Tuesday, September 6, 2022

On why I envy Jihad El Hokayem

I envy Jihad El Hokayem....

There I said it.

All right, a small disclosure, I know Jihad personally. On a certain Wednesday night, in the middle of the pandemic, I wrote him a message "you are not my favorite human being tonight" - you see I was helping him fill some very complicated funding papers. But details aside, my admiration for him is boundless. Am serious.

In this wreckage that is Lebanon today, here he is a beacon of positivity - not of naivete - but of hard work, belief, support for the youngsters, and motivation for a new generation. All this anchored in an incredible humility and deep-encrusted values.

It all amazes me. And here he is again, as president of "Rethinking Lebanon" an NGO rooted in the country and focused on the youth, out with a new campaign. Sure, the country is bleeding young people immigrating either for study, or work, or establishing themselves in new cultures and countries throughout the globe. Actually a running joke is that Lebanon's biggest export is "26 year old educated people", and the sad bit is that it is true. 

And he still sees it with a positive eye. He still entices those who left to go "with a mission". Again, what's with all the crises and agitation and issues of the land, he still sees the good thing in anything. Even this, even the mass immigration of the youth of the country, he is still able to spin it under a good light, and make sure they have a "mission" to spread.

I envy Jihad.