The queen of "Bazella"
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.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.
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