My student on protesting Lebanon’s proposed history curriculum
History is a touchy subject in Lebanon. When a new history curriculum was recently proposed, some students argued that it left out key elements including the “Cedar Revolution,” a term for the country’s independence intifada that occurred following the 2005 assassination of Prime Minister Rafik Hariri, which led to the withdrawal of Syria from Lebanon.
So last month they did what Lebanese frequently do: They took the the streets. The Daily Star reported that around 15 were injured in conflicts between students and authorities. One of my journalism students was among them and wrote this about her experience:
I was one of the people screaming for justice. Our leaders want to omit the Syrian occupation from our history book. But, for me, I was sure it cannot be omitted from my memory. I cannot forget the Syrian army trying to arrest my father. I cannot forget my friend’s sister beaten in front of my eyes.
These incidents brought courage to me. Yes, I was at the protest. I was claiming for the right of TRUTH in our education. Yes, I was insulted and beaten by the Lebanese policeman who seemed not sharing with me and my fellows the same point of view. And Yes, I am proud.
I don’t know what is or is not in the curriculum, all I know is it’s great to have students with such a passion for the contents of their courses.