Away from the encumbering political stories dominating Lebanese media, a Lebanese graduate has made his nation proud by winning 1st place regionally and 3rd place internationally, in a legal competition recently held by the International Court of Justice.
Samaan Samaan, a law graduate from the Holy Spirit University of Kaslik, in Kessrwan, with excellent grades and far-reaching ambitions, had set his eyes on a contest held twice a year in The Hague, the Netherlands, by the World Court.
Speaking to El-Nashra, Samaan said that as much as he was confident of his abilities, "My greatest concern was securing the necessary funding and support in the absence of the Lebanese state from supporting creative students."
Hence, the only obstacle that was standing between this determined student and his chance to shine was the financial one, but that didn't stop him.
"After being encouraged by my family members, colleagues, and friends, I submitted the request to participate. And the answer came quickly with approval, so I went to The Hague, representing Lebanon at my own expense," he said.
The premise of the competition revolves around international law and involves posing legal problems on 30 multinational participants, each of whom plays the role of a legal consultant in the process.
The tournament takes place over a period of 1 month and is divided into two stages: Negotiations and legal guidance. The competitors stand before a World Court judge in pairs at a time, with a set time limit, and race to give their legal advice on various problems quickly and effectively.
Some of Samaan's rivals were, as he revealed, "judges practicing the profession," so the level of the challenge before him was tremendously high.
"The rest of the participants and I underwent intensive courses over a month in the International Court of Justice," the student continued.
"And in the end, I managed to take the first place in the Arab world, and the third internationally, in the part related to legal advice for a problem related to maritime law. That was after I entered a stage of negotiations that lasted 9 hours."
The student then expressed his ambition to become an international judge at the court in which he underwent the competition, and revealed his intentions to continue his education to earn a Master's Degree in his domain.
Concluding his dialogue with El-Nashra, Samaan Samaan also expressed his "joy and pleasure for this achievement that was not easy," and urged Lebanese youth to value "persistence and ambition" and to pursue "gaining experience abroad."
And finally, elaborating on his last remark, he attested that his participation in this competition in the World Court has given him experience that no student of law can obtain in Lebanon.
It's a shame, nonetheless, that Samaan was unable to get the support he needed from his state, which he was representing in an honorable international contest.
Creative and determined students eager to succeed such as himself should be invested in by their states and given the aid and motivation they require.
This provides these youths with the ease to utilize their abilities so that they can reach their goals on one hand, and promote their nation to the international community on the other.