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ILC2021-7 Session 4 - Intervention of Mrs. Kholoud Wattar Kassem

I believe that every energy that exists in this universe has a purpose. Only humans are blessed with the power of the mind to act with intention and perform accordingly. The key is the awareness about the responsibilities that we carry. Strange, how many of us think that we came just for the satisfaction of our physical and material needs. Some people do learn the hard way and others never learn from their experiences. 

Life for me is an exciting journey that I learned to enjoy with all its happy and not so happy moments. I am blessed with the power to love. This power has strengthened my ability to understand human behavior that is usually the result of past experiences. Few people are usually capable of understanding others’ mean behavior, for usually people react impulsively in an aggressive way to the other’s violent actions. I’m not trying to say that we have to act like saints and turn the other cheek, yet when we find people with such values, we have to hold on to them for they are the true creators of peace and the world is very much in need of such energies.

I come from a very closed community where I was denied the freedom to fulfill my dreams just because I’m a girl. I fought my way to join the university and I succeeded. I fought my way to leave the house to start my work as a teacher and I succeeded. I had to fight for my right to have my own car to drive and still I succeeded! 

These primitive rights that I have succeeded to attain have empowered my ability and boosted my confidence to reach for the sky. They taught me truly the way to read the word impossible in a proper manner which is "I’m possible". I felt that yes “I can” OH YES “I can do what I want”. I only have to do it the right way. 

The key factors here are:

  • Patience in addition to love.
  • Wait for the right timing, then go and do it!!

In 1994, I was only an elementary homeroom teacher where my world was restricted to school life and caring for my children. Due to my feeling of injustice, I decided to change my life while keeping my family.

My father once told me “Never fear anyone, for everyone, no matter whether he is a king or a president, is after all just a human being like you”. Keeping that in mind, I went to the most powerful figure in Lebanon to support my future dreams. I then went from being a nobody in Lebanese society to somebody who attracted the interest of all the local and regional news.

In 2013, I followed my dreams and decided to bring change to the situation of women in my country and region, so I decided to run for parliament and, then, I was faced with all kinds of family anger and threats on top of community cynicism. We started a small group of women and in the 2018 election we were 113 women candidates. It was an unprecedented movement for it was the first time in the history of Lebanon that we had that number of women who dared to challenge the politically corrupted arena and say YES, WE CAN, YES, WE HAVE THE RIGHT AND YES, WE WILL BRING CHANGE! Yes, we women are the catalysts that will bring peace and security to our country and without our energy, without our presence on the decision-making platform, Lebanon will not rise again. 

After the 2019 revolution, our women are on the front line, facing the corrupt politicians. We shouldn’t wait for peace to come to us, we have to go and grab it with Power and Love.

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