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    AUB Students Take Part in Beirut Marathon

    Despite the unpleasant weather, plans and preparations for the 7th annual Beirut Marathon went ahead on Sunday, December 6, starting at Gamal Abdel-Nasser Avenue. From professional athletes to infamous politicians, Sunday saw one of the rare glimpses of unity that the city of Beirut has been deprived of.

    That’s exactly what the Democracy and Citizenship club had in mind for this big event. In the months leading up to the marathon, the club’s president, Business junior Nassim Abi Ghanem, had the idea of affiliating AUB with the Beirut Marathon “in order to move activities off campus, rather than always being confined to AUB’s grounds.” From November 2 until November 14, the eager club members held a stand near West Hall welcoming all AUB students to subscribe and run under the AUB colors.
    Under the guidance of Abi Ghanem, the Democracy and Citizenship club went to the Marathon’s headquarters in Hazmieh and successfully brokered a deal, where AUB students got a special price in participating in the Marathon.
    After having everything sorted out with the Student Affairs office, the campaign got underway. Flyers and posters, some with serious slogans such as “run for youth empowerment or free thought”, as well as some with humorous slogans, such as “run for 24 hour electricity or clean air”, covered AUB’s walls.
    On December 3 and 4, students that registered were given their kits for the big day. In addition to those kits, marathon organizers handed out their own bag containing necessary items for the runners, such as bottled water and towels.
    As the race come to a close, with the professional athletes and famous politicians crossing the finish line at Martyrs’ Square, so did about a hundred and twenty AUB students. One of the runners representing AUB, freshman Mark Maalouf said, “This was the best Beirut Marathon so far!” and that “running this year alongside dedicated classmates was fun and motivating.”
    “It was really nice. We got to know each other more and it increased cohesiveness”, stated Abi Ghanem, “linked to the camaraderie and solidarity that came with the marathon, so did the fact that students were enjoying a week without a heavy workload!” Abi Ghanem concluded the day by saying we were “finally able to do something fun away from studies and lectures”.

    Case in point; the Beirut Marathon proved to be an event beyond the realms of classes, labs, and the university as a whole, where students were able to enjoy the outdours convivially while representing their university, AUB.

    Ilija TROJANOVIC
    Outlook
    January 2010

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