Bio and Vision for Lebanon
EN: I)Personal Statement II)Vision: i-Introductory Passage ii-Detailed Political Plan ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- I) Who am I? Born in 1999, I've got to witness many events unfold before me as a child, and later as a teen. Events that, went on to change the face of Lebanese politics for good, and, ended up as life-changing for me. You might wonder, what sort of events? Well, let's just name a few: from the incidents of 2005, and the war in 2006, to the Doha Agreement, 2009's prosperity, the syrian war and its spillover, two presidential vacancies... and the list goes on. This culminated in the shaping of my personality... As a child, at an age as young as seven, I had already developed a strong interest in politics and its fascinating depths. This fascination only kept on growing and went on even further to encompass a wider interest in geography, history and philosophy. Yet, my passion, devotion and real sense of "activism" began to take shape with the transition into secondary education. Now the age of 17, this devotion has grown into a determination emboldened into a vision, one that will be demonstrated to you in the coming few lines. Nevertheless, I would like to end this bio with a summary of major things I've done in my life: - A delegate to the Model United Nations for 2014 - 4 times class delegate and one time vice delegate - Participant in the Kamal Youssef El Hajj annual competition for Lebanese philosophy - The drafting of several bills of law aimed for demonstration of areas needing to be changed - And finally, an 8-year long player of basketball for the school teams (something which has incited in me a special interest in sport) II) My vision i- Well, long have we been told (and even taught), that Lebanon is immune to change. That change, is way off limits for us, that it would be better simply not to bother trying. Yet in fact, if we were to examine some historical events more closely, we would certainly realise that nothing in this world is immune to change, no matter how long it takes. And while you might be wondering about what I really mean with this, there actually are many modern events that would explain it all: Atatürks journey to reform a nation long plagued with systematic corruption, Dr Martin Luther King Jr.'s amazing movement, long thought to be a dream, only that it came TRUE, and, many more empowering events. Yet, all what joins all these movements together, is an equal passion, a willingness to fight for perceived rights to the very end, and, the simple fact, that change can first only come within. ii- Then, how would I, as a representative of the Lebanese youth, stand up to their rights? Where would my vision stand? -Freedom of expression is a sacred right, and a pillar of our democracy, that must be defended. Since at least, for any change to occur, people would need to point out at what's wrong, at their different points of view. And a democracy with obstructions to freedom of expression, would serve not a single purpose -Advocating for the right to transparency and to the free access of information, to create all means for accountability, whether in the courtrooms, or the ballot boxes -Building a civic Lebanon, with its foundations being rooted in the principles of secularism and equality, irrespective of social/economic/gender factors And it's important to note, that secularism actually safeguards all different religions and beliefs, and does absolutely not go against them; protecting the right to privacy, and looking at citizens solely as citizens! -Repealing and replacing all laws that lead to discrimination against women, and in particular article 503 (exonerating marital rape), and all articles 504->522* of the Lebanese penal code, whilst enacting strict laws that protect women from discrimination -Founding a nation built on integrity for all its citizens, and not exclusivism -Making education mandatory for all those under 18 years of age -Passing necessary decrees to comprehensibly upgrade the national curriculum in accordance with modern needs -Promoting eco-friendly behaviour and clean energy, whilst enacting strict laws to protect the environment -Safeguarding Lebanon's cultural heritage -Decentralizing administrative powers, with a focus on sustainable development -Improving upon social security programmes, and creating welfare packages and monthly allowances for retirees -Pushing for reforms that would lead to more direct forms of democracy (referendums) -Reorganising public transportation -Assisting young entrepreneurs with incentives and grants/loans -Ensuring that health care becomes a universal right for all Lebanese -Enacting measures to improve mental health programmes -Passing criminal reform laws that would make it all about rehabilitation rather than just punishment, while working towards the phasing out of the death penalty -Increasing the age of criminal responsibility -Advancing tax reform to make the tax system more progressive, transparent whilst closing all loopholes used for tax evasion practices -Give 18 year-old citizens the right to vote and pushing for electoral reform to take Lebanese politics out of the feudal scene and bring it up to real policy-making -Making sport a top priority by allotting all necessary funds needed for its development on the national scale, and encouraging local communities to actively take part in physical activities So, you have accompanied me throughout all this; and for it, I would like to thank you from the bottom of my heart. Well yes, it might be seen as an extremely ambitious, exhausting journey; yet, some things are just worth fighting for! And, what could be worth more than our country's future...our own futures?! As citizens of Lebanon, it is our duty to take. Wanna embark with me on that journey? Make your voice count! For a future to BELIEVE IN!