Mar 19, 2018

The Case of Mamdouh Al Ragheb

Around March 9th 2018 a video shared on Social Media of a child beaten down sparks an outrage among activist groups and the pubic in general.

In the story a student, Mamdouh Al-Ragheb, was allegedly "brutally beaten" in his school in Tripoli. The school where the incident took place, "Al Enaya", is second home for hundreds of young students of Syrian nationality, and is for that reason managed by an unofficial educational body known as الهيئة التربوية التعليمية في لبنان operating away from the radar of the official Lebanese educational bodies, and whose general secretary, Majd Atef Oyoun Al Soud, is the perpetrator.

What started as a digital protest on Facebook is now a national cause that is slowly and progressively unearthing shocking truths. One of the early scandals was that, as people started debating whether or not the child was in fact beaten so badly, the principle -Majd- invites the child's parents for some sort of a reconciliation recorded on a smartphone and broadcasted on social media. The child's mom is reported to work at the same school's premises as a cleaning lady, and his father is a disabled man who was present at the gathering. Rumor has it that the accused, Majd, paid the father some money to cover up the story.

The spearhead of the protest campaign, and a personal friend, Baraa Seraj AlDeen, took it upon himself to investigate and stir the local and international community to take action. Baraa just told me that he interviewed both Majd and Mamdouh's father, the former striking an attack upon Baraa and the "activists clan", claiming the incident is minor, that it doesn't deserve all that hustle and that Mamdouh is just a kid that'll forget it in a couple of days. Ever since that meeting, Baraa and his friends have been receiving threats, some emanating from an employee of the same school. Baraa and friends right now are doing all that is possible to raise the voice against oppression, and take the case to much higher levels. The most recent of their outright call for action is a digital petition and the hashtag #مارح_مل_ليتحاسب

What was somewhat surprising was the support the online petition was getting from current and previous parents at that same school. Those who decided to speak out were standing witnesses against the administration's atrocity towards the students, and the unfair and oppressive treatment they were often getting.

I very much believe this is yet another case where so much unobserved filth exercised daily on defenseless children is getting exposed to the public, and the perpetrators doing everything they can to silence those voices. I also very much like to invite everyone to take action, whether by using their power and connections to bring Majd and all those alike to justice, or by simply signing the petition to help the story get as much attention as possible.

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