Rethinking Humanities for a Post-Pandemic World
Dr. Darina Saliba Abi Chedid (ED.)


The COVID-19 pandemic has led to unprecedented global challenges and uncovered weaknesses in the ability of governments, the private sector, & local & international actors to deliver services and resources across many systems. This has been true in food and agriculture, healthcare, and education, among other sectors. However, the pandemic also has inspired innovation in areas such as digital technology and social organization, and there are many examples of countries or communities effectively coordinating to confront this threat. At the same time, we have witnessed a forceful generosity during this crisis and incredible solidarity across countries, communities, and sectors. This crisis has showed that the world can come together when faced with enormous common challenges. The pandemic has changed our lives and the way we connect and interact with others. Lately in September 2021, UNESCO warned that 117 million students around the world were still out of school worldwide! Our students have consequently changed — they are more familiar with online platforms and see the world at their fingertips. The COVID-19 pandemic has recognized our paralysis and collective failure to decide together for the common good in the face of an immediate and common global threat. It has taught us that a global pandemic is not simply a health crisis, but it is an economic crisis, an education crisis, a political crisis, an environment crisis leading to social injustice, food insecurity, and inequalities. A global crisis creating fragilities and affecting us all. The common aspect of many of these challenges was one of humanity. The pandemic has set back human development by as much as 20 years (according to the UN Sustainable Development Goals Report 2020). Yet it has shown how important they are and how interconnected our challenges are.We therefore need to accelerate the progress towards achieving these Sustainable Development Goals. Hence, it is fundamental to rethink humanities and to identify the means of crossing into a new world that safeguards the HUMAN. This symposium will allow us to Rethink Humanities for a Post-Pandemic World focusing on different areas and sectors:

• Education

• Women and gender

• Public health

• Environmental humanities

• Music and Arts

Allow me here to congratulate UNESCO for approving the Recommendation document on the Ethics of Artificial Intelligence at the General Conference. Ladies and Gentlemen, let us together rethink humanities, tell its story, understand it, celebrate it. Let us be human! I sincerely hope you will enjoy these two days of exchange, debate and networking. Thank you all for your participation!

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