Ali Zeineddine studies computer and communications engineering at the American University of Beirut and we consider him an exemplary student especially as regards co-curricular activity. Ali is known for championing youth empowerment and inclusion and he has successfully advocated for a greater youth presence in Lebanese politics. On campus, he stood for the Secular Club, which aims to bring an independent, student-centered platform to student governance, and he helped lead the club to its most impressive electoral performance in 2018, gaining a seat on the highest body of student government in the process. During his tenure, he was among the most active delegates, sitting on numerous sub-committees and playing a mediating role between students and the administration. Ali is co-founder of the Young Diplomats Club connecting college students with government policymakers. He is committed to helping others, serving as a student adviser and head guide for new student orientation. He was founding editor-in-chief of an official newsletter for his faculty, assembling 30 student volunteers to work on it. Ali has always sought to empower and engage his peers, lead by example, and advocate for change. Truly, we aspire to graduate such students as future citizen-leaders in their communities.
As a public-school student working night shifts to support my family, I saw first-hand how entrenched economic inequality can deprive individuals of a holistic education. Coming to AUB and finding an environment of communal growth, I was able to cultivate a passion for promoting youth engagement and a vibrant student life. Pursuing change in the fragmented, sectarian makeup of Lebanese politics, I led the electoral campaign of the AUB Secular Club and was elected to the highest body of student government. Understanding the challenges students from different backgrounds face transitioning to a large institution, I dedicated my time to serving my fellow students, assuming the top volunteering position in the New Student Orientation Program and working as a student advisor. I also created and served as editor-in-chief of the engineering school magazine, co-founded the Young Diplomats Club—connecting students with policymakers—and helped organize parliamentary workshops. My activism was not limited to campus. I pushed for the inclusion of youth and other national reforms at the highest levels of government, advocated for youth as a journalist, and worked on grassroots political campaigns. In a society historically championing everything but, I hope I can advance participation and opportunity amongst my peers.