Let’s Help 30 Lebanese Children & Victims Of Abuse Get An Education!

In a study done by Kafa, in association with the Lebanese Ministry of Social Affairs, this is the situation of Lebanese children in Lebanon:

  • 885,000 children are victims of abuse,
  • Of those children, 738,000 are also victims of physical abuse,
  • 219,000 are victims of sexual abuse.

These numbers are staggering, especially when the country is only made up of 4 million people, give or take a few hundred thousands.

If there’s any entity that can really and fundamentally alter the fabrics of Lebanese society, it’s education. All of us are where we are today because our parents were lucky enough to be able to provide for us the best opportunities that they could provide, the best education that they could afford.

It’s not unusual that Lebanon’s hubs of radicalism and of conflict are its poorest areas where children don’t get proper education and where the government doesn’t even remotely care that it can allow itself not to properly pay for school properties so they close.

School Tebbaneh Lebanon Closed

The situation is horrible. For a country with the best universities and schools of the region, the levels of illiteracy we have, especially of females, is unacceptable.

So because the government is too busy with garbage than to care about other important facets of our life, a couple of guys named Rami & Rayan Rasamny decided to do something bold in order to raise $10,570, which will help the Lebanese NGO Himaya provide education for 30 Lebanese children who have been victims of abuse for the next scholastic years.

To do so, Rami and Rayan are going to climb the “Mont Blanc” peak in France in order to fundraise for this cause. The amount they’re hoping to raise will cover tuition fees, stationary and transportation for these 30 children.

If you’re a parent, think of how important you providing an education to your child is, and then try to give to those who are not as lucky.

Even if you’re not a parent, think of how luck you are to be where you are today because you went to school and then university and made a thing out of yourself.

There’s probably nothing as important as this. Check out the fundraising link here.


Farsi Is A Required Language At Some Lebanese Schools, More Important Than French & English

Khosh Amadid Lebanon Farsi Iran Hezbollah

You gotta give it to us Lebanese, we sure are languages aficionados. Of course, most of us are not born as such but are spoon-fed three languages over the course of a thirteen year education system before we head out to higher education centers. But, as the saying goes, throw us in any country around the world and we’ll land standing.

Add Iran to one of those countries.

Some schools in Beirut’s Southern Suburb are now teaching Farsi, Iran’s main language, as curriculum requirement. Students would then get to choose between French and English as their third language, according to the previously linked source, because – as we all know – French and English have no commonplace in today’s world, being imperialistic languages and all.

The schools in question are all private schools and as such can teach whatever language they want, according to Lebanese law. Public schools, on the other hand, have not had the same curriculum change.

I get that political ties exist between the country where Farsi reigns supreme and the people running the schools that have adopted such curriculums. I get that those political ties are crucial for the well-being of the parties running those schools. I get that those parties sure love Iran, their culture and believe it should be imported over here – but at the expense of the educational well-being of all students attending those schools?

How does it make sense to teach students a language spoken only in one country, a language that doesn’t have any international reach whatsoever? What benefits does teaching Farsi bring to the students who will be forced to learn it? I can only think of them understanding that Farsi MBC channel. How does it make sense to give such a language importance over others than can simply make or break a person in today’s world? Teaching Farsi doesn’t count as “resistance.”

If those schools are so hell-bent on teaching Farsi, let them make it as the third optional language for their students instead of the other more crucial languages they relegated to that level. That way, they’d fulfill the apparent needs of their political ties by giving that culture more importance and still preserving the fundamental right of those students to get the best education that they can get. Our economy and their upcoming jobs are not contingent upon Iran.

Would I have had the same reaction had some schools opted for teaching German, Italian or Spanish as a required second language? Probably not, because this isn’t against Iran and their culture as much as it is keeping intact that last good thing that we  – as Lebanese – have: our global competitiveness. Those languages can help it. Farsi does not.

Khosh amadid to you.

Bullying in Lebanese Schools

When I was in my early teens, I was constantly bullied at school. It used to bother me at first. Those words hit a spot at first. And then that spot hardened.

And I just didn’t care anymore. The insults kept coming as I grew older. And I didn’t care even more. They eventually stopped when those “friends” decided they had better things to do. But I was lucky because some people never decide they have better things to do.

That’s what’s happening to someone I really care about now in his last year of school. The words keep coming and those classmates, with their better than thou attitude, keep going unpunished. And it has been going on for a few years now.

How long should we tolerate until our schools step their foot down in the face of bullying? Why is it that the person I care about has to consider changing schools to escape the toxic environment spread by two assholes while the easiest thing would be to expel those two bastards?

Why is it that the victim of bullying in Lebanon has to be turned into submission even by the school? Why is it that our schools, with their “we are such a good environment for you kid” attitude, don’t actually care about being a good environment for the kid and turn a blind eye to what’s happening in the heart of classrooms with their beyond docile measures if faced by the kid’s parents?

The thing people tell a bullying victim is that it gets better. You tell them that those kids will always be kids. You tell them they’ll soon change. You’ll tell them that they will find people who will see them for what they are: awesome people. And they won’t believe you. And they’ll think you’re just lying to make things better.

But it really does.

My uncle was a victim of bullying. He’s now a top shot doctor in the United States, making more money than his entire class combined.

I was a victim of bullying and I now write one of the most read blogs in Lebanon in between my studies at medical school. I can’t say the same for most of those “friends.”

My late uncle was bullied because an accident when he was younger led to him losing an eye. And despite him being a brilliant student at school – they even got him to skip one class – he had to drop out because he couldn’t take it anymore. And still he managed to do well with the little time he had by making a family and starting a business that is booming today.

I have a friend who faced the same bullying because of a medical condition during middle school. And things didn’t let down until he found a bunch of friends mature enough to understand what he was going through. He’s now a top notch architect.

And the person I care about? He’ll soon go to a university that those assholes would never dream of entering and he’ll become a success in the field that he chooses.

And we’ll all go back to our school reunions and tell those suckers: Fuck you. With emphasis on every single letter. Because, well, fuck them and their demented brainless heads.

And fuck those schools that never empower the victim for fear of losing the tuition of other students. Because that’s how you build a country: by letting the weak ones be weak forever and letting the “strong” ones feel strong. Always.

Congratulations Lebanese education, you teach people three languages and a shitload of math they won’t need. But you don’t teach them compassion or tolerance or anything that they would benefit from later on. I salute you and your teachers.

Sticks and stones can break my bones but names never hurt? Yes, it’s always easy to preach. But my advice to those being bullied is the following: don’t always turn a blind eye and deaf ear as you hurt inside.