Hijacked Education

When Education is hijacked by war : THE NEW YORK TIMES

Education is the movement from darkness to light” (Allan Bloom) but violence is wiping out years of investment and achievements in education. War has a catastrophic effect on education and childhood. Death as a result of war is simply the "tip of the iceberg":

There are schools destroyed and abandoned. Those are the altars without shape of the lost learning. There are teachers and students in the exile, kids soldiers, education kidnaped and rape. There are books burned, photographs on the ground, identities lost and stolen. There are empty classrooms, desks stacked, piled up, covert with the void of ignorance.

The war is not finish with the last bullet, or the empty bullet shell, or when the flag is raised. The iceberg of the battle rumbles and extends blurred the horizon. The open wounds of the war write with blood the future of millions of kids.  Violence seeps into bordering countries that chaotically absorb a generation destined to grow up in exile. Different curriculums, overcrowding in the fields, serfs of the land ... millions of children grow protected by ostracism.

The violence in Pakistan, Syria, Iraq, Lebanon and Colombia is wiping out years of investment and achievements in education. Children and teachers are finding themselves in the line of fire. There are hundreds of schools that can not be used any more. Many places for learning are now deserted because children and teachers flee to safety. Thousands of textbooks have been removed, burned and destroyed. Thousands of teachers have received a stark ultimatum from the armed actors.

The war is spewing out an entire lost generation. The conflicts have left behind deep scars in the psyche of children. The education system is paying a very high price: the nightmare is far from ending. Time, a time bomb, stagnates in exile and blots the sheets of school calendars that will never return.

About the Project

Hijacked Education is a long term ongoing project started in Pakistan in 2009 after the regimen of Mula FM was ended in Swat Valley. The aim of it is to generate a personal and universal statement to show how violence, extremism, intolerance and fear are wiping out the future of an entire generation of thousands of children. 

The Pakistani Taliban's violent campaign to stop girls from getting an education was put back in the spotlight in Pakistan in 2012 when gunmen attacked MALALA Yousafzai, a schoolgirl education activist, in the Swat Valley. The attack was just one small piece of a long campaign against the country's education system. 

Then, once I moved to Lebanon in 2014 I kept working on it in different countries such as Syria, IraqLebanon, Ukraine, and Colombia.

During six years of civil war, most of the Syria’s refugee children have been forced out of school and most of its schools are completely destroyed in Syria and Iraq. After sixty decades of internal armed conflict, Colombia’s children and education system remain firmly under siege. Violence doesn't have borders and its consequences are wiping out years of investment in education around the world. Conflicts have left deep scars on the psyche of children all over the world. 

You can watch the whole project here: PakistanSyriaIraqLebanon and Colombia

“Educating the mind without educating the heart is no education at all.” Aristotle