Think about the word Jihad. What images come to mind? My guess is that you’re not thinking what I’m thinking. I’m thinking about a trip to Lebanon a couple of years ago.
Whilst in Lebanon I visited a couple of refugee camps. I learned that in a country of about 5 million people there were now more than one million refugees. 20% of the population. Imagine if 60 million refugees were to dump into the USA in the span of 2-3 years. That’s the equivalent of the number refugees in Lebanon (Note – Since I was there the number of refugees has increased). Providing adequate shelter, food and water for such a huge number of people would place a tremendous burden on any country. And consider that Lebanon still has several hundred thousand Palestinian refugees from earlier conflicts. As is the case with other countries with substantial refugee communities, Lebanon struggles to provide refugee children with an adequate educational.
That’s where Jihad comes in. Jihad is the name of a Lebanese man who recognized that tens of thousands of children were not receiving any form of education whatsoever. Rather than feeling overwhelmed or paralyzed by the enormity of the task. Jihad decided to rent an apartment and start a school for refugee children. I visited that little school and met many of the students. Jihad had been able to find not only a building for the school, but also textbooks and teachers. He had no experience with education for before and was not a rich man, yet he saw a desperate need and decided to try to do something about it. I’ve met a number of fantastic people in my life and Jihad is one of them. He’s one of my heroes.
I think the world could use a few more Jihads :-).