To The Lebanese Parents Celebrating Their Children Passing Brevet With Gunfire

Brevet

Dear Lebanese parents that couldn’t believe their son or daughter passed their brevet exam so they figured the best way to celebrate, in between the ten kilos of baclava consumed, was to fire a few rounds of M249 up in the air,

Yes, your child is special. I mean, how could your child not be special if he or she passed 9th grade and will continue to high school? In Neanderthal times, that’s akin to your child being ready for marriage or leading a life of his own! Yes, your child is unique, him and the other 75% of applicants that presented this year’s exam and passed.

Were you firing rounds up in the air because you couldn’t believe your child passed? You do know that doesn’t really reflect confidence on your part for your child’s capacities? I bet your child is going to grow up into such a terrific young man or woman knowing that his parents never truly believed in him or her and were utterly dumbfounded, a few AK4 rounds-dumbfounded to be exact, that they passed an exam that 3 out of 4 of those who take it actually pass it. If more information is needed, let me refer you to some good psychologists who will work on mending your child’s traumatized psyche from having his own flesh and blood not remotely believe he managed to pass an exam.

But how does this whole celebratory gunfire thing work exactly? I mean, you people seem to do it at every corner. Your child passes an exam, you bring out the riffles. Your politician goes on air, you bring out the machine guns. You manage to pass stools after a serious bout of hemorrhoids, you bring out the guns. Is there an algorithm you follow to delineate the mechanism behind this enigma?

Is it two rounds, for instance, for a simple pass grade? Three rounds in case all those “rachat points” were used as an “allahou akbar zamatna” hail Mary of sorts? What about those coveted “mentions” that were all the rave back in my old days? Did he or she get “bien” or “tres bien?” Did you fire thirteen rounds instead of six because your child got 230 instead of 196 points? I’m a doctor here who is more confused by the way your brain works regarding this, than by the diseases I have to address on daily basis.

Now tell me, what if your bullets end up killing someone? Is it okay because “fida hal brevet?” Or is it also okay because if God didn’t want him dead, he wouldn’t have died anyway? How do you convince yourself that your summer rains of shells are totally fine, wholly acceptable and utterly, irrevocably awesome to do?

Or maybe, just maybe, if you were a parent who felt the need to celebrate, for instance, their child passing an exam as stupid as a brevet exam, then you shouldn’t be a parent to being with? Maybe it’s the perpetuation of those genes that have a big contributory factor to why this country is a hell-hole, one round at a time?

I have so many questions that I hope you answer. Until then, see you in world war 3 next June when your other child graduates from kindergarten.

When Adel Karam Makes Fun Of A 63 Year Old Man Presenting His Brevet Exams

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:

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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:

Quite disgusting.

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.

Tfeh.

 

The Lebanese Official Exams (SV/SG/SE/LH/Brevet) Results

It was a weird month this July. Apart from the unbelievable heat and the dismal electricity, among other things, my hometown didn’t have bursts of fireworks every 2 days starting mid July as students passed their official exams and either advanced to high school or to universities.

The official exam results were nowhere to be found. And I hadn’t given it much attention until I asked a friend whom I knew had sat for the exams back in early June if she passed or not and she said the results weren’t out yet.

But it’s August! I said. She shrugged. There was nothing the students could do.

It seems the teachers whose job was to correct the exam were on a strike. A strike against a government that refused to give them their lawful rights in wage increases whilst it gave those rights to the professors at the Lebanese University after they closed down said university for months last year.

This government – arguably the worst that has governed Lebanon in many years – apparently doesn’t care that there are students who don’t know if they can pay their enrollment at universities. They don’t care that there are students who might fail and with each passing day they lose hope of ever having a second round of exams soon. They don’t care that they’re literally ruining the life of teenagers whose only fault was to sit for an exam they were forced to take in this God-forsaken country.

The minister of education on the other hand apparently had the audacity to throw threats around. The fact that the results that should have been out early July weren’t out by early August wasn’t indicative enough for him to know exactly how horrible a job he’s doing. But no matter… the results will be out tomorrow, Saturday August 4th.

Starting in the afternoon, students can text their corresponding exam branch (SV/SE/LH/SG/Brevet) followed by their student number to 1070. SV (LS) and SG  (GS) results will be out tomorrow while the other ones will follow soon after.

So for instance if you are SV and your number is 20842 (that was mine back in 2007), you text: SV 20842 and you send it to 1070. You will get a reply with your result: whether you passed or not.

I have no idea if texting that number is free of charge or if it’ll cost students. I’m fairly certain it’ll the latter, adding insult to injury: they wait a month and a half for results that they will have to pay to get. Let’s jump on any way to make money off of people.

Good luck to all the students and for those who aren’t so lucky, it won’t be the end of the world.