High School Fair

By Ahmad Karakira

The LAU Department of Communication Arts launched three workshops in journalism, script-writing, and performing arts in preparation for the fourth annual School of Arts and Sciences high school fair to give students a chance to win LAU scholarships.

The Irwin Hall Auditorium hosted Hussein Kassab, researcher and digital literacy trainer at the Institute of Media Research & Training, who gave the journalism workshop about basics of news writing and reporting, and the journalistic story structure. In his lecture, Kassab focused on modern tools such as social media to gain the audience’s deep attention in a short period.

He also stressed the importance of students practicing, working hard, and training their brains by reading and watching various reports. Kassab explained the importance of this workshop for high school students and its outcome towards their societies.

“I think that the one minute video makes it a challenge for students, and its purpose is to let them know for further projects how simplicity is power,” Kassab said. “We’re tackling social problems and we want students to report them, so we’re urging students and focusing with them on how to be problem solvers.”

Mostafa Naji, a high school student from Toulouse College, expressed that his participation in the workshop was because of his belief that “a word or a short video can change something and can start a revolution.” While Roaa Al Mouslimani from Al Iman- Aramoun said that the workshop will let her gain some experience before majoring in journalism.

The Irwin Hall Auditorium also hosted for the first time the script-writing workshop given by lecturer Nasser Chour about story telling after recently adding the script-writing competition category to the high school fair. Chour introduced briefly the students to the history of story-telling and its evolution throughout time. Chour then presented and explained ways and techniques to generate ideas and build scripts, as he focused on inspiration in script-writing and the importance of taking advantage of everything heard and seen in life in the process of film making.

According to Chour, the target and goal of this workshop beyond the competition is to make sense of every incident students encounter in their societies to produce a meaningful story.

“I want students to learn how to articulate ideas and make them effective using film, and elevate critical sense so they can see the richness of incidents around them,” Chour said. “I want them to be able to have control over their stories.”

Simultaneously, a performing arts workshop was being held at Gulbenkian Theatre by Assistant Professor Amr Selim with social conflict and justice as a theme. Selim helped high school students from four groups so they perform well in the fair.

Selim believes that students singing and playing music can be more than just performing.

“This theme is exciting because arts can reflect serious conflicts in the Arab world where every day many problems happen that can be expressed and performed about,” Selim said. “I want students to be aware of the role of music in expressing what’s happening around the world.” Aya Abdel Khalek, a high school student from Saint Mary’s Orthodox College, said “it’s beautiful to sing about social conflict and for humanity” and that the workshop gave her “a chance to practice singing and prove her talent.”

The LAU Beirut fourth annual School of Arts and Sciences high school fair will be held on Thursday, April 13th.