UNITY IN THE WAKE OF CONFLICT IN LEBANON
Sister Nouha Tawii’, Principal of the Saint Coeur School in East Lebanon calls George Maatouk her “savior” for bringing her The Way to Happiness. Though Sister Tawii’ has both Muslim and Christian students, she previously had no way of helping them understand each other as she was not permitted to teach either about the other’s faiths.
For years, she had looked for a book that taught morals, values and ethics without religion, only to be disappointed after every search.
But that’s when Maatouk, Director of The Way to Happiness Lebanon chapter, gave her a copy of the common sense guide to better living. Sister Tawii’ said this book allows the fulfillment of her longtime goal. She trusts the powerful book will unite her students in shared values so basic they transcend individual faith.
Sister Tawii’ was one of the tens of thousands who received a copy of The Way to Happiness after the Israeli-Lebanese conflict broke out in 2006. This startled Maatouk into the realization that he had to do more to bring the power of the 21 precepts to his nation.
The conflict which resulted in near-total destruction of Lebanon’s civil infrastructure, the death of 1,191 civilians and the displacement of one million more, also thus gave way to the largest distribution of The Way to Happiness in the country to date. As all materials produced and distributed within Lebanese borders must be sanctioned by the Ministry of Security, Maatouk and his team began there, with a request that was met with the wholehearted approval of the Ministry.
Maatouk and his team, which has grown from two to 19 members, thus distributed more than 150,000 copies of The Way to Happiness across a country starved for its universal truths.
Maatouk then saw to the distribution of The Way to Happiness to bookstores across Lebanon—690 in all—to, in turn, be given free to their customers.
Combined with those placed in the nation’s celebrated Librairie Antoine, a total of 10,000 booklets could soon be found wherever Lebanese readers might go.
Next, Maatouk distributed 23,000 individual copies of the booklet in the streets of Beirut, the nation’s capital, and to schools throughout East Lebanon.
One school principal, upon learning of the booklet, immediately demanded a training session for her teachers so they could incorporate The Way to Happiness into their curriculum.
Another marched into a classroom full of students mid their end-of-the-year tests to pass out copies of The Way to Happiness and insist they read the booklet over the summer.
Yet another principal told Maatouk his school had been working to answer the national call to end discrimination, but that The Way to Happiness was the resource they had been missing, and the best one for the job.
Maatouk and his team, which has grown from two to 19 members, is constantly meeting with concerned educators and others as more people learn about the Way to Happiness campaign. Thus far, the team has distributed more than 150,000 copies of The Way to Happiness booklets hand-to-hand across a country starved for its universal truths.
Among many who expressed their appreciation was Ms. Aisha Shalhoum of the Lebanese Ministry of Culture. In a formal letter to the team, she wrote: “The Way to Happiness book contains brilliant topics for all generations and ages. In each page, an idea is presented to open horizons of opportunity to live a happier and more blissful life. God bless your efforts and may they bring forth a fruitful and bright future to our children and nation.”
YOUR HELP IS NEEDED
The Way to Happiness Foundation International works to reverse the moral decay of society by restoring trust and honesty through widespread distribution of the 21 precepts. Donations support production and distribution of The Way to Happiness booklet and curriculum material.