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الجمعة,20 أيلول, 2019
Message to the Lebanese youth from His Excellency the President of the Lebanese Republic General Michel Aoun
Message to the Lebanese youth from His Excellency the President of the Lebanese Republic General Michel Aoun
.It is to you, Youth of Lebanon, that I dedicate those few words today, because the future of our country rests on your shoulders

.We have inherited from our ancestors a beautiful yet exhausted country which is in dire need of diligent effort and work at various levels; and we are doing our utmost to pass it on to you in  better shape, so you can take over the reins and offer your children and grandchildren an even more beautiful homeland

.This is the law of nature and life: every generation builds up on the pillars laid down by its predecessors, and seeks to improve, foster, and enrich them by sharing its own experience and newly gained knowledge. This is how humanity has evolved; this is how knowledge, information, and culture have been accumulated; and this is how humans  achieved their current level of success and made life-changing discoveries and innovations

.Yes, you are qualified to acquire greater knowledge than the one we have so far, just as we did with the previous generations. Indeed, knowledge is in constant development and in a continuous race against time

.Nevertheless, the principles and values are unwavering; as they become at risk, a warning bell is sounded.   They are the ‘salt’ of society, the glue that holds it together; without them, society falls apart

All humans are equal in birth and death, but they stand out and become different in the way they lead their lives

Distinctions begin in shape and color, in the eye print, fingerprint and voice print

Differences begin in thoughts, opinions, feelings, and belongingness

These differences are more than a mere right; they are the backbone of life and evolution, because they represent the uniqueness of humans. Without them, humanity wouldn't have been able to progress, create, and innovate. Imagine for a moment that all human beings, since the prehistoric man, were intellectually cloned, bearing the same opinion and the same thinking: would humanity have gone out of the caves

.Our differences are a blessing not a curse; it is crucial to know how to manage them and how to opt for the right approach. Adding up our differences enriches us and pushes us forward in all fields. Should we allow our differences to turn into conflicts,  and should we choose to close ourselves off instead of solving them, we will  then be experiencing loss, poverty and decline

The good management of differences is  primarily bound by recognizing them as a right; in other terms, recognizing the right of the other to exist and to be different, in color, in belonging, in thought, in belief and in opinion. This is the human society to which we all belong

.The freedom of religious and political belief is sacred. Always remember that a Man’s relation with His creator is direct and vertical ; no one has the right to meddle in it. Also remember that a human’s mind is free and soars however it wishes, shouldering alone its responsibility in right and wrong

.After accepting the right to be different,  comes the Freedom of expression. It is also sacred: truth defines its ceiling and ethics set its boundaries. All human beings have the right to express  themselves, their opinion and their beliefs; they are entitled  to persuade others by resorting to argumentation and logic. Yet, spreading rumors and lies and using defamation, insult and vile language do not fall under any freedom; they infringe others’ rights, dignity, reputation, and credibility

.These are the pillars of a cohesive society that act as a bulwark to protect the nation. Remember them well: the right to difference, the freedom of belief and opinion, and the freedom of expression. Experience has taught us that these are untouchable constants. When, at some point, we were tempted to undermine them, we almost lost our nation

.My hope is that YOU will be able to consolidate them further, so you can succeed where we failed