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The Taif Agreement: A Resolution for a Conflict?

13 June 2018

Conflicts and wars have always been part of the human history. They erupt for many reasons, yet eventually they come to an end with suggested resolutions that hold such conflicts in check; however, sometimes these resolutions may not be considered the best solutions to resolve such crises. Bearing this in mind, Grade 10 students tackled the concepts of ‘conflicts’ and ‘resolutions’ in an attempt to answer the unit question: To what extent may resolutions end conflicts? They deliberated this question on three different dimensions: Global, Regional and Local. Those three dimensions helped learners enrich their knowledge with different types of reasons that could lead to conflicts and with different ways of cease-fire.

On the local level dimension, Grade 10 students delved into tackling the Lebanese civil war (1975-1989), exploring its causes and effects in their history and Social Studies classes. Moreover, in the literature classes, the learners read and commented on the first 28 nightmares from Ghada Samman’s novel, Beirut Nightmares, which is a fictional account of a young woman who lived the atrocities of this civil clash while being trapped in her apartment due to the continuous shelling and the snipers who were scattered around the neighborhood. In reality, the nightmares of this war ended with the Taif agreement, which was signed by all the political parties involved at that time.

After 29 years of signing this agreement, our students participated in an ad hoc (special committee) as part of a performance task that revolves around evaluating the efficiency of this agreement and examining the reforms that were implemented at that time. To this end, the students took mainly the roles of Arab states including Lebanon where they suggested striking out parts of the Taif or amending the resolution.

The academic atmosphere of discussing such a critical topic couldn’t be but an inspiration and aspiration for a better conflict-free future not only in our country but also in the region as a whole. This task offered our learners a platform to debate and to discuss the different perspectives in a highly diplomatic and peaceful way. May this task be a significant stride towards preparing open-minded, responsible and principled citizens who will one day hopefully play a role in preserving this nation’s unity.

Hiba Chamandi, Nagham Abou Ali and Amira Hariri ~Grade 10 Teachers