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Subtle Student Leadership: Abdo Salam Hamade

Within the open space of the LAU campus, a 20-year old student saunters quickly and swiftly across the crowds and races to achieve whatever objective he has in mind.  His look of fierce dedication and calm demeanor, his quizzical brow and the hands that are usually heavily laden with books all reveal the profile of a hard-working student.

Abdo Salam Hamade is a student of political science and international affairs, a committee member of the UNESCO Club and the director of school relations at LAU Model United Nations. As he crosses through the LAU cafeteria on an average day, Hamade finds the time to direct several confused students, finish his assignment, distribute the LAU newspaper, organize his timetable, secure his food, and get to appointments without breaking a sweat.

One thing is sure; if chairs were capable of voicing their thoughts, they would say that “Abdo,” as his friends call him, is an absolute stranger to them. The mature and busy 20 year old rarely sits down and has a second to himself.

“When you want something done, you’d better be on the ground and do it yourself,” he says.

Subtlety and moderation are the key words that define Hamade. He isn’t overtly commanding of attention or gruff with his control of any given situation.  To him, there is a time for coercive leadership and others for collaboration.

“It’s important for people to get motivated and do something to help. There are some who won’t even move a bottle of water because they think it risks their prestige,” he says disapprovingly.

Since his admission into LAU, Hamade has sought to live a full and rich student life that is rooted in community development. This motivational force come from a long family heritage. “People in my village always sought my family for council,” Hamade modestly explains.

His family’s active role in society translated, for Hamade, into a sense of responsibility toward another village, LAU. “University is not only for education. I’m more than lucky to have LAU as the institution that educated me,” he says. “But you also have something that is life guiding and a vision that they [LAU] will invest in you, to carry out this vision.”

“My vision of a whole rounded student is of one who cannot only study a book and get a high grade but also a student who can best represent university,” Hamade adds. Hamade affirms that the way to get things done is not only through the sheer power of will and hard work, but also through a commitment to integrity. “All work should be done within ethics,” he said.

As he holds his breath and stifles a grimace while clenching his teeth, one can plainly see that these several weeks have taken a toll on him. However, regardless of his bubbling nausea and evident headache, he still comes to university to complete the job. “I’m sick but I have work,” he mumbles playfully.

By Caroline Hodroj
LAU Tribune staff

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