Lebanon Ranked Second to Last for Raising Kids

Isabella

Isabella

The queen of "Bazella"
Orange Room Supporter
A few things that I don't think can be properly ranked in something like this.

1) There's a collective and community that exists in Lebanon that gets lost in much more individualistic societies, even if you grow up in the west within the Lebanese community. For what it's worth, I don't think it's unique to Lebanon, but it is absolutely non-existent where I mostly grew up (between Canada and the US) and I find that once most of my peers hit 20s and early 30s we're all wondering what community we even belong to. There may be various identity crises in Lebanon, but there's more of a sense that you belong to some community, whether it's sect-based, socio-economic, political, or even just family and extended family. There's a lack of public space, particularly in Beirut, but that doesn't stop people from actually finding common space pretty consistently that brings people together--even daily--quite easily.

2) The size of the country almost necessitates you (unless you're uber rich) to see "how the other half lives." Income inequality, if you grow up in a suburban neighborhood outside a big city in the US and Western Europe, is an almost theoretical concept. My evidence is only anecdotal in Lebanon from being in university and visiting family, but I'm never able to avoid actually seeing the income inequality while there and I think that's much more important than a civic education in school. Again, anecdotal, but the comparisons of the worldview of family, friends, acquaintances who grew up in Lebanon vs. in the US (and even canada) reflects this kind of dichotomy.

3) I genuinely think some aspects of education are better (if you can afford a decent one, of course, but that's true outside of Lebanon, too. Your zip code determines your education pretty much everywhere with varying levels of inequity). It's overplayed, but the languages absolutely allows you to circumnavigate both Lebanese society and foreign countries advantageously and almost seamlessly. Those all may be options in other countries, but they are not basically requirements of growing up there. Sciences education is also quite good both for young kids and in university.

There are also other more minor things, like regional placement and sectarian diversity can be conducive to a curiosity about different cultures that you never really have to confront elsewhere (it's also a problem, but I'm choosing to see it as an advantage, the little issue of political corruption and clientelism just has to be worked out). Not saying everyone uniformly benefits from this or sees it as a plus, but it's there if you want your kids to experience it. Also, there's a lot more engagement in politics (which I happen to think is good), even if not necessarily in voting (though the rate is pretty high, the 50% number is skewed by expats). But even if formal education doesn't provide this, almost everyone knows what's happening in government, unlike in much of the West where there's a sense of "none of that affects me" and for a lot of people it really doesn't affect their lives in any way.

These are just largely based on personal experience, not some sort of grand sociological experiment :) so I'm happy to hear other perspectives or you can just tell me "bala falsafeh none of this is true." But on principle, I don't think individualism obsessives and bootstraps neoliberals get to decide which countries suck and don't lol. Some of these categories are absolutely important, and on these basis alone, Lebanon deserves the abysmal scores it gets. But I think there's just a lot more to the value of raising kids than availability of parks and free public schools. Plus, giving Lebanon such low scores on heritage, cultural influence, and entrepreneurship pshhhhh, imma be skeptical of the rest of your rankings while sipping on my musar wine on offer in tons of random suburban restaurants on the US east and west coasts (jk jk, I can't afford the prices on Musar wine there). Plus, I may not like the approach or even agree with the reasoning or goals, but those kids who grew up in a country where raising kids sucks have time and again, generation after generation, rebelled against whatever malign entity had a stranglehold on their country. I like to think that reflects something about the consciousness of the society they were raised in that can't be quantified in a survey.
I gave you a like because while I don't agree with most of these points I do like the overall perspective.

Now regarding your points:

1. I don't understand what you mean by individualistic society, for every argument you can make about western societies the same can be made about the Lebanese, particularly in this day and age. I think Lebanese expats (more specifically children of Lebanese expats) lack that sense of belonging because they feel like they belong to two different communities, they grow up feeling like they belong to their host country and their country of origin and they can't really reconcile the two because they are really quite different... But you do find your people eventually whether it's based on your field of study, your artistic inclinations, your taste in music etc. Granted it's not sect or neighborhood based but you will be part of a broader community at some point whether you lived in Lebanon or elsewhere.

2. I live in a suburban neighborhood outside a big city in France and income inequality is quite noted in society in every aspect, particularly if I decide to put my children in the future in public school as opposed to private school. You associate and get to know people from all kinds of societal backgrounds, my evidence is also anecdotal and based on my experience however your point doesn't stand.

3. I definitely don't agree with this point seeing as I have experience helping children in the public school system in Lebanon and saw exactly how much they don't know! Teachers are there to pass the time and get paid not to make sure children learn. Private schools are much better in this regard but that's the case everywhere on the planet. The only point I give to Lebanon over other countries is that schools in Lebanon particularly Catholic schools give children the opportunity to be exposed to all kinds of societal woes in a helpful fashion, what I mean is that they organise visits to old folks homes, to orphanages, etc. And get children and teenagers involved in humane causes. I don't know whether something similar exists in schools in France but if it does I view that as a positive. And what you lack in such experiences you make up for in extracurricular activities and their availability, that's not something that's widely available in Lebanon and if it is it's limited to scouts and ballet.

I do agree with your conclusion
 
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    joseph_lubnan

    Legendary Member
    A few things that I don't think can be properly ranked in something like this.

    1) There's a collective and community that exists in Lebanon that gets lost in much more individualistic societies, even if you grow up in the west within the Lebanese community. For what it's worth, I don't think it's unique to Lebanon, but it is absolutely non-existent where I mostly grew up (between Canada and the US) and I find that once most of my peers hit 20s and early 30s we're all wondering what community we even belong to. There may be various identity crises in Lebanon, but there's more of a sense that you belong to some community, whether it's sect-based, socio-economic, political, or even just family and extended family. There's a lack of public space, particularly in Beirut, but that doesn't stop people from actually finding common space pretty consistently that brings people together--even daily--quite easily.

    2) The size of the country almost necessitates you (unless you're uber rich) to see "how the other half lives." Income inequality, if you grow up in a suburban neighborhood outside a big city in the US and Western Europe, is an almost theoretical concept. My evidence is only anecdotal in Lebanon from being in university and visiting family, but I'm never able to avoid actually seeing the income inequality while there and I think that's much more important than a civic education in school. Again, anecdotal, but the comparisons of the worldview of family, friends, acquaintances who grew up in Lebanon vs. in the US (and even canada) reflects this kind of dichotomy.

    3) I genuinely think some aspects of education are better (if you can afford a decent one, of course, but that's true outside of Lebanon, too. Your zip code determines your education pretty much everywhere with varying levels of inequity). It's overplayed, but the languages absolutely allows you to circumnavigate both Lebanese society and foreign countries advantageously and almost seamlessly. Those all may be options in other countries, but they are not basically requirements of growing up there. Sciences education is also quite good both for young kids and in university.

    There are also other more minor things, like regional placement and sectarian diversity can be conducive to a curiosity about different cultures that you never really have to confront elsewhere (it's also a problem, but I'm choosing to see it as an advantage, the little issue of political corruption and clientelism just has to be worked out). Not saying everyone uniformly benefits from this or sees it as a plus, but it's there if you want your kids to experience it. Also, there's a lot more engagement in politics (which I happen to think is good), even if not necessarily in voting (though the rate is pretty high, the 50% number is skewed by expats). But even if formal education doesn't provide this, almost everyone knows what's happening in government, unlike in much of the West where there's a sense of "none of that affects me" and for a lot of people it really doesn't affect their lives in any way.

    These are just largely based on personal experience, not some sort of grand sociological experiment :) so I'm happy to hear other perspectives or you can just tell me "bala falsafeh none of this is true." But on principle, I don't think individualism obsessives and bootstraps neoliberals get to decide which countries suck and don't lol. Some of these categories are absolutely important, and on these basis alone, Lebanon deserves the abysmal scores it gets. But I think there's just a lot more to the value of raising kids than availability of parks and free public schools. Plus, giving Lebanon such low scores on heritage, cultural influence, and entrepreneurship pshhhhh, imma be skeptical of the rest of your rankings while sipping on my musar wine on offer in tons of random suburban restaurants on the US east and west coasts (jk jk, I can't afford the prices on Musar wine there). Plus, I may not like the approach or even agree with the reasoning or goals, but those kids who grew up in a country where raising kids sucks have time and again, generation after generation, rebelled against whatever malign entity had a stranglehold on their country. I like to think that reflects something about the consciousness of the society they were raised in that can't be quantified in a survey.
    The US is made of immigrant communities. What you are describing is normal and an advantage that some mistake for an identity crisis :)
    Lebanon sucks ass.
     
    J

    joseph_lubnan

    Legendary Member
    I gave you a like because while I don't agree with most of these points I do like the overall perspective.

    Now regarding your points:

    1. I don't understand what you mean by individualistic society, for every argument you can make about western societies the same can be made about the Lebanese, particularly in this day and age. I think Lebanese expats (more specifically children of Lebanese expats) lack that sense of belonging because they feel like they belong to two different communities, they grow up feeling like they belong to their host country and their country of origin and they can't really reconcile the two because they are really quite different... But you do find your people eventually whether it's based on your field of study, your artistic inclinations, your taste in music etc. Granted it's not sect or neighborhood based but you will be part of a broader community at some point whether you lived in Lebanon or elsewhere.

    2. I live in a suburban neighborhood outside a big city in France and income inequality is quite noted in society in every aspect, particularly if I decide to put my children in the future in public school as opposed to private school. You associate and get to know people from all kinds of societal backgrounds, my evidence is also anecdotal and based on my experience however your point doesn't stand.

    3. I definitely don't agree with this point seeing as I have experience helping children in the public school system in Lebanon and saw exactly how much they don't know! Teachers are there to pass the time and get paid not to make sure children learn. Private schools are much better in this regard but that's the case everywhere on the planet. The only point I give to Lebanon over other countries is that schools in Lebanon particularly Catholic schools give children the opportunity to be exposed to all kinds of societal woes in a helpful fashion, what I mean is that they organise visits to old folks homes, to orphanages, etc. And get children and teenagers involved in humane causes. I don't know whether something similar exists in schools in France but if it does I view that as a positive. And what you lack in such experiences you make up for in extracurricular activities and their availability, that's not something that's widely available in Lebanon and if it is it's limited to scouts and ballet.

    I do agree with your conclusion
    France is a third world country. You should immigrate :)
     
    Indie

    Indie

    Legendary Member
    Orange Room Supporter
    Two advantages of raising kids in Lebanon that are lacking in the West:

    - Religion is an important part of people's lives.

    - There is a sense of community and belonging.

    However, with the arrival of the internet spreading the influence of Western media, and many people immigrating, who knows for how long this will last.

    Another factor is: there are some real struggles to overcome; life is not offered on a silver platter. This builds character, a sense of priorities, and gratitude for things that others take for granted.
     
    V

    Venomous Hummingbird II

    Guest
    Another factor is: there are some real struggles to overcome; life is not offered on a silver platter. This builds character, a sense of priorities, and gratitude for things that others take for granted.
    You obviously don't live here.
     
    NewLeb

    NewLeb

    New Member
    The Lebanese raised exclusively in the West fail to interact with the same physical forces that the ancient Phoenicians did long ago. That’s a major disadvantage for a Lebanese to have.
     
    HalaMadrid

    HalaMadrid

    Active Member
    Orange Room Supporter
    The US is made of immigrant communities. What you are describing is normal and an advantage that some mistake for an identity crisis :)
    Lebanon sucks ass.
    Lol, I'm not talking about identity crises, I actually don't care that much about that "of two worlds" phenomenon. I'm talking about actual community belonging as opposed to rugged American dream individualism.
     
    HalaMadrid

    HalaMadrid

    Active Member
    Orange Room Supporter
    I gave you a like because while I don't agree with most of these points I do like the overall perspective.

    Now regarding your points:

    1. I don't understand what you mean by individualistic society, for every argument you can make about western societies the same can be made about the Lebanese, particularly in this day and age. I think Lebanese expats (more specifically children of Lebanese expats) lack that sense of belonging because they feel like they belong to two different communities, they grow up feeling like they belong to their host country and their country of origin and they can't really reconcile the two because they are really quite different... But you do find your people eventually whether it's based on your field of study, your artistic inclinations, your taste in music etc. Granted it's not sect or neighborhood based but you will be part of a broader community at some point whether you lived in Lebanon or elsewhere.

    2. I live in a suburban neighborhood outside a big city in France and income inequality is quite noted in society in every aspect, particularly if I decide to put my children in the future in public school as opposed to private school. You associate and get to know people from all kinds of societal backgrounds, my evidence is also anecdotal and based on my experience however your point doesn't stand.

    3. I definitely don't agree with this point seeing as I have experience helping children in the public school system in Lebanon and saw exactly how much they don't know! Teachers are there to pass the time and get paid not to make sure children learn. Private schools are much better in this regard but that's the case everywhere on the planet. The only point I give to Lebanon over other countries is that schools in Lebanon particularly Catholic schools give children the opportunity to be exposed to all kinds of societal woes in a helpful fashion, what I mean is that they organise visits to old folks homes, to orphanages, etc. And get children and teenagers involved in humane causes. I don't know whether something similar exists in schools in France but if it does I view that as a positive. And what you lack in such experiences you make up for in extracurricular activities and their availability, that's not something that's widely available in Lebanon and if it is it's limited to scouts and ballet.

    I do agree with your conclusion
    This is all makes sense and what I'm gathering from what you're saying is that the things I'm pointing to are more available or more readily part of the culture in western Europe (or at least France) than North America, which is totally fair. Some clarifications on my thinking:

    The first point is a bit difficult to explain, so please allow my mini tirade. I don't mean that specifically Lebanese diaspora children are struggling with an identity crisis. I'm saying that American (and to an extent Canadian) culture has imported and ingrained a Protestant work ethic, rugged individualism that is fundamentally inapposite to the idea of belonging or collective or community. It also permeates the immigrant communities (the immigrating for the American Dream phenomenon). And when you're raised here, you grow up with it. It's hard to pinpoint or to give specific examples (I don't know a single neighbor, and don't really need to, is just one thing that comes to mind). There's a sense of belonging in Lebanon to *some* community, some project, some group of people other than purely yourself. I think that's true to a degree in western Europe, too, but not the same degree. Even the Lebanese federalism fetishists still see themselves as being part of *that* community that they want to federalize within, whatever it is. I can't quite quantify it or put it in examples, but the lack of this culture it's insidious and it leads to the reactionary phenomena we see in the West, Europe included. Worse still, it leads to epidemic loneliness that permeates society. Millennials And The Loneliness Epidemic There's this idea that society doesn't really matter that much in shaping you. This will probably tell you the type of friends I surround myself with, but I have several white American friends who have at some point or another taken jobs in the global south (South Africa, Jordan, Vietnam) while their children were in grade school mainly to raise their kids for some time in within a community. I know at least 3 Lebanese couples who did the same with Lebanon. At first I thought it was funny (and obviously such a privileged thing to have that choice), but upon reflection, I really get the appeal.

    2 - I think the difference here is that you'll make choices about whether or not you want your children to meaningfully interact with folks outside of your socioeconomic class as opposed to not really being able to avoid it. And if you say that you can avoid any such interaction in Lebanon, I'll totally buy that! I'm just saying that it wasn't my experience in Lebanon and WAS my experience in the US and Canada. I grew up just outside NYC for some time. I literally did not know what The Bronx (poorest county in the state) even looked like, never even had to drive through it, until I intentionally went there in my 20s. The extent to which I was exposed to income inequality growing up was the difference between middle class and lower middle class. The abject poverty was just a nuisance that could be completely avoided. To seek out the uber wealthy and very poor requires intentionality.

    3 - That's all fair! I actually didn't know that about the Catholic schools, that's great. And I think it goes a little bit to my first point. When talking about s schools, I think we need to compare apples to apples. Low income schools in any area are the same as what you describe. No heat, no curriculum, no books, lead poisoning, spending more time trying to get students to school than actually spending teaching them. I don't recommend googling stories about Baltimore or Detroit public schools. And I'm sure extracurriculars outside of the country do more than make up for a lack of such community building activities, however they are mostly available for individual development, not really as a societal benefit.

    I really don't mean any of this as a knock on raising children in the West. The benefits are obviously immense especially if you're in the middle to upper middle income bracket. It's all just meant to say there are definitely advantages in Lebanon and places like it, but they can't be quantified in the same way as "free public schools" "public parks" "free buses" etc, so we don't rank them as advantages, we sweep them aside.
     
    𓍝𓂀𓄃𓇼

    𓍝𓂀𓄃𓇼

    Active Member
    Orange Room Supporter
    I'm saying that American (and to an extent Canadian) culture has imported and ingrained a Protestant work ethic, rugged individualism that is fundamentally inapposite to the idea of belonging or collective or community.
    What do you mean by Protestant? As in Protestant Christian? I've never heard of this before, that they have rugged individualism. I was in an Evangelical school, they were a hug group. Unless you mean Protestant to work itself.
     
    HalaMadrid

    HalaMadrid

    Active Member
    Orange Room Supporter
    What do you mean by Protestant? As in Protestant Christian? I've never heard of this before, that they have rugged individualism. I was in an Evangelical school, they were a hug group. Unless you mean Protestant to work itself.
    I promise I didn't make it up lol. It's a sociological concept popularized by, I believe, Max Weber about European and later American industrial capitalism. It's not so much about touchy feely hugsy stuff and is totally compatible with your experience at the Evangelical school. It's about the relationship of the individual to capital and work. Whether it resulted in economic growth is a dispute and highly controversial, but I'm neither a sociologist nor a religious scholar nor an economist to opine on that. The concept of hard work being God's will is a core principle of mainline protestantism (and presumably evangelicalism). I just know the expectations of the culture I grew up in and find that the theory explains it.
     
    J

    joseph_lubnan

    Legendary Member
    The Lebanese raised exclusively in the West fail to interact with the same physical forces that the ancient Phoenicians did long ago. That’s a major disadvantage for a Lebanese to have.
    That's very cosmic of you :)
     
    J

    joseph_lubnan

    Legendary Member
    Lol, I'm not talking about identity crises, I actually don't care that much about that "of two worlds" phenomenon. I'm talking about actual community belonging as opposed to rugged American dream individualism.
    You can go live on a commune :)

    1. How do you characterize "community belonging" in Lebanon? and 2. What do you exactly like about it?
     
    J

    joseph_lubnan

    Legendary Member
    I promise I didn't make it up lol. It's a sociological concept popularized by, I believe, Max Weber about European and later American industrial capitalism. It's not so much about touchy feely hugsy stuff and is totally compatible with your experience at the Evangelical school. It's about the relationship of the individual to capital and work. Whether it resulted in economic growth is a dispute and highly controversial, but I'm neither a sociologist nor a religious scholar nor an economist to opine on that. The concept of hard work being God's will is a core principle of mainline protestantism (and presumably evangelicalism). I just know the expectations of the culture I grew up in and find that the theory explains it.
    I worked very hard even before I knew anything about American culture, does that make me protestant evangelical? :)
     
    !Aoune32

    !Aoune32

    Well-Known Member
    all this talk about culture and tradition is pure bs. those who went out the country like my dad in the 70s brought the culture and traditions with him, raised us how the lebanese were raised in the 70s and 80s. i go back to lebanon and see people completely different to what they were before. these traditional values and family and what not in lebanon are totally gone whilst in the west the lebanese still hold onto these values. maybe because they miss their homeland maba3ref. even the age of getting married outside is a major difference between the west and inside the country. whilst inside the country it has become the norm to get married in ur 40s outside the lebanese get married between the ages of 25-30 years old.
     
    ّTelefon Kasse

    ّTelefon Kasse

    Member
    Rankings in the link (72 of 73): https://www.usnews.com/news/best-countries/best-raising-children

    Best Countries for Raising Kids
    Nordic nations may be the best place to raise children, according to the Best Countries report.
    lUMMARY

    Father carrying son piggyback in park

    CREDIT

    The Best Countries to Raise Kids
    Some citizens of countries are willing to pay high rates of taxes if health care, education and other needs are taken care of. In his piece “Why Danes Happily Pay High Rates of Taxes,” Meik Wiking, CEO of the Happiness Research Institute, says people in that country see paying taxes as a quality of life investment. Critically, Wiking says, their government is able to deliver on that promise.
    The 2020 Best Countries to Raise Kids ranking draws from a global perceptions-based survey and ranks countries based on scores from a compilation of eight country attributes: caring about human rights, being considered family friendly, its environment for gender equality, being seen as happy, having income equality, being safe, and having well-developed public education and well-developed health care systems. These are the top five countries.


    And dead last overall country of 73 ranked: https://www.usnews.com/news/best-countries/overall-rankings

    Personally, besides environmental factors, I take this with a huge grain of salt. There are sociocultural benefits to raising kids in Lebanon or outside North America and western Europe that such rankings will never capture.

    يلعن روح مدريد وريال مدريد وكل واحد بشدّ على مدريد ... لعمى ما أزبلّكم بدي أعرف أذا في واحد من مدريد بقول "هلا حسونة المجوسي" ..روح أنضب أذا في مشكلة بتربية الأطفال بلبنان فهي من أحزابكم النجسة والفاسدة وليس من الدين الأسلامي. الدول الأسكندينافية مجتمعاتها في الحقيقة متعصّبة جدا و منحلّة أخلاقيا. قبلّ نهبكم للشرق الأوسط يا بلاعمة الحزب الديمقراطي اليهودي الأمريكي. كان الأب المسلم يصرف على كاملّ أسرته. أما في الدول الأسكندينافية الفاسقة فالرجلّ ليس سوى عبارة عن حيوان منوي تستخدمه العاهرة (المرأة الأسكندينافية) لتحبيلها فقط ثم تنفصل عنه بعد خطف أولاده فأذا كان هو كرّ فهذا شأنه أم نحن المسلمون في الشرق الأوسط فدستورنا الأسري هو قرأننا الكريم ومن لم يعجبه فليذهب لهذه الدول الأسكندينافية
     
    Danny Z

    Danny Z

    Legendary Member

    يلعن روح مدريد وريال مدريد وكل واحد بشدّ على مدريد ... لعمى ما أزبلّكم بدي أعرف أذا في واحد من مدريد بقول "هلا حسونة المجوسي" ..روح أنضب أذا في مشكلة بتربية الأطفال بلبنان فهي من أحزابكم النجسة والفاسدة وليس من الدين الأسلامي. الدول الأسكندينافية مجتمعاتها في الحقيقة متعصّبة جدا و منحلّة أخلاقيا. قبلّ نهبكم للشرق الأوسط يا بلاعمة الحزب الديمقراطي اليهودي الأمريكي. كان الأب المسلم يصرف على كاملّ أسرته. أما في الدول الأسكندينافية الفاسقة فالرجلّ ليس سوى عبارة عن حيوان منوي تستخدمه العاهرة (المرأة الأسكندينافية) لتحبيلها فقط ثم تنفصل عنه بعد خطف أولاده فأذا كان هو كرّ فهذا شأنه أم نحن المسلمون في الشرق الأوسط فدستورنا الأسري هو قرأننا الكريم ومن لم يعجبه فليذهب لهذه الدول الأسكندينافية
    You just proved why raising kids in Lebanon is really really bad
     
    HalaMadrid

    HalaMadrid

    Active Member
    Orange Room Supporter

    يلعن روح مدريد وريال مدريد وكل واحد بشدّ على مدريد ... لعمى ما أزبلّكم بدي أعرف أذا في واحد من مدريد بقول "هلا حسونة المجوسي" ..روح أنضب أذا في مشكلة بتربية الأطفال بلبنان فهي من أحزابكم النجسة والفاسدة وليس من الدين الأسلامي. الدول الأسكندينافية مجتمعاتها في الحقيقة متعصّبة جدا و منحلّة أخلاقيا. قبلّ نهبكم للشرق الأوسط يا بلاعمة الحزب الديمقراطي اليهودي الأمريكي. كان الأب المسلم يصرف على كاملّ أسرته. أما في الدول الأسكندينافية الفاسقة فالرجلّ ليس سوى عبارة عن حيوان منوي تستخدمه العاهرة (المرأة الأسكندينافية) لتحبيلها فقط ثم تنفصل عنه بعد خطف أولاده فأذا كان هو كرّ فهذا شأنه أم نحن المسلمون في الشرق الأوسط فدستورنا الأسري هو قرأننا الكريم ومن لم يعجبه فليذهب لهذه الدول الأسكندينافية
    I see everyone's having a super normal one today.

    Mods just gonna do nothing about these barca fans running rampant, huh?
     
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