Collective Despair and The Power of Imagination

Laudy Issa



The parking situation of the American University of Beirut is amendable. Several student and administrative initiatives have attempted to tackle the situation and continue to do so.

While writing my article on the parking hassle in AUB for this week’s issue of Outlook, a student expressed his dissatisfaction with the topic I chose to address on the basis that it is a problem that has no solution.

Feeling unable to control the outcome of situations or alter any existing situation is, unfortunately, present on a massive scale within our society. We take in news to be disempowering, and we find ourselves to be victims of the system, which we often are.

We forget that student activism has been a fundamental part of bettering the AUB community, and the Lebanese community as a whole. Headlines from the Outlook of the 50s, 60s, and 70s read “Ready for the Battle,” “Students Reject Committee,” and “A.U.B. at War,” each in a distinctive font belonging to that era.

And what of this era? Through what lens will the Outlook editors of the future look at it?

Over the course of the past two years, Outlook has introduced me to a variety of dedicated and hardworking AUB students. Although they are few, these students have initiated campaigns and startups across a vast range of fields, from saving the environment (Ganatch) to tutoring others (Synkers). Some have fought for the rights of the student body in university councils. Artists reach out to others through the power of their works.

All these individuals have conceptualized solutions to problems that once seemed unsolvable. We are not helpless. We must continue to use the power of our imagination to fight the collective despair that eats away at us in the face of injustice.

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