Craft Your Future With The Center of Continuing Education

This past week, the Center of Continuing Education (CCE) held a very big workshop: The Rotary Youth Leadership Awards (RYLA), sponsored by the Université Antonine and suggested by the Rotary Association.

This new and original project consists of an ongoing three-day program including tailored sessions, workshops and activities targeting the youth (20-30 years old) wishing to learn how to make their dream projects come to life.

As Dr. Jenny Mouchantaf, Director of CCE explained, around 100 participants subscribed to this one of a kind workshop scheduled on March 23, 24 and 25 and which took place at Pineland Hotel, Hammana. Talk about an inspiring location to disconnect and fully focus on what matters: the future. 

The CCE aimed to collaborate with keynote speakers and experts in various fields, to reach out to the subscribers' various backgrounds but also, to reflect UA’s exceptional faculties and departments.

On the first day of the program, the participants got the chance to meet with Aline Kamakian:  a food passionate. Graduated from Université Saint Joseph with a double major in Masters in Finance and Marketing, Aline’s skills as an insurance broker allowed her to build one of Lebanon’s top 9 Brokerage Firms IIC – Insurance & Investment Consultant. She opened in June 2003 “Mayrig” an avant guardiste traditional Armenian restaurant to introduce to all those who appreciate homely, healthy and tasty food, the forgotten flavors of Ancient Armenia.

Since then, Aline has ventured into new concepts, Catering in 2004, Batchig in 2013, Made by Mayrig in 2014. She opened new branches of Mayrig in Dubai in 2013 and in Riyadh in 2016 

Aline concentrated most of the years 2010 and 2011 to co-writing her first cook book “Armenian Cuisine” where her research for traditional recipes took her on a journey to Cilicia, present day Eastern Turkey, the ancient Armenia that her grandparents fled following the 1915 Armenian Genocide.

Aline was also voted Women Entrepreneur of the Year 2014 in the BLA – Brilliant Lebanese Awards organized by BLC bank. She is a board member of the Lebanese Franchise Association as well as a board member of the LLWB – Lebanese League of Woman in Business and a successful candidate of the 2014 Vital Voices Fellowship Program.

On the second day, a marathon-like program was in plan starting with four special workshops given in rotation to the participants:

-    Chess & Strategies by Jihad Hokayem, an expert in chess & international economy who explained how business ought to be considered like a game of chess

-    Ergonomics by Mr. Charbel Najem, an UA specialized physiotherapist in spine injuries who taught participants how to sit, walk and move properly to prevent injuries and stress.

-    The Art of Pitching with Dr. Elizabeth Sfeir, head of the marketing department at UA who gave tips on how to successfully pitch an idea in less than 10 minutes. 

Those workshops were followed by ”Critical Thinking” session in the afternoon with M. Elie Moussalem, allowing participants to improve their approach in conflicts, teamwork, etc.

On the third day, the CCE wished to plan outdoor activities, along with Performance First Center, for everyone to enjoy the scenery and the weather. Basketball player Karl Sarkis paid a visit to the group and shared his knowledge in the art of communication in the field he knows best: sports.

For the closing ceremony, Mr. Bassam Abou Zeid shared his professional experience with the participants. With more than 25 years of media experience in where he worked in Radio station and TV with LBCI as a news anchor and presenter at Nharkom Said program.  He participated and covered various international events as well interviewed well know personalities around the globe.

Last but not least, business expert and UA Zahleh Director; Mr. Tony Reaidi shared his thorough experience on how to turn plans into reality, step by step.

Participants, who came from various Arab countries, had without a doubt an unforgettable experience thanks to the CCE at UA and through the RYLA. And we all look forward to the second edition. Those of us who are under thirty at least!


By Rayane Nasreddine


Jenny Mchantaf, PhD, Associate professor, faculty of information and communication and Director of the center of continuing education