Yes, that’s in NDU, not a zoo somewhere where a piece of meat was thrown into a holding area with dozens of carnivorous animals. The difference here is that this is a university campus, not a zoo, and the animals are actually loyalists of Geagea and Aoun, two of the warlords Lebanon was never really able to get rid of. It’s so embarrassing that the supposedly “educated youth”, still have so many testosterone-crazed baboons that often spend over a decade in universities to be the “representatives” of their political macho men, ruining any chance of meaningful political reform at an early stage in hopes they’ll graduate knowing how to run a proper political campaign and elections, far from the norm their leaders outside campus set. Watch more of the fight here:
The priest-run church, instead of trying to properly manage the election process, and expelling the perpetrators, decided to cancel it altogether. I’m not sure what message they’re trying to send with that move, forbidding students from their right to be represented and participate in the decisions affecting their education, for a bunch of dumbasses whose loyalties lie outside the campus. They also encouraged them to do what the Lebanese parliament is doing: the baboons in it keep fighting, so they all decide to extend for themselves and not do elections, TWICE now. Hell of an example to follow…
AUB though, is an example to follow. Lebanese politics is banned on campus, and if a student even chants a sectarian or religious slogan from outside the campus, they can consider themselves no longer part of AUB. Of course, AUB’s students aren’t immune to the general political environment in Lebanon, and the two main coalitions often reflect the 14-8 March divide. However, the diversity at AUB and the strict rules regarding campaigning, as well as a more open mind and a realization that at the end of the day, you want a good student representative, not some name that this party or that endorsed. That’s why in AUB, no one ever wins in a landslide, and its often independents or seculars, that are the kingmakers, winning a sizable number of seats every year that allows them to decide who goes on to be part of the USFC (the executive branch).
Elections at AUB were fun, and in its recent history, not even a slap was recorded, despite the excitement and intensity sometimes of the voting process. They were also a valuable lesson in how to run a campaign, not just buy or bribe votes with emotional blackmail, telephone cards or the answers to an upcoming tests. What I especially loved is that a very large percentage of folks would not vote en-bloc, but pick and choose candidates. Some because they’re friends, others because they were more convincing in their campaigns and canvasing on the campus grounds. Candidates have platforms they run based on and campaigns are worthy of being called an electoral campaign, complete with impromptu public debates in Hyde Park-like speaking sessions.
Here’s what NDU should have done:
- Expel every person involved in the fight. If they’re so willing to beat the shit out of each other for Geagea and Aoun, allow them go to their warlords and have them figure out their future.
- Suspend every student who breaks the elections rules, and ban them from using sectarian and political slogans, symbols, even gang signs with their fingers on campus.
- Kick out the “roo2asa khaleya” who spend the better part of a decade in uni, and get paid and promised positions in their respective political parties if they sacrifice their time and education to “coordinate” the political agenda of their handlers off campus.
- Provide adequate security. These are young boys who have been raised to be “macho men”. The “bayyeh 2a2wa min bayyak” “ma bta3ref ma3 min 3am te7ke” bla bla bla crap that make idiots throw bottles at each other in nightclubs. Split the courtyard into 2 parts, one for each political block, and leave an area in the middle for the more enlightened students. Put up screens and broadcast the election results live. Exactly like what’s done on West Hall. Make it akin to watching a World Cup match, where people can be enthusiastic when their campaign wins a seat, and deafeningly silent when they lose one. Use enough security, just in case a few dumbasses decide to get sectarian and Lebanese-shit-political.
Universities are somewhere where change should start. Where it’s a rehearsal for hopefully elections off-campus that are based on more than paving roads and buying votes, or just fear mongering and blackmail. Banning them is stupid. Put stricter rules, be uncompromising in severely punishing those who break the rules. And watch the magical process of de-brainwashing that happens and how a third, level-headed, secular block emerges.
Here, I’d like to say shame on you to the political activists outside campus, who see the NDU for example as a “gauge” of the popularity of the “Christian” parties (mainly LF vs FPM), and thus fund and encourage such behavior and extreme loyalty from impressionable students. Shame on the brutes that were jumping up and down like monkeys in the fight recorded on camera. Shame on NDU for banning the elections altogether.
I’m proud though, because in the report on LBC that Maytham did (embedded above), two of the level-headed boys were in my scouts troupe, Jad Iskandar and Joe Hakmeh. So, I know for a fact that there are good people on campus, rational ones that don’t run around licking the boots of their parents’ warlords, but, want to focus on their education, which the elections are a big part of, in terms of political campaigning experience, or influencing decisions about their student affairs.
Yalla, Allah Ouwet, w tararatata General. Dumbasses.