The Francophone Society is excited to welcome the J.D. class of 2023 and the LLM class of 2021 to (virtual) HLS! By way of introduction, we are a student-run organization focused on fostering interest in Francophone countries and cultures and providing a space for HLS students to practice their language skills. We welcome members of all skill levels and backgrounds, whether you’re a fluent French speaker or only remember a few words from your high school French class. Please send us a message or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org if you are interested in receiving information about our events this semester. We look forward to meeting you virtually!
As you probably know, a terrible explosion took place in Beirut, Lebanon, on August 4, 2020. The explosion killed more than 180 people and injured more than 6,000. One of the largest industrial accidents in history, the blast destroyed entire neighborhoods and sent dust and rubble miles away from the port where it originated. In addition to the deaths and injuries, the accident rendered about 300,000 people homeless, and caused material damage for an estimated cost ranging from 10 to 15 billion dollars.
Homes, hospitals, businesses, schools, universities, mosques, and churches have been destroyed or rendered unusable.
Among them are Saint-Joseph University and the Notre Dame de Nazareth School, two top institutions whose facilities have been seriously damaged by the accident, preventing them from resuming classes in the foreseeable future. In response, our friends at the Harvard Alumni Association in Lebanon have set up a fundraiser to support both institutions as they make repairs.
It is often difficult when faced with such an event to know exactly what to do or how to best contribute and help those most affected. In this case, as often, supporting local actors financially is probably one of the best ways to help from abroad. Accordingly, numerous organizations have set up special appeals for the benefit of the victims of the blast (see for instance the Lebanese Red Cross, UNICEF, or Save the Children, among others).
We at the Francophone Society believe that one of the most meaningful ways to contribute is to support these two educational institutions through this initiative by the Harvard Alumni Association in Lebanon.
Before the blast, Lebanon was already in crisis and facing enormous social, political, and economic challenges; training a new set of citizens and leaders through education will be critical in order to overcome these challenges and rebuild the country.
As this year is coming to an end in the most bizarre circumstances, many members of our board are graduating, leaving room for new students to get involved! If you’re interested in running a young and dynamic student society, let us know by filling up this form!
The positions of Co-President, Treasurer, Communication Coordinator, Social and Cultural Events Coordinator, and Academic and Professional Events Coordinator will be up for grabs! Joining the board is a great opportunity to widen your horizons, experience HLS from a new angle, meet new people, build a network, and develop new skills! Also, you absolutely do not need to be from a Francophone country or to speak French to join the board, so don’t miss out!
We’re looking forward to hearing from you!
JD students, just a reminder that the deadline to apply for a semester abroad is today at 5pm! If you didn’t know about it look it up for next year! If you want to practice your French, HLS has great exchange partnerships with the Graduate Institute of International of Development Studies and the University of Geneva in Geneva, Switzerland, as well as Sciences Po in Paris, France. We have alumni of all three schools at the Francophone Society, feel free to reach out if you want to talk to them!