“Quand un élève crée, ça vient directement du coeur. Un élève ne fait pas d’erreurs. Quelque soit la forme de l’expression, elle est toujours bonne et je ne considère pas qu’il y a de mauvais dessin. Je dirais que le rôle principal des arts plastiques est de faire régner la paix dans le monde. On donne des outils aux élèves pour créer. Quand on crée, on participe à un grand projet de paix en soi et dans le monde où nous vivons.”

“When a student creates, it comes directly from the heart. A student doesn’t do any errors. Whatever the form of expression, it is always fine and I never consider that there is a bad drawing. I would say that the main role of the plastic arts is to bring peace to the world. We give students tools with which they can unleash their creativity. When we create, we participate to a larger project of peace within ourselves and in the world we live in.”

Greta Naufal

Greta Naufal starts teaching in 1982. She is invited by the director of the Collège Protestant Français first, Mrs. Françoise Bordreuil, to teach art classes when schools hardly offer drawing sessions to their students. She develops the curriculum over a period of time spanning over three decades (36 years) and establishes a program for plastic arts where students can explore different media in a dedicated workshop/atelier space. She also inspires baccalaureate students to present art portfolios as part of the French Baccalaureate examination and becomes a core member of the academic jury. With an avant-garde approach to art education in Lebanese academic institutions, she organizes trips to national galleries as well as travels for students to European countries where they can see what they would otherwise study in books. She conceives students exhibitions about the Lebanese heritage, environmental concerns and freedom of expression. She coordinates a quarterly newsletter as well as designs the college’s very first logo.

Greta Naufal becomes member of faculty at the Beirut University College in 1984 – the institution today known as the Lebanese American University. She has been teaching introductory as well as advanced drawing courses ever since to undergraduate and graduate students in the School of Art and Design. In the academic years between 2006 and 2008, she is also invited to teach courses in Illustration, Printing and Bookbinding in the Graphic Design department.

“Being part of the LAU for almost 40 years now has been and continues to be an adventurous journey – even if at many times we have experienced great challenges in a turmoiled country like ours. Amid the civil war and more recently the pandemic, we continued to be there for the young generations of our country which will shape the future. It is a pleasure to meet and collaborate with hundreds of colleagues and to teach thousands of students across the years, some of which have taken up a professional trajectory in the artistic or educational fields to my greatest delight! I always feel proud to see some of my students as faculty members themselves. Some have become established Lebanese artists also like Nada Sehnaoui, Reem el Jundi or Monira Al Solh. We even have art educators in influential positions in international institutions – few names would not do justice to every student who strived and accomplished a successful career during all these years. This university is a place where my journey as an academic educator went beyond delivering classes to include an active participation in and a witnessing of the evolution of the schools. When students sit and draw, they learn to spend time with the world around them, they listen to their inner voices, they unfold their unique potential.”

Archival photographs from the drawing courses at the Lebanese American University (and previously BUC) showing the artist Greta Naufal with her students. Artist Amine el Bacha visiting the students’ exhibition on campus. Actress René Deek as model. Artist Nada Sehnaoui drawing in studio.

Archival photographs from the Collège Protestant Français (1982–2017)