: peacekeeping, peacemaking, peacebuilding and inner peace. She then identified the major core values that drive or should drive Lebanese and Canadian foreign policies such as interreligious dialogue, democracy, human rights and interculturalism. She also tackled the issue of internal policy while focusing on the social-political diversity management systems in Lebanon, Canada and the United Arab Emirates. Dr. Chrabieh concluded with the UAE Ministry of Tolerance as an important example of how peace can be adopted as the organizing frame for governments’ policies.

“Tolerance is one of the major pillars in preserving and expanding peace. Definitely, citizens and expatriates are called to be agents of peace, peace builders, and to help the government in its task, first internally, and second, in exporting the model outside of the Emirati boundaries. Dubai in particular, where hundreds of ethnicities, religious and cultural identities are learning to coexist and more, to live with one another – just like we are trying to do at the American University in Dubai -, where glocal identities are reshaping their belongings and relationships, promises to offer this model to the region, and to the world.”

The Harvard College in Asia Program (HCAP) is an initiative in which Harvard University partners with higher education institutions in Asia to tackle key issues relevant to today’s world of increasing challenges, while simultaneously expanding the cultural and educational horizons of participating student delegates. This year’s Conference theme organized by the HCAP at the American University in Dubai is “Equality, Tolerance and Freedom: the Effect of Culture and Policy on a Globalized World.”

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SOURCE:

AMERICAN UNIVERSITY IN DUBAI NEWS: http://www.aud.edu/news_events/en/view/1164/current_upcoming/policy-global-citizens-and-world-peace

About CAFCAW

 

The Christian Academic Forum for Citizenship in the Arab World (CAFCAW) brings together scholars, young graduates and activists in civil society to share research, experiences and insights.

Focusing on Lebanon, Egypt, Jordan and Palestine, but also with a concern for Syria and Iraq, the Forum was launched in Beirut in December 2014 by DIYAR Consortium, based in Bethlehem, Palestine.

It released a document titled “From the Nile to the Euphrates: The Call of Faith and Citizenship.” The document sets forth 10 critical issues confronting the Middle East today, and expresses a statement of commitment to engage proactively in addressing those challenges.

Because of an unhealthy, and sometimes conflictual, relation between religion and state in the Arab world, the Forum seeks to educate for, and promote, a culture of full citizenship for all among the Arab people, especially youth, in order to create more peaceful, democratic and prosperous societies built on strong pillars, such as: just constitutions and the rule of law, the full dignity and security of every person, a healthy quality of life for all, gender justice, a hopeful future for youth, etc.

This initiative captures a new approach to a vital and active faith that employs critical thinking for participatory and fulfilling citizenship.

For more information, check the CAFCAW’s Facebook Page:

https://www.facebook.com/CAFCAW/?pnref=story

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The problematic of turath in contemporary Arab thought: Book discussion panel

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Dr. Pamela Chrabieh, Dr. Nadia Wardeh and Dr. Sandra K. Alexander

The Middle Eastern Studies Division at the School of Arts and Sciences (American University in Dubai) is holding its second MEST Forum of the semester, a panel discussion and book signing for Coordinator and Assistant Professor of Middle Eastern Studies at AUD, Dr. Nadia Wardeh’s The Problematic of Turath in Contemporary Arab Thought: A Study of Adonis and Hasan Hanafi.

Dr. Nadia Wardeh’s book focuses on the question of turath (heritage) as tackled by contemporary Arab thinkers since 1967, in particular the Islamic-modernist scholar Hasan Hanafi and the secular-modernist poet and cultural critic Adonis.Their positions are described in the light of their intellectual and ideological backgrounds, and analyzed in view of their primary texts. The study concludes that their “imagined” visions of turath are remnants of the colonial period and colonialist system of knowledge, and opens the door to the re-thinking of turath on the basis of a post-colonialist/post-orientalist approach.

Date: Tuesday, February 23, 2016
Time: 5:30pm – 7:30pm
Venue: Student Center building, room C 227 (American University in Dubai)

Program
5:30 – 6:00 p.m.: Reception-Dinner
6:00 – 6:40 p.m.: Panel Discussion featuring Dr. Nadia Wardeh (author),
Dr. Pamela Chrabieh and Dr. Sandra K. Alexander
6:40 – 7:00 p.m.: Q&A session
7:00 – 7:15 p.m.: Students’ Feedback Forms
7:15 – 7:30 p.m.: Book signing with Dr. Nadia Wardeh

Further information: http://www.aud.edu/…/c…/mest-forum-dr-nadia-wardeh-on-turath