“Daleel: Introduction to Active Citizenship” is a response to the ever growing need for an open and critical approach to citizenship education in Lebanon. In the context of Lebanon’s past and present conflicts, as well as the country’s weak democratic institutions, there is a need to critically engage young students in the concept and implications of citizenship. A confessionally and socially diverse nation, Lebanon hah has fallen short of raising awareness among its youth about the practice of good citizenship and the challenges of democratic reform and consolidation. Recurring cycles of war and violence have created a pressing and urgent need to involve young students in the concepts and practicalities of non-violence, campaigning and demand articulation. “Daleel” introduces such practices to what would constitute an active, aware, and engaged citizenship among university students across the nation. It is an effort to engage the target group in a process of contemplation and open discussion of citizenship topics, using practical case studies from contemporary Lebanon. Rather than serving as an instruction tool, the course aims to encourage unrestricted involvement on the part of the students in moderated debates and interactive exercises. “Daleel” does not seek to produce solutions to Lebanon’s problems; instead it nurtures a sustainable attitude of critical thinking and free expression among students, coupled with a thorough understanding of the basic principles that govern the citizen/state relationship. This will further develop the students’ ability to be more engaged in positive and active participation within their respective communities, while contributing to the collective good in the process.
While emphasizing the open platform, the course still utilizes literature from a wide range of local and international writers, philosophers and social activists and that to enrich students’ experience with creative questions, and potential answers. The readings are in no way comprehensive for every topic; instead they provide the conceptual framework for students to position the case of Lebanon in a broader academic and historic framework.
“Daleel” is part of Nahwa al Muwatiniya’s (Na-am) Education track. It was developed by Na-am expert members in consultation with prominent academics. “Daleel” is not copyrighted material. All universities are welcome to use and modify it according to their needs. Na-am is ready to assist interested universities in adapting the syllabus to meet their requirements, without compromising the basic message.
“Daleel” is an interactive course that aims to equip undergraduate students with the knowledge and the skills that would allow them to exercise their citizenship effectively, by recognizing their rights and their duties, and by reinforcing their capacity for critical thinking and active engagement in public affairs. The course is intended to promote active citizenship, within a social, cultural and political context of public life as being a fundamental right, duty and a tool for influencing policy making.