Grad student receives fellowship to study in Lebanon

Published 06/28/2012

CLEAR LAKE, Texas -- University of Houston-Clear Lake cross-cultural studies graduate student Juan Garcia received a fellowship to study in Lebanon.

The National Council on U.S.-Arab Relations, in collaboration with the Lebanon Renaissance Foundation, selected 10 American university students from 10 different universities for a two-week cultural exchange visit to the Republic of Lebanon. Those selected gain direct personal experience in Lebanese culture, society, and economics, as well as government priorities, concerns and needs. Students complete the program with a more deeply informed knowledge of Lebanon’s strategic aims and requirements as they pertain to Lebanese-U.S. relations and Lebanon’s role in regional and world affairs.

The Lebanon Study Visit group includes National Council on U.S.-Arab Relations’ Model Arab League Alumni from universities throughout the U.S. such as Georgetown, Johns Hopkins, Virginia Tech and Northeastern. Students began their experience with an all day, pre-departure orientation on Lebanon in Washington, D.C., before beginning their travel June 21. The tour ends July 3. Students visit numerous important places in Lebanon, with a focus on Beirut. They also meet with representatives from all walks of life, including local political and social movement leaders, sports, music, and entertainment representatives, as well as U.S. Embassy representatives.

“I’m honored to have been selected by the council and the Lebanon Renaissance Foundation for participation in the visit,” said Garcia. “I firmly believe that exchange and dialogue programs such as this, support the core of what the UH-Clear Lake Cross Cultural Studies Program and the Model Arab League are about. I anticipate that my experience with the program will help me to develop a better understanding of the rich culture of Lebanon.

“My participation was made possible through my work with the UH-Clear Lake Model Arab League Student Organization and a generous recommendation from Assistant Professor in Anthropology and Cross-Cultural Studies Maria Curtis.”

Upon his return, Juan will spend a year working with the council, the Model Arab League Student Organization and the Lebanon Renaissance Foundation to share his experiences in Lebanon with the Bay Area and Houston communities.