International Youth Day, August 12th, is a day to praise youth for their vital role in the world. It goes without saying, youth are the shapers of the future.
Reflecting on Lebanon during this harrowing time, it’s plain to see how important and active the Lebanese youth have been.
Brave, fearless, and courageous, they have been at the frontline of this disaster, proving their compassion, resourcefulness, and eagerness to build a better future for their country.
In that, they’ve revived the hope of the devastated nation when hope seemed buried under the rubbles and stained with blood and ashes.
The morning after the blast, while all Lebanon was numb in shock and shaken with fear, hundreds of young Lebanese people took to the streets of Beirut, armed with determination and cleaning tools as their weapons in this fight against devastation.
Swallowing their tears, they went on picking up the broken pieces of Beirut and helping distribute food boxes to the shattered households.
Beirut was frozen in time, shell-shocked from the explosion, but these young Lebanese were active and relentless.
“They are carrying brooms when they should be carrying books and pens,” an elderly man sobbed, watching them assiduously assuming the difficult task that doesn’t belong to them.
Their studies can wait, they know it, for these days they are applying what they have learned of patriotism at home and in school, the lesson of their crucial role in loving their country and taking care of it, even at their own expense.
Their capital needs them, and they are not turning their back on it.
These youth are the shapers of Lebanon’s future, the fire that fuels the nation’s motivation to prevail, the change-makers on whom our expectations grow for a better Lebanon.
And today, as they spend Youth Day proving their love for their country, we celebrate them and their determination to build a new world of peace, prosperity, equality, and happiness.
The memory of the young people we lost in the blast shall live forever. They are not forgotten on this day. May they rest in peace.