IDLE NO MORE in Lebanon!

University classrooms are known to be the root of knowledge. University classrooms stimulate the mind, stretch the limits and allow young people to think outside the box, to simply think for themselves. How true is this?

During a class led by Dr. Pamela Chrabieh I occupied an observer’s seat. It was a session of movie screenings and “The Lebanon I Dream Of” and “Ita��s About Time Lebanon ” were on the list. Guys and girls reacted different to these films. Guys were joking throughout the screening, finding anything funny to laugh at, while girls seemed to be taking the subject a bit more seriously. And then came the debate!

So here is my comment about universities, classrooms and education:A�

Unfortunately we cannot teach knowledge. Every generation has stereotypes implanted in them from early age. Our generation has just as many flaws as the ones that preceded us. We talk about change, and all we do is talk. When the time comes and actions matter, we don’t take them to the streets. Instead, we find excuses why we cannot attend a march; work, university, etc. When it comes to politics we still think twice before standing up against our parents. We are born with certain ideas rooted in us and it’s become impossible to shift them. It’s become even impossible to argue against them.

As Nietzche stated: “Convictions are more dangerous foes of truth than lies.” And each one of us is convinced and fixated on a certain idea, a certain opinion and no reason can shake these convictions. We make fun of youngsters who read. We make fun of youngsters who write or are involved in movements that try to make a change in this world. We think they are silly to “try” because we “know” they will fail. We are stuck on “I cannot” and so we don’t even make the effort to try to cultivate some positivity in our future. We don’t see further than our nose and we don’t think further than ourselves; we think that if something could have been done then someone would have done it. It’s always about someone else, never about our own selves. We know how to perfectly draw the line between “us” and “them”.A�

Having some responsibility seems pointless to us. We want change, yes. But, we can’t picture ourselves going for it. We want it spoon fed to us. We talk about elections, votes and choices/options. We talk about what we would like to see, we all agree that we dona��t want our current delegates, and yet we find ourselves saying a�?but there are no other optionsa�?. Herea��s a thought: why not introduce a new person into this game? Why do we wait for someone to give us the solution? Why cana��t we create the solution on our own?

I sat in that classroom and I felt bad for the future thata��s waiting for us, as a society and as individuals. We dona��t have ambitions; we dona��t even have a vision. We mock a director because a�?he says all we do is talk and what he is doing through his film is talking as wella�?. The message of the films was clear as crystal, but it seems that nobody got it. Wea��re still waiting for someone to come and save us. And as we wait, we are idle. And, as Dr. Chrabieh pointed it out; watching someone kill and doing nothing about it is worse than actually holding a gun and taking someonea��s life.

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  1. Thank you Hermes for your testimony and analysis!
    Many are the students who are waiting for a ‘Messiah’, a savior, true 100%
    and there are those who simply do not care about their country, thinking only of their individual interests and waiting for the next opportunity to leave.
    It is indeed a sad situation… I have hope but not for this generation… maybe in 50 years or more!
    Your text inspired me to write something about the ‘new waves of illiteracy’ in Lebanon and their link to intellectual and constructive criticism decadence nowadays…

  2. Your classroom is a great place for knowledge. It is just missing the sense of desire and want in the students, and that is something that needs to be in them to be able to help them grow and reach goals that seem far fetched.
    Thank you for the opportunity and I might frequent it more often 😉

  3. God be with you Dr. Chrabieh. You have an extremely hard work to do while teaching in Lebanese universities.
    Hermes, I truly appreciate your post. You seem like a fine young man struggling for a better society. You and others give us hope. However, i agree with Dr. Chrabieh that positive change won’t happen before many years. We do live in a decadent era.
    I watched yesterday Marcel Ghanem on LBC and reports on Syrian refugees in Lebanon and the direct catastrophic impact of this crisis… and about the lethargy of the State, and most of all, the lethargy of young people. Political leaders have their agenda. But young people simply don’t care!!! they are soooooo mistaken if they think they will continue on studying and finding jobs and living like they do nowadays… ‘al 2aty a3zam’ ! the worst is yet to come!

    1. Lama, i also watched yesterday’s Ghanem show… OMG !! it is alarming!!
      thank you Hermes for raising this issue. change begins within each one of us !!

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