Lebanese American University

Tomorrow’s Leaders

Salaam Halila Triggers Critical Thinking in her Latest Awareness Campaign

When Salaam Halila chose Communication as a major, she knew that her mission goes beyond selling goods and services. Hence, she drew a bigger picture in mind on how to make use of the skills earned to serve a bigger purpose.

Delving in a multinational community at LAU, Halila valued the importance of studying in a multicultural environment. However and throughout her academic journey and day to day connections with other Arab students, Halila noticed that Arab students live and breathe stereotypes when they come face to face with other Arab students. And those stereotypes are usually tinted with negative attributions.

To that effect, Halila came up with a communication campaign “We Are More Than Stereotypes” whose main objective is to break stereotypes Arabs have on each other and help celebrate cultural differences instead.

The campaign was based on a survey that Halila did with focus groups from different nationalities (Algeria, Lebanon, Morocco, Tunisia, Bahrain, Palestine, and Libya). The survey helped Halila to discern the most prominent preexisting stereotypes Arabs have on each other. Results came predominantly with negative attributions. For example, Morocco was attributed to witchcraft, weeds, and prostitution; Lebanon was linked to the concept of plastic surgeries and materialism;  when mentioning Syria people who underwent the survey linked the country’s name to refugees, and “Bab Al Hara” (The neighborhood’s Gate) one of the most popular television series in the Arab world.

After collecting the survey’s data and analyzing it, Halila with the help of her TL colleagues redefined each country’s essence and legacy by highlighting each country’s historical and cultural richness pinned by testimony from a TL student from the same nationality to make the campaign more personalized.

The campaign included also quizzes to have more engagement from the audience.

The campaign was posted on Instagram on “As Far” page and gained wide reach and exposure.

Within a week, the page gained 415 organic followers, 1140 profile visits; 7470 impressions; 983 reach and 140 total reshare of all posts.

Halila got a grade of 98/100 thanks to her project’s strength points: thorough and appropriate research, a well-documented campaign’s impact, and a robust reflection.

Through the “We Are More Than Stereotypes” campaign, Halila succeeded in changing standards thinking and stereotype-based judgments.

 


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