I feel obligated to share the story of Iqbal Al-Assad. She is 16 years old and has one more year to finish her internship at Weill Cornell Medical College in Qatar. She is the daughter of a Palestinian refugee in Beeka, Lebanon.
At 17 she will be the youngest doctor in the world. Unfortunately, she will not able to practice because Lebanon does not allow for Palestinian refugees to practice Law or Medicine.
I have translated an opinion written by Fouad Laroui titled “Un génie de la bêtise humaine” or “A genius of human stupidity” which appeared in Jeune Afrique
I have nothing else to say. Read the story and decide.
A genius of human stupidity
It is a story of modern times, where you wonder whether to rejoice or cry (get out your handkerchiefs and tighten your fists).
Therefore, of course, a genius. A feminine genius: almost a woman, a girl who finished primary school at age 7. She was brought, notwithstanding, to grammar school, and there gives the full measure of her talent: every three months, to general amazement, she swallows the programs of a whole school year. They make her jump class, all is well: she reads, learns, races to get the best grades and in three months surpasses the students of her new class. So much so that at age 12 she obtains her Baccalaureate. Discovered by the media, a foreign country awards her a scholarship to come and study medicine. Today, at age 16, it remains for her to do her last year of internship to become at 17 the youngest doctor in the world.
This absolutely true story rings of fairy tale, does not it?
That’s where human stupidity, our old friend, enters the stage.
Let us rewind the story and give names. The girl in question is called Assad Iqbal. She is the daughter of a Palestinian refugee from the Bekaa Valley, Lebanon. The government who paid for her education is that of Qatar. Iqbal will return home, this year, adorned with the title of world’s youngest doctor and a citation in the Guinness Book of World Records. She will open an office in her village Bekaa…
Stop! The Palestinians have no right to exercise the professions of lawyer and doctor in Lebanon. A few weeks ago, the Lebanese Parliament has generously given them few benefits and access to certain occupations, but the bar and the stethoscope are still banned.
Never mind, “said Iqbal, I will treat my people in Israel or in the Palestinian occupied territories.
Stop! Lieberman, a former Moldovan nightclub bouncer reconverted into the anti-Arab racism (and Israel Foreign Minister), and the Lithuanian Netanyahu, Prime Minister of Israel after attempting to become naturalized American in the 1970s, block this kind of dream: no Lebanese Palestinians will return home.
Even a genius like Iqbal Assad? Especially her: she may as well nurse the goats of Bekaa.
An Idiotic confederacy will make Iqbal stay in the refugee camp, twirl her thumbs. “Mozart is being murdered,” said Cesbron. “It is Marie Curie being buried alive”, one might say today.
- Is Lebanon Finally Integrating Palestinians? (time.com)