A week in the life of a 14-year-old in Lebanon

Here I am doing an activity in class. (Courtesy of Reem)

Here I am doing an activity in class. (Courtesy of Reem)


A day when I learned a lesson in my life

Like every school day, my mother woke me up at 5:30 a.m. I had more energy to bring myself to go to school. My mother prepared my breakfast, my school bag and my sandwich.

The bus comes to take me to the school at 6 a.m. and my friends Lin and Nour were waiting for me. We talk and review school information before we arrive at the school where the bell rings at 7:30 a.m. During classes today we had an activity that my friend and I were enthusiastic about. In science, we learned about plant cells and had to draw a picture using special tools, like glue and colored papers. That was my best lesson during the day.

After school, we went back to the house where I had to pray. Then I met with my cousin and friends to talk about class and the problems of girls in the neighborhood. We talked about a girl who is 14 years old and left the school because she was engaged. Then we were reminded of the session with Miss Ilham from Naba’a organization where she was talking about importance of education for girls and risk of early marriage. The girl dropped out school the first day she got engaged. While she was very happy for her engagement ring, wedding dress and her phone bought by her fiancé, after months her fiancé left her. We have felt very sad. However, our expectations were true.    

So as not to lose my dream of becoming a French teacher, I then returned to my home to finish my homework and pray before watching my favorite series, “Haneen El Dam,” which is on TV three days during the week.    


A tired day that ended with joy

When my mother woke me up at 5:30 a.m. as usual, I woke up with happiness because today, we will celebrate my cousin in her engagement. My cousin is 24 years old.

Then I went to school and learned six classes. It was a long and tired day for me because it was all new lessons in mathematics, science and Arabic. I needed a lot of focus. I did not talk on the bus with my friends as usual because I was tired from studying. When I got home, I prayed and ate with my mother and then relaxed.

We talked to Miss Ilham to agree on a time to write the play about the causes and effects of when girls drop out school. We decided that on Wednesday the teacher will come to visit us at home and we will discuss ideas with her. Then I finished my homework for the next day so I can go to the engagement party.

Then I went to my cousins’ to share with them what clothes I would wear that night for the engagement party. The discussion lasted for an hour. I attended the party to share my relatives’ joy. I participated in the dance and took a lot of pictures with the most lovely person who is my favorite person in the world, my MOTHER. Then I came home to sleep after a great fatigue. I felt happy.



An unusual day

I woke up early and went to school. My friends Lin and Nour were waiting for me as usual on the bus. Here we talked about my participation in the engagement last night and we kept talking about it until we got to school. The teacher told us that we had a French exam on Thursday. I was not as afraid as my classmate.

In the third lesson time we had science. The teacher was absent so we went down to the hill. My friends and I sat talking and I told them that today I have an activity after school with Naba’a. During the activity we will write an interactive play. I explained the topics in detail and discussed with them ideas that we can write in the play with Miss Ilham. My friends and I decided to talk about the story of our neighbor who dropped out of school. We would re-enact the story, every one of us saying a word and doing an action. It was a very interesting period and day.

After school at our meeting with Miss Ilham, as usual everyone had to talk about something new in our activities. I told her about the idea we had in school and shared with her the problem of the girl living on our neighborhood. She asked us to encourage the girl to participate with us in the sessions and the activities.

Then we went back to finish homework and to watch my favorite series, “Haneen El Dam.” Then I wrote in my diary and slept with happiness.

With my classmates at school. (Courtesy of Reem)

With my classmates at school. (Courtesy of Reem)


A special day

I woke up early and went to school. My friends Lynn and Nour were waiting for me as usual on the bus, but we had to prepare ourselves for the French exam. I was not scared, but I was worried if I had studied the material well enough. We arrived at school and entered classes. The exam was in the fourth lesson time. The teacher came and distributed it to us. I felt scared but I started to solve it. It was easy for me. At the end, I did not see who finished and who did not finish the exam.

After school, I returned home and found my mother waiting me with beautiful smile. She asked me about the exam and I told her that you know me, the exam was easy. We exchanged conversations as usual when we ate our lunch food. She asked me to finish my homework and study early because we would go to visit our relatives. During my studies I saw my mother making a cake. She told me that she will feed it to our relatives to celebrate you.

After I finish the study, we talked to the girls’ group on WhatsApp with Miss Ilham. I told her that I did good on the exam and that I will get the highest marks. She has always encouraged us to study and sometimes tests our knowledge. I felt that Miss Ilham encourages us to be the best and to follow our dreams and become important people, like my mother does.  

In the evening, we saw our relatives. We ate cake and pizza, we drank juice and we watched television. We were happy. Then it was time to sleep. As usual, I wrote in my diary and then I slept and dreamed of becoming a successful teacher.

My friends Lin and Nour. (Courtesy of Reem)

My friends Lin and Nour. (Courtesy of Reem)


An important day

I woke up at 8 a.m. I sat with my mother on the balcony and we talked while we took the tea. I told my mother that we had a Naba’a activity at 10 a.m. We talked about what we were doing during our sessions and meetings. My mother told me that she noticed a change in me since I’ve been participating in Naba’a activities. I’ve started talking about things that are useful to girls and my thinking circle is wider. I feel happy about this change. I feel that I’ve grown up and that I can change things around me.

At 9 a.m. I started preparing myself to go to Naba’a with my friends. We took the bus. As usual, Miss Ilham wants to hear what new things we have done. I told her about my mother's words about me and how they made me happy.

In my house doing homework. (Courtesy of Reem)

In my house doing homework. (Courtesy of Reem)


Miss Ilham told us that in this session we will set up a plan to start after the exams to conduct awareness sessions about the importance of education and risks of early marriage. Us girls in the session suggested communicating with girls who had to drop out of school and ask them to participate in our sessions and then talk about their experience and give advice other girls.

During the session, Miss Ilham told us that we should visit the mayor of our municipality and share our ideas for our advocacy campaign and awareness campaigns and ask him any questions we have. We practiced talking to him and took roles pretending to be the mayor and asking our questions to him. Our session ended this activity. Our date to meet with the mayor will be determined later.

When we returned home, I talked to my mother about the meetings with the mayor. I feel so worried about the idea as it is the first time I am meeting him, but I decided to face my fear as Miss Ilham told us. Then I try to prepare some words to say in front of the mayor. Then I did my homework. After I completed it, I watched television with my mother until it is time to sleep.


A regular day at school

I woke up early and went to school. My friends Lin and Nour were waiting for me as usual on the bus to talk. During this time I told my friends that we will meet with the mayor of the Mohammarah municipality and asked if they have any questions or information or problems they want to share with him. My friends wanted to asked about the secondary school if they will build in the area or not. I wrote this question and information that is important for girls in the area.

In school we learned the lessons that prepare us for middle year exams. After school time, I shared on the WhatsApp group the question that my friends want to know about. Miss Ilham praised our efforts.

Like every day, I do my homework. My family and cousins want to go on a trip to Byblos tomorrow. We prepared for the trip, watch our TV show and then slept.


A fun day

We woke up early and prepared to go on a trip to Jebail. As with every trip, we take the bus. We sing because are happy. We went to the market in Jebail and to beach. Then we took our lunch in the restaurant and played games in Jounieh. We return back to our home at 8 p.m. I slept early after I wrote in my diary.

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about the author

Reem is a 14-year-old student from Lebanon. She hopes to be a French teacher one day.