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School & Program Updates

School & Program Updates

AUB: Aspiring for Peace and Justice, FHS Gets Its Hands Dirty in a Messy World | An Interview with Dean Iman Nuwayhid

“The world is a messy place,” explains American University of Beirut (AUB) – Faculty of Health Sciences (FHS), Graduate Public Health Program dean, Dr. Iman Nuwayhid, “but we are completely committed — as a faculty — to being engaged in the world as it is.” The way Dr. Nuwayhid and his colleagues see it, if you care about people and their health, you don’t really have a choice. “You can’t begin to address public health issues unless you look at them in their broader context,” says Dr. Nuwayhid. “We don’t have all the answers, but we have the will. We’re always looking for people to work with who bring a different perspective and can inform our work. What we want are meaningful results and change.”

FHS’s vision is to be a driver for a set of values — equity, justice, better health, and peace — in the Arab region and beyond. Dr. Nuwayhid shakes his head, saying, “We are very aware that this may sound odd — even a bit pretentious. After all, can we claim to be a driver for peace? Is that something we, public health academics, should try to do?” For Dr. Nuwayhid and his colleagues at FHS, the answer is obvious: not only is this something they can strive toward, but something they must strive toward. “You can’t achieve equity, justice, and better health without peace,” he explains. “Living in this part of the world, we know this. We see the evidence every day.” Dr. Nuwayhid notes that the absence of peace has very real consequences for the health of people, health systems, and healthcare workers.

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