Civic Imagination

Story of courage and survival

The story is about my parents living during the civil war in Lebanon. Beirut was very dangerous city from 1976 to 1991, yet my parents survived and managed to provide a happy life for their children.

My parents told me many stories about their 'adventures' during those difficult times. One day my dad, who was in his 20's, he was extremely exhausted, borrowed his friend’s car, came back in his parents’ house (my grandparents were in Paris this year) and just before he fell asleep, heard an explosion. The next morning, a worried friend woke him up and told him to go outside. The explosion targeted the car, exactly where he parked. Many times he escaped such bombs and he was lucky to be alive. Also, my mum’s little brother disappeared for a year or two, and then was shot. A few years later, my aunt (my mum’s older sister), who is a journalist, found the man who shot their little brother. There were no cell phones at the time. Families were separated for weeks at a time without news. I can’t even imagine how much stress, anxiety and fear they experienced during this time. It is inspiring to me because I know that I was raised by two strong parents and I look up to them and their courage.

When I was little, I used to ask a lot of questions about my family’s history. The civil war being the most difficult time, I quickly understood that my parents were survivors of a terrible war. Every story they told I never forgot. The region where I had a happy childhood was once a red zone where bombs and terror reigned. All the trauma and pain they went through can’t even be represented in movies. The more I grow-up, the more I realize how lucky I am to have such a great education. My parents always encouraged me to dream big. They probably tried, like many parents of this generation, to give their children the wonderful teenage years that they never had. I already had so many opportunities to improve academically and personally. Knowing that my parents lived their teenage years fighting for their country and trying to stay alive really affects me. I now believe that being grateful and working hard is the way to make them proud and prove that all their hard work is completely worth it. I have shared this story with family members and friends. Those who are Lebanese or middle-eastern understand how much the horror of a war affected their parents’ life. The more we talk about it, the more we are inspired, because we see these memories as victory, survival and strength stories rather than victimization. Our generation is facing many challenges, indeed, but we have the tools and the knowledge more than ever before. This is due to the access to information, improvement of media and globalization. By keeping in mind what our parents went through and by knowing our history and past mistakes, we can make better decisions to make a change and make the world a better place. 

This survival story can inspire people to stay strong and fearless as much as possible. It also proves that difficult situations can get better.

Anyone who has experienced the horror of a war knows the extent of the damage it can cause. (physically, emotionally, psychologically,…)

People working in education, media or any field linked with the betterment of society know that a war is the worst challenge for a country. In that sense, these terrible experiences have and should be used to mobilize people in every way.
It is about conflicts, internal conflicts and human’s rights (consequences of a war).

Stories of such experiences should be shared not only in regions facing similar challenges now, but everywhere in the world as well. The goal of sharing such a story is to inspire. It makes the new generation aware that wars should be avoided; violence is not the way to fix problems, courage and perseverance are key and hope is crucial in order to save a country, make it better, and improve yourself and your own strength.

(most of the relevant content is in arabic (or french). youtube videos (LBC, OTV and reports and websites)

Survival, Courage, Inspiration, War, Middle-east, Lebanon, Family, Past, Future, Improvement, World.

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