من المسؤول عن الفقر في لبنان؟

أعلن البنك الدولي منذ شهر عن ارتفاع نسبة الفقر إلى 50 في المئة في لبنان إذا تفاقم الوضع الاقتصادي سوءاً. وقد يرى البعض ان مسؤولية الفقر تقع على الأفراد نتيجة اختيراتهم وسلوكياتهم، ويجدون علاقة بين الفقر والفشل، ويحبذون نظرية “تسلسل النجاح” (الدراسة ثم الوظيفة والزواج والأولاد) و مكافحة الفقر المبنية على تمكين الفقراء والسماح لهم بالسيطرة بشكل أكبر على حياتهم. ويرى آخرون ان خيارات الأفراد مقيدة دائمًا بظروفهم وسياسات الدولة وعوامل أخرى مثل التمييز والطائفية والفساد والحروب (المحلية والاقليمية) والدين العام إلخ

لا يمكن للمرء تجريد الانسان من مسؤوليته لكن لا ينبغي لنا أن نتجاهل السياق الذي يتم فيه اتخاذ القرارات الفردية، خاصة عندما تكون اشكالياته لا تعد ولا تحصى

هناك حاجة ملحة لتحديد أسباب الفقر في لبنان من أجل وضع وتنفيذ حلول فعالة، والخطوة الأكثر إلحاحاً هي تشكيل حكومة شفافة وخاضعة للمساءلة وتنسجم مع تطلعات جميع اللبنانيين – – حكومة تركز على وقف التدهور الاقتصادي والتفاوتات الاجتماعية، وعلى مكافحة الفساد وبناء مجتمع شامل من خلال إصلاح مؤسسات الدولة واستقلالية القضاء وتطبيق الدستور والقوانين

لا يمكن للبنان ان ينهض دون إدارة سياسية واجتماعية واقتصادية تمكن جميع اللبنانيين وخاصة الطبقات الفقيرة والمتوسطة (التي أصبحت فقيرة)، ونهضة ثقافية وفكرية ترتكز على زعزعة اليقينيات والتحرر من الانغلاقات الطائفية والحزبية الموروثة والنقد البناء والاجتهاد والحوار

Peace Education: A Priority for our Youth and Society

My latest article published by Executive Women

December 9, 2019

Peace Education
Dr. Pamela Chrabieh-Director of SPNC Learning & Communication Expertise, University Professor, & Visual Artist

Much has been said about social responsibility in the last two to three decades, and many non-governmental organizations have created programs and organized youth camps in the Arab world to encourage individuals and groups to act for the benefit of society at large. However, ongoing political disorder, wars, and economic crises in several countries have contributed to the implementation of national security-based strategies, whereas any society’s survival depends on a social responsibility strategy, and this strategy should include peace education. 

Peace education encompasses a variety of pedagogical approaches within formal curricula in schools and universities, and non-formal popular education projects. It aims to cultivate the knowledge and practices of a culture of peace, and plays an important role in individual and collective mindset changes.

Unfortunately, most academic curricula in the Arab world do not offer peace education courses, and little attention has been paid so far to the inclusion of peace programs in universities — they are considered to be low priorities.

In addition, many avoid giving too much attention and too many resources to Peace Studies programs out of fear that they may become politicized. The emphasis is usually placed on subjects considered to be tangible and have practical value for competition in the local, regional, and global marketplaces.

Peace education’s advantages are numerous:

  • It develops cultural awareness and effective communication strategies in intercultural/interreligious settings,
  • It leads to increased and differentiated understandings of cultures and a desire to expand one’s own knowledge of cultural customs, concepts, and values,
  • It helps deconstruct stereotypes and fight against xenophobia, discrimination, and ethnocentrism,
  • It helps the youth to reflect on the subjectivity of their own thoughts and language as they learn to step outside boundaries and develop more critical thinking,
  • It helps students to understand and experience unity in human diversity.

I have developed my own peace education approach and applied it in universities in Lebanon and the United Arab Emirates with thousands of students from 2007 to 2018. The results of my research were published in several books and academic journals, proving the positive impact of peace education.

The basis of this educational approach is dialogue, which is not used as a mere technique to achieve some cognitive results, but to transform social relations. Through interactive practices and an emphasis on cooperation, students are provided with space in which they can undergo constructive analysis, build bridges, and develop a sense of national inclusive belonging. 

Nonetheless, peace education faces many challenges and obstacles in our region, starting with the context itself that makes it hard to disseminate — such as the context of continuous physical and psychological wars in Lebanon, Palestine, Syria, Iraq,… 

Furthermore, it still is a socially isolated affair. For peace education to have a large-scale impact, there are many conditions that need to be fulfilled, such as support from private institutions and public authorities, sustained interaction between students and their professors, interdependence in completing common tasks, etc. 

In the context of both formal and non-formal education, funding for projects and their sustainability are two major challenges. Only elite schools and universities can offer sufficiently long training and the much needed follow-up support as inequalities and discrimination are a major challenge. In fact, they do not disappear when the classroom doors close or when they open again; students may continue pursuing opposing agendas, especially when they have unsupportive home environments.

Even when they are equipped with a new way of perceiving themselves and the “others”, the students enter into a collision course with their social surroundings and their “unquestionable truths” through their homes, neighborhoods, sectarian communities, political parties, and the media. In my opinion, peace education should be considered a public good and, as such, should be offered as a free service to all. 

Youth represent the largest group in the region, and they are exposed to an increasing number of vulnerabilities, threats, and challenges. The lack of economic, educational, and leadership opportunities limits the youth’s full potential for contribution to their families and communities, and for sustainable development and peace.

Facing these challenges requires investment in youth education, active participation, visibility and empowerment. Such investment must target youth from all cultural and religious backgrounds, including young people from disparate communities, as well as young people with disabilities and vulnerable or marginalized youth.

Clearly, this investment will not be a waste, for a culture of peace is needed to build prosperous countries and inclusive societies, and this culture is not an unattainable ideal. It is a culture we can make, embody, and share.

By, Dr. Pamela Chrabieh, Director of SPNC Learning & Communication Expertise, University Professor, & Visual Artist.

https://executive-women.me/2019/12/09/peace-education-a-priority-for-our-youth-and-society/

The Revolution in Lebanon will not end

There are many ways of approaching the study of revolution in the contemporary world. According to a narrow definition, “revolution is a forcible overthrow of a government or social order, in favor of a new system”. In that perspective, current revolutionary dynamics in Lebanon appear to several observers (whether anti-revolutionary or skeptics) as “minor disturbances”. According to these ‘experts’, as long as the socio-political and economic systems are “unchanged”, the so-called “hirak (movement) is not worthy to be called revolution”, and “will soon end”.

However, a different definition of “revolution” – the one I use and develop – makes it appear as an ongoing project of deep confrontation, resistance, deconstruction, reconstruction and systemic transformation. This project has no start per se, nor a specific end. In other words, Revolution with a big R is a process, and the current revolutionary dynamics are only but a step towards overturning existing conditions and generating alternative socio-political and economic orders. It is fluid, changing and evolving according to the context in which it takes place and through the thoughts and actions of those who actively participate in its development, of those who choose to be passive, and of those who fight it.

The Revolution in Lebanon isn’t therefore a static object that can either be a “success” or a “failure”. It consists of several current dimensions and historical layers simultaneously, and when it is not roaring in public spaces, it is boiling in the minds, adapting, learning and bouncing back…

As long as there are inequalities, social injustice, exclusion, oppression, violence, war, etc., the Revolution will not end.

As long as there are possibilities of change, the Revolution will not end.

As long as our backs are to the wall and our only way is forward and through our fears, the Revolution will not end.

As long as there are no limitations we choose to impose on our will, imagination, resilience, patience and freedom, the Revolution will not end.

Fiers d’être bavards

Hier soir au centre-ville de Beyrouth près de la place des Martyrs. Agora citoyenne

Plus de 40 jours que la révolution du 17 octobre au Liban est en cours. Des centaines de milliers de citoyens et citoyennes de toutes générations et appartenances investissent pacifiquement les places publiques, les rues et les réseaux sociaux.

En dépit de la décentralisation du mouvement et l’inexistence d’un leadership ‘vertical’, les revendications communes sont nombreuses: la formation d’un gouvernement indépendant du pouvoir en place, la lutte contre la corruption et la paralysie étatiques, des mesures d’urgence pour mettre fin à la crise économique, une nouvelle loi électorale inclusive, des élections parlementaires anticipées, et la déconfessionnalisation du système de gestion socio-politique de la diversité.

En d’autres termes, les libanais révolutionnaires revendiquent le droit de vivre dignement et en paix. Comment le font-ils? En chantant, dansant, formant des chaînes humaines, dialoguant, etc., et ce à l’aide de marmites, de musique, de graffitis, d’un savoir-faire au service de la communauté, d’une pensée critique, et beaucoup de bavardage.

Dire que le bavardage est futile, c’est oublier que l’interaction sociale et la communion humaine n’auraient jamais vu le jour sans conversations, et de là, sans prise de parole, écoute et respect mutuels, entraide et solidarité… Dire que le bavardage est synonyme de commérage et échanges verbaux insensés, c’est ne pas reconnaître la puissance des libanais (une partie des libanais) à diriger leur propre destin. Dire que le bavardage est un excès de paroles, c’est passer outre son importance dans la construction d’une société pluraliste.

En fait, le bavardage est un instrument indispensable pour des individus qui veulent devenir sujets à part entière. Celui-ci est même devenu une pratique de choix depuis le 17 octobre puisqu’il fait entendre les voix que l’histoire contemporaine du Liban a marginalisées depuis la guerre des années 70-80 du siècle dernier au détriment de celles des faiseurs de guerre, des mafieux et des corrompus. Le bavardage révolutionnaire n’est pas un écoulement incontrôlé d’un parler exercé par une collectivité ‘hystérique’ à la solde des ambassades, ni artifice, mensonge ou impuissance. Lorsque les révolutionnaires bavardent à longueur de journée à la télé, sur Facebook, Twitter et WhatsApp, et au cœur des grandes villes et des villages du Sud au Nord du Liban, et de la capitale à la vallée de la Bekaa, ils partagent leurs souffrances, leurs malaises et leurs rêves. Le bavardage est ainsi métaphore pour dire leur quasi-absence de l’espace public, mais aussi leur résistance culturelle, leur plaisir, et leur complicité. Ainsi, le bavardage devient lieu de pouvoir.

Si la révolution du 17 octobre ne fait pas (encore) rouler les têtes de ceux qui les ont trahis, volés et assassinés, elle aurait du moins réussi à transgresser les interdits, à briser les tabous, à faire éclater des dynamiques de protestation, et à construire des ponts intercommunautaires et intergénérationnels. Elle aurait réussi à incarner la prise de droit par le fait de dire, et à délivrer de nombreux libanais de leurs mémoires meurtries et des ghettos des identités meurtrières.