Seven Weeks in Lebanon

By Jim Scotton

Hariri Canadian University campus in Beirut, Lebanon

Photo Source: Hariri Canadian University website.

I am spending about seven weeks in Lebanon this summer teaching at Hariri Canadian University outside of Beirut. I am trying to orient International Communication course toward the Arab media. I am also doing research on the Middle East media since I have a contract to co-author a book on international communication. I am doing the chapters on the Middle East, Africa and China and the manuscript is due at the end of December.

I should be used to this by now since this is my seventh overseas university teaching assignment in six countries in Africa and Asia. There are 29 students in my class, which is an elective. All the students are majoring in either Engineering or Business. The university is fairly high up in the hills outside Beirut but it still gets hot during the 2-3:30 p.m. class. We have classroom fans, but if you turn them up you cannot hear much of anything.

Hariri Canadian University (HCU) began as a College of Business in 1999 with the help of Canada and the Hariri Foundation.  It now has 1500 students on three campuses. Rafiq Hariri, a former Prime Minister of Lebanon who was assassinated in 2005, wanted to develop a university that would help moderate income Lebanese students get a university education with tuition kept low through scholarships and a cooperative education program.

HCU has some strong Marquette connections. The university President since 2004 is Dr. Abdul-Rahman Arkadan, who was on the MU College of Engineering faculty before taking his new post in Lebanon. The Chair of the Department of Humanities and Languages and my supervisor is Sandra Whitehead. She has an M.A. in Journalism from Marquette and has taught in both the College of Communication and the Professional Studies Program.

Jim Scotton is an Associate Professor in the Department of Journalism at the Diederich College of Communication.

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The opinions expressed here are those of the individual authors and do not represent the views of Marquette University or the Diederich College of Communication.

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