Citizenship is not just to live on a certain land; rather, it is the sense of belonging to this land
In the context of the deteriorating structure of the Lebanese citizenship and among all the global and regional evolving situations around us, we felt the duty of doing something on a national basis to clean the dirt off this concept of citizenship and remind the Lebanese people of their citizenship and how to practice it.
This campaign is a joint venture between the public and the private sectors through the “Center of Educational Research and Development” from the public sector side, and some profound academics from the private sector side. By this, the campaign will be given its true non-political but National theme.
The Head of the Parliamentary Committee for Education, MP Bahia Hariri, announced Year 2003 to be the Year of Citizenship in Lebanon coinciding with the 60th Anniversary of the Lebanese Independence. This year will be celebrated through awareness campaigns, voluntary work, civic activities, national competition, along with other activities and events. Our project is among the very first launched in this direction. Therefore, we strongly secured her support and endorsement.
To execute this project, several contributions were noted such as the funding from USAID through the TAG program that is managed by Amideast, the effective collaboration of Annahar newspaper, and the technical assistance of CERD.
Developing a website for this project with an electronic copy to be downloaded
Distributing copies of these guides to all the Lebanese schools in order for it to be adopted as an official supplementary educational material
Running a national competition on the concept of citizenship in order to increase the degree of interaction with the citizens
Promoting the campaign through the coverage of all the Lebanese media means
The results of the project were as follows:
Drafting of an official "Citizenship Guide" that became the official reference in all the Lebanese schools on the concept of citizenship
Outreaching almost every corner in Lebanon even the very rural areas. This was noted through the competition entries that we received from all over Lebanon
Reaching a very wide sector of the Lebanese Diaspora through the internet (http://www.citizenship-lb.org). Entries for the competition and comments on our campaign were received from Latin America, North America, Africa, Europe, Middle East and Australia.
Generating an excellent media coverage by the local media means. This can be measured by the fact that we featured in the prime-time news on all the TV stations and Radio stations. In addition, the articles written about the project in local newspapers can be combined to form 4 full pages.
Conducting 2 press conferences under the patronage of the Ministry of Education that gathered the Lebanese media, MPs, officials and professional people interested in this topic.
Providing an example of "social corporate responsibility" by the private sector. By this, we refer to our collaboration with Annahar newspaper.
Following up with the government to declare a specific period for citizenship activities to be celebrated yearly.
Improving the conditions to execute several other future projects on the same concept.