The University of Balamand celebrates the graduation of the academic year 2023-2024

The University of Balamand held its Commencement Ceremony on Saturday, July 6, at the university’s main campus in Koura, marking the beginning of a new chapter for 1336 graduates from 9 faculties and 1 institute across all campuses (Koura, Akkar, Souk El Gharb and Dekwaneh). The commencement ceremony recognized graduates for the academic year 2023-2024, under the patronage and presence of His Beatitude John X, Patriarch of Antioch and all the East, and the President of the University of Balamand, Dr. Elias Warrak. The annual celebration saw the attendance of political, religious, social, educational, military, and media figures as well as a large number of the graduates' families and relatives who gathered in excited groups on the green field, eager to celebrate the achievements of their loved ones.

As part of the University of Balamand’s commencement tradition, the ceremony officially began with a prayer recited by His Beatitude John X, following the entrance of graduates, the president, and professors. Master of Ceremony Dr. Dima Issa then welcomed the graduates and attendees before introducing the evening's speakers.
The keynote speech was delivered by Dr. Youssef Comair who spoke to the graduates about the role of the university in advancing academic standards in Lebanon. He added addressing the students: “You are stepping into a world very different from the one you entered when you first arrived at this university. We now face unprecedented geopolitical, environmental, social, and climate challenges. To add to the list, the advent of artificial intelligence threatens to abolish jobs, including mine, and reduce opportunities”.

He also declared: “Read profusely and engage in lifelong learning, the mind is trained to see what it looks for and recognize what we already know. The more knowledge you acquire, the more you will innovate and think outside the box. Consider threats as new opportunities: Just as humans adapted to the advent of computing and transformed this perceived threat into opportunities, we will adapt to AI”.

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Student Tala Dandachi from the Faculty of Business and Management took the stage to reflect on the highs and lows of her academic journey at the University of Balamand. She shared her joy in cherishing some of her most memorable moments at the university.
At last, President of the university, Dr. Elias Warrak addressed the graduates and the audience, acknowledging the challenges and hardships confronting the region. He explained: “Today we live in a time of successive crises of which we never have thought of. Whenever one of these crises ends, we find ourselves surviving with more miserable and desperate crises”.
He added: “After all this, we keep showing off about our scientific innovations, the latest but not the least is artificial intelligence. What do we know about artificial intelligence? It is an intelligence derived from human intelligence to replace it, so human intuition turns into something of the past, a characteristic of human minds. If we continue to misuse artificial intelligence, it will think instead of us, plan for us, and draw for us a future in which we become machines controlled by machines, without a soul or body”.


The President urged students, stating: “Now that you are embarking into your professional life, my advice to you, as always, is not to forget your parents who have endured hardships so you reached where you are, and to remain loyal to a society that has given you solidarity, support, and synergy, and a nation; even with its many afflictions, remains your first and last legacy. Work to correct what is and who is skewed in your community; strive to make your homeland resemble your dreams”.
Following the speeches, President Warrak and the deans of the faculties conferred degrees upon the graduates.