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English Corner
An eye for an eye
An eye for an eye has always been a basis that many societies have used over the time, it justifies using violence in the name of justice, for it states that anyone who hurts you should face the exact same fate they already brought upon you. However, such a statement is nowhere near being fair, since two wrongs have never made and never will make a right. Two wrongs do nothing but aggravate the situation even more. If someone hurt me, whether physically or emotionally, hurting them back won’t erase what they had already done to me. It will be nothing more than a mere satisfaction upon inflicting pain on someone you hold some sort of grudge against. My right will not be given back to me if all I care about is payback. Fairness and justice, however, are very far from that?
                Justice is based on giving you back what you have lost, sometimes as a replacement but it somewhat gives you back that right that has been violated. But with the concept of “an eye for an eye” all you accomplish is actually depriving another person from that right instead of gaining it back yourself. If someone killed a member of your family, you can’t go around killing people to get your revenge. The sane thing to do would be asking for the court’s intervention in order to reobtain your full rights and insure that no party whatsoever has been unfairly treated.
                The concept of “an eye for an eye” was put when no other means of getting justice was around, it was literally the only form of punishment, so if you killed someone, you’d be killed regardless of your motives and intentions. Thus if you had killed out of self-defense, that would be of no importance and disregarded despite it being a crucial argument. Going back to that principle would be, therefore, taking us ages back of evolution.
                In conclusion, you can’t expect to inflict something on someone and for it to be considered fair, it’s actually quite the opposite of that, and it has nothing to do with justice.
Sandra Ali – 3ASSV
Money never made a man happy yet, nor will it…
As the world developed through the years, so much has affected us, and so much has changed! It all started with Adam and Eve, it all started with them giving birth to children, then their children having children, and so on…
                Millions of years passed as we discovered the nature, other groups and lands, invented homes, the alphabet, clothes… But let’s not talk about the materialistic things. Let’s talk about feelings. Remember how people, like Adam and Eve’s generation, used to marry others to have children? Yeah that definitely changed. Now, there’s “love”. Love in different kind of ways.
                Love comes in different languages; lovers, friends, family, money! Love brings happiness to your soul, it makes you a better person. But what about other people? What about people who are passionate about something else? Some love art, others love adventure, and some of them love money. This is the subject that we are going to adopt.
                Money has changed over the last few years, to some it’s everything, to others, it’s nothing. As the famous inventor “Benjamin Franklin” said: “Money never made a man happy”, which is actually true. Let’s take different examples. A man who worked so hard in his life, finally found his way to his success. He’s now a well-known man, he’s so rich that anyone wishes to be HIM. But let’s look at his background: he has his family, father and mother, in addition to siblings. But… where’s the love of his life? Where are his friends? Where are the ones that truly love him for what he is, not for what he has?
                Let’s compare him to another man. This different man has exactly the same amount of success and money. He has his family that raised him too, but what he has more is passion; it’s love. He has a wife and children who make him happy. Now that’s what I call happiness. He lives in a great level of income, he has his family that supports him, he has his passions. He has love and happiness.
                Now let’s take another example. Imagine a poor man who has nothing but his parents. And somehow, either he studied or applied for a job, he now has a normal life. But he wants more. He wants money. He wants to be happy. He pushes away people, telling himself that they want to steal his stair to success. And so after a while, he achieves his goal. He’s successful. He feels happy because he has money. Where’s love? Where’s the passion? For him, that’s his passion. That’s the thing he loves: money.
                But money fades. It goes away. Your passion doesn’t. Looking at it, maybe it does do away, but not as fast as how the money he has fades. It surely takes more time. So which man do you think is happier? The man who has money in result for his success, but can’t find nor his true love nor happiness; the man who’s also rich but has his family by his side, and is so comfortable and peaceful that he’s finally happy; or the arrogant, stingy and mean man who only thinks about his addiction and “love” for money, which he thinks makes him happy?     
                I don’t blame the poor man who became rich. I mean, look how far he went, from down the stairs to its high end. It’s very normal that his God will be Money. But money surely doesn’t buy happiness. Buying nice “Louboutin”, a red Ferrari or a super big duplex house with a Jacuzzi doesn’t make you a happy person. But love first, passion, success and then money last, in addition to loving yourself, definitely makes you a happy person.
 “Elton John” once wrote, when he was a child, in an essay that asked what is success, he wrote down “happy”. The teacher said that he didn’t understand the question, so he answered that she doesn’t understand life. And this is one step to teach you what your true goal in life is.
Ranim Mahmoud Sami – 3ASLH
All-girl schools
Is the expansion of all-girl schools the answer?
All-girl schools have been put in slightly more spotlight than previous eras. People happen to believe that such an environment is to guarantee much better results regarding the education of both girls and boys at the same time.
                Indeed, it is very common to think that girls will get much more opportunities and accreditation when boys are absent, for we still face, to this day, sexism at its utmost levels. Not only that, but people are also convinced that boys will be able to concentrate much more whilst being alone, since girls are thought to be a distraction. Fights are also very rare in single sex schools. We barely hear about any when boys and girls are separated. The reason, though still unknown, can be linked to the fact that boys have no motive to show off their strengths when they are alone. With girls by their side, feeling the need to impress them, fights are a lot more common.
                These reasons and arguments, however, are pretty useless, invalid even. Who’s to say boys are much affected by a girl’s presence? Who’s to say there won’t be any contact between both sexes, even if in different schools? No one, no one can guarantee any of that. Besides, school is a stage in order to prepare students for what’s coming in college and later on in society. They won’t be separated in life; they will have to learn to cooperate in order to succeed. Why not make it easier from the beginning then and teach them how to live together peacefully without any problems! Furthermore, separating girls from boys will make them more vulnerable in their lives later on. They will face extreme difficulties while dealing with them because of their lack of experience. It’s also nothing but a way to encourage even more sexism, for the idea of a girl needing to be alone to succeed is absurd, ridiculous even.
                Single sex schools are therefore pretty useless, mixed schools are a lot more useful. We don’t need to change our schools, it’s our mentality that needs altercation. Teach your kids about proper communication and you won’t need to separate sexes.
Sandra Ali – 3ASSV
Computer communication
It is daunting for us to imagine the future: a future where you don’t greet your neighbor when you both coincide in the elevator, a bulb where no interaction occurs, an environment where no one knows how to stand out for themselves hiding behind an 18 x 16-inch screen claiming to be strong. Well, that was a glimpse of what our future beholds if we don’t find a solution for social media and computer communication.
                It is true, computer communication can be handy sometimes and present positive outcomes, as shy people tend to be more relaxed and share undoubtfully the opinions and point of views, some claim that this is how they show their true personalities, others object and affirm that they impersonate traits not present in their true personalities.
                But can’t we notice all its side effects and down sides, computer communication and social media are draining the life, communication skills and the personalities from mankind, leaving them as pathetic non-negotiable reserved creatures, that cannot stand alone in a society. No group can stand without communication, no government can survive without communication, isolated people can never procure continuity and development which means there will no longer be human evolution.
                Thus, words are singularly the most powerful force available for humanity. As for the art of communication, it is the language of leadership, where no society can stand out deprived of it.
Kinda Dikmak – 3ASSE
The Ropes of Life

As she sat on her little swing
She closed her eyes, and heard the birds sing
She watched the clouds floating above her head
And followed them with her gaze, to see where they led?
She craved the idea of being  alone
Listening  to the silence on her own
She swung gracefully back and forth
Basking in the freedom  she couldn't afford
In  fact, in her mind, freedom's forbidden
Her thoughts force her to stay hidden.
They frighten her of the world out there
of the blows she cannot bear.
But sometimes life takes us places,
Places, where we can find our lost pieces.
Sometimes life brings us down, 
To the point where we think we might drown
Actually, life is just like this little swing, 
If you sit on it and do nothing,
Don't expect to start soaring.
But once you give it a little push
At first , you'll hear a pleasant  swoosh,
Then, you'll start reaching into unexpected destinies,
Where you could finally achieve your dreams
That's why she should always aim for more,
 Keep on swinging and hang on to these ropes.
Inside her head corrupted thoughts shall remain,
And her newfound thoughts shall come out and dance in the rain .
                                                                                    Reina Fawaz
 

Fading of a Smile (Based on Reina's painting)

"I was a girl with a bright smile
 everything was good, but it was just a while
Before everyone started to criticize
How big and bright my eyes were"
They didn't know she was hiding
She hid her pain, sorrow and agony by smiling
She had a swing attached to a tree
Where she sat with her friend daily
Little by little she became alone
Her friend played her, and left her all alone
But she kept welcoming back
The girl that stabbed her in the back
Every day she sat on the swing
And the leaves would start to sing
Concealing her as she spoke to the moon
To whom she played all her finest tunes
Then she met another friend
Who also sat under the tree
But it was all just a pretend
"I thought.. I was finally free.
Free from my misery and agony..."
So, she sought shelter at her neighbor’s the smile
Which lent her a mask for just a while
Every night, a piece of her fell
Fell down To the ground of dwell
Until one foggy dark night
When there was no one in sight
Voices crawled into her head
In a head that must be fed
Alone, she sat drowning in thought
With thoughts that she had never got.
That foggy night with no one in sight
Was the end of the little light
Now that everything was dull, everything was foggy
She could only hear the voices playing trickery
And when the last piece fell down
It was the moment she hit the ground
She entered her mind for the last time
Took a deep breath, and was gone in no time
Even as she was gone
And the moon and the leaves must go on
They couldn't help but to treasure her presence
With a little of her essence
Every night, when the moon is not in sight
You can spot a crystal broken light
In the reflection of the swing
On the clear blue lake by the side.
                                                Nour Houry    

My best loss

It all began
When it was the end
We were young
I was yin, you were yang
We completed each other
But it was until you met others
I was the sun and you were the moon
Together composed the perfect toon
I still remember the tight hugs.
Why did you tuck them all under the rugs?
Buried in the past
But your memory will always reside
We began when I felt the end
An end that I couldn't pretend
Stood by my side
When everything collided
And I can't deny
The imprint you left inside
                                    Nour Houry

Danger of putting too much personal information on Social Networking Sites (SNS)
I have a very particular opinion concerning this subject. I would say that if such actions take place, many difficulties may occur, but not in all cases, which I am going to be speaking about in the following paragraphs.
                SNS are spread all over the world and almost everyone has a phone and has access to the internet. Applications which are related to social media such as Facebook and Instagram are a form of SNS that allow you to meet new people, post information about yourself, including photos and videos allowing you to communicate with people around the world.
                With the abundance of SNS, many pros and cons are present among opinions of people concerning the safety and the danger that these SNS can cause. The cons are usually the following examples:
  • Posting too much about yourself regarding your personal life causing people to harass your privacy.
  • Revealing your phone number and your home address which can lead to serious cases such as murder, rape, bullying, etc…
  • Revealing stuff that aids in allowing people to hack into your account causing you some major problems.
Now concerning the pros, few of them are present such as:
  • Big companies and businessmen revealing their phone numbers and e-mail addresses allowing you to contact them.
  • It aids in letting people get to know you better.
  • Creating blogs and online diaries allowing users to create self-advertisement.
Finally, a lot of opinions can be varied concerning these kinds of topics, but the important thing is to keep safe and be careful and think twice before taking any actions on SNS that can make a difference in your life and might doubt your personality concerning yourself and concerning others.
Léa Dakroub – EB8 ”B”
College after High school or work and travel?
Here you are spending the first year of your life at home, spoiled by your parents and your siblings. You’re now five years old. Kindergarten is now your second home. You spend half the day learning how to speak, write, draw… Then you have middle school where you learn the basics of all scientific and literary subjects. After that there’s High school. A time when you have to decide what to learn, find out what you love, and think about what you want to do for a job. That’s the part where you have to go to college to make your papa proud and your mama happy. But … do you really have to? After more than ten years working and studying to have grades that are really acceptable… Do you need to instantly go to college?
As college is the most important part of your education, sometimes the best thing you can do is take a small break before the hard work. As previously said, for a person that works so much and studies until his last breath, why not sit for a while and take care of yourself first? A student needs to rest. We’re humans not robots! You can visit beautiful countries, meet with awesome people, learn new things like photography and languages, but most importantly you can learn about yourself. What’s better than 365 days of your life, finding yourself, knowing what’s good and bad for you? Or you can just get accepted at a college but in something that you think you like but you actually don’t? Sometimes this break can lead into your career, it may be photography, traveling, cooking, art itself! Your life would be colorful!
When you think about something that you want to do, you see the positive side. But let’s not forget the negative side of it. A month or two, maybe a year if you need it, can lead you to a loss of time. In the gap that you’re taking, let it be a week, you can learn thousands of new information. What it can also lead you to is utter confusion. Do you want to spend your entire life traveling, working without a degree, taking pretty pictures, posting them on Instagram and having a blast? Or do you want to continue your education by entering college and studying something that you might adore? Let us sink in for a bit and imagine the situation.
“You only live once” is a motto that I engrave in my head. Go ahead stop college if you’re convinced and do what you want, it’s your life. Go ahead and study, work hard in something that you might like, but maybe not. These are two different paths of the road. What about the grass in between? You can follow your dreams of being successful in the career that you want, but you can also balance between your future and your present. Go out with friends, travel to places on your vacation, treat your family well, make yourself happy and comfortable in your own life.
Ranim Mahmoud Sami – S3 LH
 
Ignorance is bliss???
Knowledge, just like everything else, is good in moderation, so it is only natural to feel that, in some cases, ignorance is bliss. Let’s say you heard something bad being said about you, wouldn’t you want to erase that, to erase that self-doubt you felt?
Ignorance is most commonly considered as a bad thing but let’s take into consideration one of the earliest stages in life: a child. A child’s life is a happy life because he doesn’t know the world’s true nature, he doesn’t know stress and pain, he doesn’t know mindless details that take place in his brain like knowing what a cloud is made of, and wouldn’t you want to go back to a time where you looked at a cloud just to enjoy its beauty?
Ignorance is a bliss, just not always. You cannot always live into the dark, there are certain aspects that one must be aware of, for example, you must know and want to know someone’s true intentions towards you, you must want to know if someone was unfaithful to you.
Ignorance is associated with the color black and knowledge with the color white; you must thrive to live in a world of grey where you only know what you have to know.
Dana El Hajj – S3 SG
 
Implementing healthy eating in schools
Teenagers and kids are blooming flowers, growing human beings that need nourishing food in order to develop. They spend the majority of their days at school, which makes healthy food in the cafeteria a must.
Healthy food is food that contains vitamins, nutriments and fibers. It’s good for plenty of reasons. Firstly, it boosts your immune system, so it will be able to fight diseases such as high blood pressure or even the flu, better. In addition, healthy food is the most important factor for a beautiful body shape.
However, a school cafeteria’s menu consists of candy, chips, chocolate and junk food. These types of food are very fatty and unhealthy. I believe that the government should replace all of these by healthy foods in public schools, the same goes for school directors in private schools.
We should always remember that a healthy mind resides in a healthy body. Let’s teach kids to eat well at school so that they grow into beautiful healthy human beings.
Razane Banna – S1”B”
 
Chasing Red

Chasing Red is about finding yourself, she once thought,
Leaving behind the ghosts of the past, looking only ahead & never looking back.
Goodbye she waved to the colorless faces she had just left,
But one last look couldn’t hurt she thought to herself.
She put down the umbrella she once thought was armor,
Soon to realize the enemy is only from within.
Reminiscing on a past she was almost certain had to be dismissed,
Nostalgic thoughts hit her hard, made her pause.
Filled with laughter filled with joy,
She remembered a loved one’s seventh birthday,
Or when her brother finally got employed,
Full of heartache but persistent to move on,
She made a few more steps through the forest of the lost,
Ghosts of bad memories hid there too,
Those precisely were the ones she wanted to forget or was hoping to,
Scared but strong, she looked them in the eye,
Only then she realized what had been in front of her all her life,
She finally knew what it meant to be Red,
And that’s when she became,
The answer had always been lying there and it was just now proclaimed,
Chasing Red was much more than chasing a color or an identity
But rather holding on to all the white and the black,
To the good and the bad,
She now understood that Red is far more than just a color,
But without all the happiness and the bitterness,
White and Black,
Red would never be so... Red.
Yasmine Jabri, Grade 11, Humanities
 

The current school system
Earning higher grades in return for well-done assignments and good behavior seems to be the picture modern society has put in our heads concerning our current school system. But is this picture well painted? Is this system as efficient as it seems?
First of all, in a world where cars have evolved from horses, smart phones have evolved from computers, change should be demanded upon a system that has been used ever since the concept of giving and taking in information has appeared. Students are not only pressured to fight for the love and attention of their parents because of the rivalry between siblings at home, they should also fear the anger and disappointment of the ones that brought them into this life and the society as a whole if they are not the first in class, the one that participates the most, or any quality that has “the most” in it.
Second of all, our current school system which has been obliging pupils and students for centuries to follow the concept of quantity over quality, having their sense of security and relaxation taken away and replaced by sheer fear, anxiety, depression, pushed to memorizing a meaningless verse of a person’s poem, and to forget it right after, is as oppressive and irrational as it is.
In conclusion, just like a person who differs from his siblings with whom he/she shared the same womb, a person evidently differs from his classmates. Thus his learning strategy should not be similar to his classmates. And so maybe fixing our current grading system may help solve a problem, but if its main source isn’t taken care of, fixing it will not change a thing, and our students will forever feel like they are not qualified to live in the world they already belong to.
Yasmine Jabri – S2H
What makes a better leader?
Many wonder about the characteristics o f a leader, what traits of personality must you have to make a good leader? Should you be loved or feared?
Personally, I think a mix of both love and fear should be present when thinking of a leader. Someone who is not loved is not respected, no one will follow his rules, his words, his path. Someone who is not loved does not have control over his people, does not have power nor can he order them. Additionally, no individual would accept someone whom he does not love nor respect as his leader.
Similarly, someone who is not feared will not have power over the people he rules. Fear brings out a sense of respect and responsibility towards the leader. However, a leader should not be feared because he uses his power to his advantage or because he is oppressive and dictatorial, but because he will punish you if you don’t do what you must or if you hurt other people.
In conclusion, a leader must be someone who is loved and feared, because a loved person is a respected person and a feared person is a followed person. Furthermore, a leader should be someone who doesn’t accept chaos, oppression and inequality and is responsible and has control over his people.
Nour Massaad – S2S
Deception (Based on Reind Ballout’s painting)

She gave him everything,
His voice in her head still does ring,
Little does he know that only she truly loved him?
The loss of him made her eyes lose the sparkle of a glim,
He left her for someone else,
He thought she had the same foolish feelings as everyone else,
She was as warm as summer's heat, but soon turned as cold as winter's ice,
Her forgiveness was given once and would never be given twice,
 
Little does anyone know that this "She" was me?
The "She" that cried herself to sleep so in her dreams she could be free,
Because darling I turn my tears into poetry,
Those tears that poets wear like jewelry,
Tears poured from a poison of love drank like milk and honey,
Poured from the hurt caused by the people she treated like family,
 
She was as fragile as glass,
Poetry was her medicine, or even her wineglass,
He was her drug, her heroin in a drug free society,
He was the cure, but later the cause of her anxiety,
She was helpless, waiting for him to offer her protection,
As he slowly became her only "Love despite Deception"...
 
Lea Dakroub Grade 8B
 

Are you considered to be free?
Freedom, have you ever thought about the true meaning of freedom? Have you ever paid attention to whether people are really free or if they just think that they are?
First of all, freedom is not being able to go out whenever you want, being able to eat whatever you like, wearing whatever you feel like. Freedom is so much more than that. Freedom means doing whatever you want, be it killing your friend because he was free for stealing the money you earned by being free or selling drugs. Freedom is saying whatever comes to your mind whenever and to whomever you like.
So are you really free? You might think yourself telling people “Don’t you tell me what you think that I can be, I’m the one at the sail, I’m the master of my sea”; really nice lyrics, but is there really any truth behind them? Do you really make decisions without considering even the slightest bit about how you would appear to society if you actually do it? Your mind, your body, everything about you is controlled by society, if you are not wanted to be doing what you’re doing, you will not do it.
How many times have you thought about taking the easy way out? Just steal the money that’s in front of you, and you are sure that no one will ever know about it, but you don’t do it, why? Is it just because you are a good person? Or is it because society told you that stealing is bad and you will be punished for it, if not by prison then by God himself?
So what’s your answer? Are you free? Physically, mentally, socially, sexually? If you are then it’s either you’re a politician or you’re living in a world of your own, because other than that, you my friend are nothing but free.
Nour Massaad – S2S
Death Penalty
Death Penalty is a way of punishment used and banned in many countries, it is considered as the top sentence used in extreme cases such as mass murders. It started a long time ago when criminals used to be hanged or decapitated in front of a crowd to be an example to others.
Then, they were shot as many times as it takes to end their life. Nowadays, they are put to permanent sleep by injections.
However, doesn’t the modern way seem painless? Where is the lesson that should be taught? By killing the guilty person, you are not punishing him but you are putting him at peace and if the person who was sentenced with it was actually innocent, you would’ve ended someone’s life wrongfully. Killers should be tortured so they can feel the pain of the innocent they killed.
On the other hand, if you don’t kill him then he is jailed for a certain time that can be reduced due to good behavior, therefore the chance of him running freely among normal citizens is still present putting their lives at risk. By keeping him alive you are giving him the privilege of life, even though when he took someone else’s life, he lost his right of life. Killers don’t deserve another chance, they are the worst kind of criminals and should not be considered as humans because when they ended another person’s life they lost all sense of humanity.
In conclusion, Death Penalty is a controversial way of punishment that people will never be on the same page about considering it being about life and death and whether we have the right to play God and decide when to end a life.
Sara Afra – S2H
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