It is a common belief that when young people leave their home country in order to study abroad, they forget their roots and devote themselves entirely to their new life. It is not always the case and a group of Lebanese students is the living proof. These students studying at the IE Business School manage the IE Lebanon Club; a club dedicated to bringing together the school’s Lebanese students as well as to promote Lebanon and its culture. Through its many activities, the Club introduces the land of Cedars to students having sometimes never heard of the country.
The club is headed by several Lebanese students, including Hatem Rizkallah, Michael Atmeh and Ralph Sassi. They share their customs with a diverse and varied public, sometimes even playing tour guides when, for instance, more than thirty people joined them on a visit to Lebanon last summer in order to discover the beauty of the land.
The club even organized a Lebanese farewell to the academic year, which brought together more than 400 Lebanese and non-Lebanese students to celebrate the end of the year. The ultimate goal of the evening was to sponsor the club’s upcoming events, and to share some of the funds raised with a Lebanese charity as a Christmas present. This is how, once again, these Lebanese students demonstrated that although they are far from home, Lebanon is always in their hearts. In line with the theme of education, the funds were donated to the NGO “Include”. Founded in 2010 by parents and friends of children with different abilities, “Include” works for the inclusion of people with special needs in the Lebanese society, at the levels of education, employment and leisure. In 2018, the NGO welcomed its first class of students with different abilities at Université Pour Tous, a branch of Saint Joseph University – a first in Lebanon.
One thing is certain: these students remain rooted in the Lebanese culture regardless of whether they return home or end up pursuing new adventures around the world.