In the absence of clear preventive measures and proper statistical assessment, bullying continues to be a grossly undermined social issue in Lebanon. Beirut.com sat down with Nour El Assaad, founder of anti-bullying NGO No Label, to discuss prevalence and impact of this alarming phenomenon on our society.




“Lebanon suffers from a lack of awareness about bullying and this is causing major damage, since bullying is something that affects the person on the long-run, ultimately resulting in a snowball effect,” El Assaad explained.

What makes things worse is that such coercive domination is often dismissed as ‘a normal part of growing up’ by the larger society. “Bullying is being dealt with the old fashioned way. This lack of awareness translates into a lack of action taken against bullying in general,” El Assaad told Beirut.com.

“We don’t have legislations, laws or rules against bullying in Lebanon. We plan to change that as an NGO,” she noted. “Our goal is to raise awareness about the issue and to make our country label-free.”



Meanwhile, many parents and educators are struggling to find viable solutions to the problem. “Even though local schools are starting to adopt in-school counseling and activities and some of them have even implemented anti-bullying policies, these schools are a rather few,” El Assaad explained.

“The three pillars of our work as a NGO are: students, parents and educators. We create bully-free zones through awareness sessions, discussions, and fun activities targeting schools, universities, teachers and parents,” she added.

The issue, however, is not limited to the school environment but can occur in many different places. “Bullying is a huge subject to tackle, we aim to challenge popular stigmas such as mental health, eating disorders, body image and the objectification and sexualization of women in the media,” El Assaad mentioned.

Cyber-bullying also poses an enormous threat to the wellbeing of children and teenagers in today’s world. “Cyber-bullying is more difficult to prevent than other forms of bullying because it is prone to happen 24/7 due to internet’s availability, difficult to delete once posted and often anonymous, meaning that the victim might not know who perpetuated it in order to report it,” she told Beirut.com.



But despite the lack of awareness about bullying in the Lebanese society, El Assaad notes “a significant rise of interest in this subject” when it comes to modern educators and parents. “This is a positive sign, I am very passionate about the cause and knowing that there is a large number of people who suffer from it motivates me to take action even more,” she said.

The NGO is currently working on developing an anti-bullying program for schools to implement all year long and plans to initiate a national research about the topic. “We can beat around the bush by educating students on the importance of being nice, valuing friendship and other positive attributes,” El Assaad explained.



And since both of these projects require a lot of effort and mobilization. No Label is on the lookout for interested volunteers to join the team, all while applying for grants to secure funding for the projects.


You can connect with the NGO on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

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