2013 marked the first year for MDLAB. The academy included participants from 12 universities from Iraq, Syria, Jordan, Palestine, and Lebanon. The academy hosted eight keynote lecturers and experts in the field of media and digital literacy: Paul Mihailidis, Moses Shumow, Renee Hobbs, Stephen Salyer, and Susan Moeller (USA), Andrew Whitworth (UK), and Ahmad Al Rawi (Iraq), and Sarah Mallat (Lebanon) who gave lectures and supervised applied activities with the assistance of graduate assistances: Ramz Sahuri, Bayan Itani, Marc Abi Zeid, Christina Tkacik, and Rawan Annan.
2013 included a series of lectures discussing media literacy and its impact on education in the Arab region. 52 faculty and student participants identified the challenges of introducing a media literacy course in their countries and worked on finding solutions to such challenges.