Interview with Fadia Farah

Updated: January 2016

In this 2015 video, which was produced by Inclusion International with support from the United Nations Democracy Fund (UNDEF) as part of the My Voice Matters! campaign, interviewee Fadia Farah from Lebanon talks about recent initiatives in Lebanon to support political participation by all Lebanese citizens, as well as some of the challenges that are encountered.




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Ms. Farah: When Anna came to Lebanon for the self-advocate, it was really very important because let’s say they all – not only the self-advocate, I think, the Lebanese people – we are really depressed because it’s like six months now we don’t have a president. We did not vote since 2005, so it’s like voting is something that is like a dream. The self-advocate was in the mood, “ok, we’ll never vote,” and they were not happy. So when Anna came, and he started talking about accessing the ballot, it was like a wake-up call or them. Someone is here to tell them, it is your right, and you have to work on it. You don’t have voting now, it’s ok, we’ll look to change a lot of things, but you have to prepare yourself because one day, we’ll go back to the regular system, and you will have to vote. So for them, it was really very important, and for the parents, too, because the parents, especially, learned that, yes, their son or daughter has something to say, and for the self-advocate it was like, this is a part of our life. If we cannot talk, if we cannot vote, it’s one of our lives that is missing, and then government is not helping us to do this. To be honest, at the beginning when we, when I called them, for the meeting, and I said, we’re going to talk about democracy, people said, “What? Democracy, here in Lebanon? We don’t have democracy.” But I said, “Ok, let’s come, let’s stay together, and let’s start talking about this.” So it was difficult for them at the beginning because we don’t have any rights about accessing the voting, as I said, no vote since 2005, but when we start talking, they realized that it’s not about the situation today, it’s about the future.


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