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Embassy Beirut Uses MLK Day to Champion Human Rights.

In commemoration of Martin Luther King Jr. Day, Embassy Beirut partnered with AMIDEAST Lebanon to host five English Access Microscholarship classes for a speaking event and activity on Martin Luther King Jr. and human rights. Young English-language learners from throughout Lebanon engaged in lively debates on the definition of human rights, how to protect them, and how to use them as tools to promote fair and free societies.

Approximately 80 participants attended. Julian Ciampa, a human rights officer, and Shawn Tenbrin, a Middle East Partnership Initiative officer, discussed Martin Luther King Jr.'s contributions to the Civil Rights Movement and the broader struggle for international human rights. The speakers then conducted an exercise in which students were asked to form groups based on whether they determined certain rights to be inalienable. This exercise promoted critical thinking and revealed student opinions on how, when and why human rights can and should be violated or limited. Students exhibited a wide range of opinions and were able to have constructive, well-reasoned debates to justify their choices.

While leaving the event, one student remarked on the value of the workshop, saying, "We were able to show our opinion and express thoughts we were not able to before. We learned new information about how to use our rights."

"Martin Luther King Jr. is a symbol of equality and human rights," said another student. "This session helped us know more about him and other important characters who played important roles in changing history, not only in the USA, but also worldwide." Embassy Beirut will amplify these themes of freedom and fairness during its upcoming Black History Month programming.

By Kristin Smith

Kristin Smith is a cultural affairs officer at Embassy Beirut.

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Title Annotation:In the News
Author:Smith, Kristin
Publication:State Magazine
Geographic Code:7LEBA
Date:Mar 1, 2018
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