REEM MAGHRIBI, APRIL 2022
Another passionate freedom fighter has been assassinated in Lebanon.
Lokman Slim was a political activist, vocal critic and proponent of national memory and dialogue.
Slim’s work was prolific and tinder for many essential debates. Such commitment to purpose is a rarity in this suffocated space. I fear it will become sparser still. After everything the Lebanese people have been denied, now they have again been robbed of the right to free speech. The naive who thought the age of brutally silencing dissent was over are awakened to the reality that free thought is a luxury with a high price.
While intellectuals with the appetite and courage to publicly call out and criticise corruption and criminality among the ruling classes continue to find themselves under threat, whole communities of people in the Arab world have been denied the education required to think critically and the freedom to express themselves.
Education and freedom are taken for granted in much of Europe and yet so sparse in the Arab world. If people are free to communicate, to access unfiltered media, to prosper enough so they may enjoy the luxury of conversation with travelers or travel themselves, then they shall learn through dialogue. If people receive quality education founded on the development of skills and critical thinking, then they shall demand and seek out freedom.
It is this belief, in the value of dialogue and exchange, that spurs on our work every day, buoyed by the dedication and courage of so many across the region. So many heroes. Many unsung. All appreciated.