Some people have no shame.
One of the biggest pieces of international news yesterday, if you disregard those of war, famine and horrors for a few seconds, was the beautiful story of Ingeborg Syllm-Rapoport. She is a 102 year old pediatrician, and we’re talking about her because she just became the world’s oldest person to receive a PhD. Back in 1938, the Nazis banned her from doing her dissertation for being part Jewish. The years passed and Mrs. Syllm-Rapoport sought out the degree that escaped her because of racist laws. She finally got it, and look how happy she is:
Of course, there are some parts of the world – like where we live, for example – where such news wouldn’t be so cheerful and worth the celebration.
A few days ago, pictures of a 63 year old man presenting his brevet exams surfaced on social media.
The man was identified as Abdallah Taleb, from Marjeaayoun in the South. In 1967, Abdallah had to leave his hometown in order to work with his brother before moving to Saudi Arabia later on. He never got his brevet degree then. Following the liberation of the South, Abdallah came back with his family of two and settled down in his hometown. He became the “mokhtar,” opened a real estate office, but he never forgot that he still never had a degree, which is why he enrolled in school this year to try and catch up to his education and be able to present his brevet degree.
Wonderful story, right?
Well, that didn’t stop Adel Karam and his esteemed show “Hayda Haki” from making fun of Abdallah. Watch the video:
All around the world, people who seek education are respected. Their accomplishments are celebrated, especially when they do so at an age when society had already told them off. Except, of course, when you have people like Adel Karam who see such a man’s quest as yet another moment for comic relief on his TV show.
“Mesh bakkir?” he asked Mr. Taleb. “Isn’t your retirement time soon?” He continued because the first joke clearly didn’t bring the message home. “Will you try and go for a high school degree, too?”
“Do you think he’ll pass?” He snickers. “He should have done the exam last year… everyone passed.”
Yes, Adel Karam, bring the humor. Bring the sheer brilliance of your insane comedy skills.
Yes, make fun of a man whose only fault was to have a dream of having a degree, regardless of how simple it is.
Yes, use that man as material to fill time on your insanely funny TV show.
Yes, there is CLEARLY something weird and funny about a man who, years after he’s supposed to, is trying to get the education that this beautiful country took away from him. Is there any better joke than that?
Shame on the audience there that laughed on his joke. I hope you have 1% of the determination Abdallah Taleb has when you’re his age to seek out what your life’s circumstances had robbed you and not be brought down by people like Adel Karam telling you it’s all futile, pointing their fingers in your face and snickering at you for even trying.
Shame on MTV for allowing such garbage to fill its airways, not that I’m surprised anyway.
The ironic thing is that Abdallah Taleb already answered those who wondered what’s the point of doing this so close to retirement age. His answer? “They force retirement on you and it turns you into a shell. I want to give another idea of people who reach retirement age, that it’s okay to still have ambition and act out on it.”
Clearly, ambition and acting out on such ambition is only allowed to comedians who want to emulate Jon Stewart.
I hope that when Adel Karam is 63 and remembers a life-long dream of his that he doesn’t get someone like him to tell him “mesh bakkir?”
Pity the nation that makes fun of its people who seek an education. Pity the people who find getting an education is something to make fun of.