“It was inspiring and joyful to be at the Girls Got IT event in Lebanon”

Girls' education

Lebanese students at Girls Got IT  Pictures: Facebook/Girls Got IT


By Ahmad Abou Heit, an A World at School Global Youth Ambassador from Lebanon

In the time of utmost need it happened – and I was there. I had to sign up for it, choose my place in it and wake up at 4.30am and leave my house one hour later to get to it.

To me, it was the event of the month. Let alone the creative agenda set for that day and the amazing group of people who were there to make it all happen, the whole idea of the event was radical. An idea that was invested in at the right place and time.

The Girls Got IT event that took place in mid-March 2016 in Lebanon is what I am talking about.

It may not seem like that important of an event to some people. But to a guy who believes firmly in the importance of both education and the underestimated capabilities of females all over the world – and especially in this region – I believe that this event is one of many other important events of various types to establish and maintain the well and long-deserved key role of women in the society.

This event served as one big package of training, publicising and building self-assertiveness and self-confidence in the young women who participated.

Read more about the Girls Got IT event

The event provided workshops hosted by the finest institutions in the country to offer proper education and application to what the different groups of young women chose to learn and do. Top universities in Lebanon, such as the Lebanese American University and the American University of Beirut, were also present and hosted workshops.

For hours, the girls were lectured then taught how to actually apply what they learned – all the way from engineering and building a bridge and chiselling wooden structures to learning some psychology and how to be creative and be someone who can cope effectively in life.

This event attracted a fair number of sponsors as well as media attention. The young adults, like us, were the ones who were mostly excited to witness such an inspiring and hopefully fruitful event and the number of “selfies” we took is really undeniable.

As for the self-assertiveness and self-confidence boost that the girls felt as they were working, that is the most magical part to me.

Volunteers at the Girls Got IT event in Lebanon

The mere sight of inspiration, joy, accomplishment and achievement in a girl’s eyes while she cut through wood and along straight lines, while she put the final touches on her bridge, or while she listened to her teacher talk about simple life hacks that would increase happiness and productivity in life brought joy to me and all other volunteers who were patrolling but watching enthusiastically.

We got to see what people do not get to see every day. We got to see the female force in action and it was hitting hard. No surprise there.

A normal reader reading through all of this would probably start wondering by now as to why this event is such a big deal to the organisers, to those volunteers and to this guy who’s full of sunshine and writing this.

My answer is the following: today we live in a world where women are not done justice at all. We live in a world where we “men” consider women to be slaves, under-achievers, flawed, incapable, invaluable, etc.

But, most importantly, we do not consider women to be human anymore and that is the most flawed thing in existence to me right now.

We as men were born in a society that does not fully respect the woman. But the problem is that we fail to recognise this as an issue and those of us who do are symbolised frequently as feminists who want war against men.

It is mainly for that reason I consider the idea of the Girls Got IT event to be a huge one which is necessary at this time and in this part of the world.

For now, I can only hope that more ideas reinforcing education and gender justice will be implemented and organised just like what happened at Girls Got IT.

Hopefully I, and every like-minded person, can take part in making these things happen. I strongly believe that by supporting women to get better education, expectation (from men and society), and a lot more respect will end a big number of societal issues.

Those issues include crime and terrorism – both of which are a considered today to be major security-related problems not only in Lebanon but in France, Belgium, and who knows where else. So God give us strength.

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