RIP Dr. Bill Wechsler

“All is well that ends well”. This is the last message I received from our beloved Dean and friend, Dr. Bill Wechsler, before he suddenly passed away. It is with mixed feelings that I write these few lines, a mélange of great sadness and memories of beautiful moments filled with compassion, laughter, intellectual stimulus and conviviality.

Dear Bill, you were taken away from us too soon and it is painful to understand why tragedies happen to good people; why tragedies happen, full stop. Definitely, our burgeoning but solid friendship cannot be summarized in a short eulogy. Your life cannot be celebrated in few words. From a caring and thoughtful father to a humble scholar, professor and leader, you may be gone, but your energy will live on in all of us. I know I will never forget you, and if you were here you would probably tell me, as usual, to cheer up and have faith in my dreams and in the future.

“Life and death are one, even as the river and sea are one
In the depth of your hopes and desires lies your silent knowledge of the beyond,
And like seeds dreaming beneath the snow your heart dreams of spring.
Trust the dreams, for in them is hidden the gate of eternity…
For what is to die but to stand naked in the wind and melt it into the sun?
And what is it to cease breathing but to free the breath from its restless tides, that it may rise and expand and seed God unencumbered?
Only when you drink from the river of silence shall you indeed sing
And when you have reached the mountain top, then you shall begin to climb,
And when the earth shall claim your limbs, then shall you truly dance”.
(Gibran Khalil Gibran)

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Education Policy and Power-Sharing in Post-Conflict Societies: Lebanon, Northern Ireland, and Macedonia

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Honored to be quoted in Giuditta Fontana’s book on Education Policy and Power-Sharing in Post-Conflict Societies: Lebanon, Northern Ireland, and Macedonia (Springer, 2016). “Giuditta’s book explores the nexus between education and politics in Lebanon, Northern Ireland, and Macedonia, drawing from an extensive body of original evidence and literature on power-sharing and post-conflict education in these post-conflict societies, as well as the repercussions that emerged from the end of civil war. This book demonstrates that education policy affects the resilience of political settlements by helping reproduce and reinforce the mutually exclusive religious, ethnic, and national communities that participated in conflict and now share political power. Using curricula for subjects—such as history, citizenship education, and languages—and structures like the existence of state-funded separate or common schools, Fontana shows that power-sharing constrains the scope for specific education reforms and offers some suggestions for effective ones to aid political stability and reconciliation after civil wars”.
One of my book chapters on the contributions of the 25-35 Lebanese Age Group in breaking the war’s vicious circle (published in Breaking the Cycle. Civil Wars in Lebanon, ed. By Youssef Choueiri, Center for Lebanese Studies (Oxford University) – Stacey International, London, 2007, p.69-88) was used as a reference (note no.105).
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More information found here.