الأربعاء، 17 يونيو، 2009

Interview with Mazen H.ABBOUD

Fit n Style -Lifestyle-page 90-Issue number 30-Jun09-By Kristine BOUJAOUDE
What was your goal when writing this book?
I meant to say to every young Lebanese that there is a way to change the lebanon without being too much political. I wanted to highlight the need to strengthen neutral NGO in the country to have an independent civil society. The Book is a cry to defeat the patron-client system, which is dominating Lebanon. It is indeed the story of a struggle for better Lebanon for us all to live in.

What made you tackle such a challenging theme?
It is my love for the Lebanon & my belief that change cannot emanate but from restructuring Lebanese Civil Society, which became directly affiliated with the patron of the system. There is no real political parties in Lebanon & no real democracy since there is no accountability, & good governance within the different ingredient of what we call a “Lebanese Civil Society".

What reaction have you had from colleagues and people in general?
Reactions varied from one party to another; as per the Lebanese Political Patrons they are not satisfied with my book; they do consider that I got a "negative" character; they have a respect for me but are afraid from my views. However, they are certain that I cannot do anything.
As per my peers, they do consider me as a dreamer who gives them some hopes in the country. They trust me because they know I am authentic & honest. Very few are skeptical about the reason behind my struggle. Finally my family that is backing me is afraid of losing me.
Do you think that your book will create change? In what way?
I do believe "yes". Highlighting a problem & recommending solutions through a live experience is the first step toward solving it. My ideas became available to the elite & the international community. Those will engender the change at the long run & persuade people. As I mentioned in the Book, the mission of planting change is very difficult. However, it is worth to give it a try. Developing the idea of making alliances among neutral & marginalized NGOs to create lobbying groups & mass pressure on politicians is the only way to make change possible in a natural way.
How did you choose the title and the symbolism in the book?
I admire the style of the bible & do consider that this is the optimal & simplest way to affect the people in order to persuade them. Reality without symbolism becomes frightening. Nature does offer wonderful figures & simplifies difficult facts. As you know, I do belong to Douma town; I was brought up in a more or less rural-agricultural medium where nature counts a lot; the wisdom & stories of the old town farmers shaped me positively. Then, i got to AUB where I graduated as an Agricultural Engineer in 1996. Till now I do feel the land as a loving mother & the proper medium for life to sprout. So, that is why I called it “Seeds of change". The Book cover is full of darkness, only the hands of the farmer holding the seeds are enlightened, which means that our projects for the change are the only means to have a brighter future.

Who is your target audience?
The International Donor, the Decision maker & the Elite.

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