In Lebanon, a place where politics and media are often divided and fear is the ultimate decider in political battles, there is a revolution brewing. A revolution that is being defined by the youth of the nation in the form of a new independent news paper that is shocking many and shaking up the status quo.
Sawt Ashabab, meaning ‘Youth Voice’ in Arabic, was launched just last week right before the country’s Parliamentary elections, but began as a media literacy project at Lebanon’s Notre Dame University. Its successful launch into an independent media organization has challenged the country’s polarized media landscape and has brought together dozens of Lebanon’s young adults to represent the ethnic and political divide in the country; many of whom are under 21, Lebanon’s legal voting age.
Lebanese youth have not been immune to the country’s recent political crises. And while they appear at rallies and demonstrations, they are not involved in the decision-making process on a substantive level and lack places where they can constructively express their views and aspirations
Founded by Dima Saber, a media studies professor at Notre Dame, and David Munir Nabti, the CEO of Rootspace, the paper is said to be an informed commentary on Lebanese politics and society. The very first edition was distributed in more than 50,000 copies if the nations two leading dailies, each being on different sides of the political spectrum.
Sawt Ashabab taps into the frustration that many young Lebanese have with their standard of living, rampant unemployment and the cyclical nature of dirty politics.
Written in Arabic and English, this newspaper challenges parties in their dirty political tactics. It taps into the frustration that young residents of that country have with the standards of living and working in Lebanon. Although the future of this newspaper is very unclear, the launch of such a thing is a cause for celebration.
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