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Sayyed Nasrallah’s Full Speech on the 30th Anniv. of the Islamic Institution for Learning and Education’s Founding

Sayyed Nasrallah’s Full Speech on the 30th Anniv. of the Islamic Institution for Learning and Education’s Founding
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Translated by Al-Ahed News, Hezbollah Media Relations

The speech of Hezbollah Secretary General Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah marking the 30th anniversary of the establishment of the Islamic Institution for Learning and Education on March 9, 2023.

I seek refuge in Allah from the accursed Satan. In the name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful. Praise be to Allah, Lord of the Worlds, and prayers and peace be upon our Master and Prophet, the Seal of Prophets, Abi al-Qassem Muhammad Bin Abdullah and his good and pure household and his good and chosen companions and all the prophets and messengers.

Esteemed attendees in Qom, Baalbek, Nabatiyeh, Tyre, and here in the southern suburbs [of Beirut], peace, mercy, and blessings of God be upon you all.

First, I welcome all of you and thank you for this honorable and kind presence. I greet you and all Muslims, oppressed, and tormented in the world on the 15th of Sha’ban, the birth of Imam Al-Mahdi Al-Hujjah Ibn Al-Hassan Al-Askari [PBUT].

I greet you and all teachers on Teacher's Day. I greet you on the 30th anniversary of the founding of the Mahdi Schools and the Islamic Foundation for Learning and Education, the thirtieth anniversary.

I also greet you on the day of the Mahdi Schools because we declared from the beginning that the 15th of Sha’ban, the day of the birth of Imam [Mahdi] is the day of the Mahdi Schools.

These are, God willing, noble, solemn, and dear occasions.

Allow me to begin with talking about schools and the educational sector, then I will return to the Imam’s occasion, and conclude with a word on the general situation.

Today, it is my duty to extend my thanks and appreciation to all the curators and workers in this institution, the successive chairmen of the boards of directors and the successive general managers because the situation we are in is the result of the sacrifices and efforts of everyone over the past 30 years.

I always stress that in our institutions, units, resistance, and movement, the credit, first, is to God Almighty. We do not, however, give credit to one person alone.

An achievement is the result of everyone's hard work, effort, and jihad. In this world, it is difficult to divide percentages, but in the scales of truth and divine justice on the Day of Resurrection, nothing will be lost.

It is my duty to extend thank everyone, including managers, chairmen of boards of directors, principals, members of boards of directors, general managers, school principals, teachers, workers, administrators, regardless of the position they hold.

All thanks, appreciation, and respect for their efforts, hard work, and vigil. The achievements we have are a result of their efforts, but primarily as a result of their sincerity, honesty, and good intentions.

This is because the main motive and incentive of this institution, like many similar institutions, God willing, is to serve people, worship God, and contribute to building a good society and paving the ground for that promised day to come.

Here, we must remember all our brothers and sisters, especially those we lost in the past few years due to the coronavirus or for any reason or illness.

We must especially remember dear and beloved brother, His Eminence Sheikh Mustafa Kassir, who spent his youth and the best days of his life in this institution. May God have mercy on him and all of them.

Undoubtedly, the reportage that we’ve seen and heard from dear brother Dr. Hussein, show how the institution has developed naturally and gradually despite all the difficult circumstances. Nothing stopped despite all the difficult circumstances.

We are talking about 30 years of wars, events, operations, and security conditions, whether before or after 2000, and the events that took place in the last decade, including explosions, etc.

Nothing stopped. There was always a natural and gradual development at the quantitative level, including the number of schools, students, and staff, at the qualitative level, at the level of curricula, at the level of public attendance, at the level of effectiveness with the Union of Private Schools.

Five years ago, one of the points I emphasized on was the openness of educational institutions to each other in Lebanon, regardless of the existing political differences.

If we disagree and are at odds with each other in politics, we can cooperate in the educational sector in a way that serves all these generations.

At the level of external cooperation and transferring expertise and experience, thanks to God Almighty, all this happened and continued. This is part of your efforts, sincerity, and the manifestation of your message.

Especially in recent years, the effort was doubled and distinguished because when the coronavirus came, difficulties occurred. Despite the health difficulties, problems attending, and the problems of teaching online, the institution was able to adapt, develop, and make the required efforts with all its staff so that education does not stop.

In light of the difficult living conditions that Lebanon is going through, especially in the past three years, since October 2019, in addition to us entering a new phase and facing more difficult circumstances this year, your steadfastness in the institution, staying in your departments, classes, educational positions is appreciated.

This is true especially since the Islamic Institution for Education and learning took into account the difficult circumstances of the families in recent years when it came to the issue of installments [of the tuition fee]. This naturally affected their financial resources.

On the 30th anniversary, I want to assure you of the following:

This institution’s affiliation to Hezbollah is a well-known, and they place Hezbollah flag alongside the institution’s flag.

First, on behalf of my brothers and I, we affirm our faith in you, in this honorable educational institution, in the administration, teachers, officials, and staff. We believe that you were and will always be fit to shoulder the responsibility.

Secondly, based on this faith – because this faith encourages – we affirm that we will make every effort to preserve the structure of this institution, its staff, and its effectiveness despite all the difficult circumstances which we will overcome. Rely on God. God willing, we will overcome them.

Thirdly, we will work, God willing, to support the institution. We will not only preserve it, but we will also develop it and expand its field of work geographically, and on every level because we pinned high hopes on it and on these schools. It is deeply linked to our faith and jihad project.

The importance of what you are doing, brothers and sisters, in education is serious and sincere work, and the scholastic and the educational process must be taken care of because this is one of the crises we have in the country.

The scholastic and educational process in schools and universities are in danger. This is a real challenge related to seriousness, losing qualified people, and corruption – I do not want to talk about the reasons. The scholastic and educational levels are being threatened.

We have always emphasized in all our previous meetings on education. Therefore, even when choosing an institution’s name, it is well calculated and discussed. When we chose to call it the Islamic Institution for Learning and Education, we even placed the word “education” before learning. This was all intentional. It was not random.

When it comes to the institution’s essence and main mission, it is education as it is an educational institution. When you ask me about this institution’s essence and nature, I tell you it’s educating and teaching.

There is no need to talk about the importance of education with the attendees. However, it is now more important than ever due to the dangers current generations are facing. Previous generations did not have to face back then.

For example, there are dangers that exist now that did not exist when we were young and went to school. This intensifies the challenges and difficulties and requires more responsibility.

Today, everything is open to the current generation. This is what we always talk about in sessions; everything is open. In the past, there was censorship on the media, newspapers, magazines, and [shows and programs on] television.

The level of interest from parents was also higher. This has declined. The parents used to scrutinize and follow up on their children more – what they’re watching, reading, the magazines they’re bringing home, what they’re studying, who their friends are, who they’re hanging out with, who they are befriending, the time they leave and return home. All of this is in the past and has become inconsistent with the modernity that they are talking about.

In any case, phones today can fit in the palm of your hand, and children own phones – rich and poor, but mostly children from poor families.

Then, came the coronavirus; it became an additional excuse for the internet to enter every household, accessible with a push of a button. Children became open to everything; they hear and see what they shouldn’t. There is no more discipline. These are the dangers.

One of the dangers today is working towards a cultural change under the heading of Western values and culture. This includes changing the nature of the relationship between children and parents, based on the West’s view of the family. We see this reflected today in Western societies.

Much of what is religiously forbidden in Islam and Christianity and much of what is immoral in our good and humane customs and traditions in the East are being erased and being replaced with immorality, escaping from the family, family disintegration, moral disintegration.

Another dangerous thing they are working on now is the curricula. I mentioned this on several occasions. It is not a secret. The US State Department is asking all its embassies around the world to work with the governments of the countries they are in to promote the culture of homosexuality in schools and universities. They want to turn it into a culture.

They want it to be a normal and natural thing, and a culture. They want people to defend this culture and denounce those who oppose it, confront it, or reject it. This is what the United States of America and the US administration want. This is all purposeful. It is not only satanic, but it also has goals. In any case, these dangers exist.

Drugs and drug addiction are another danger. In some areas, we get information, and we cooperate with the security services. Some bad people, who are devils and demons, distribute pills to students on the basis that they are, for example, sweets, chewing gum, or something for the purpose of entertainment. But in fact, these pills contain narcotic substances to get students addicted to them so they can sell them.

These are among the worst of God’s creation. You know, whoever deals drugs in any society is one of the worst types of corruptors on earth. This is when we talk at the religious and jurisprudential level; they are the worst type of spoilers on earth. These dangers exist.

There are two ways to confront these dangers:

1-            Treating the consequences: We take the children who are addicted to drugs to special programs as well as to medical and psychological clinics.

We must arrest those who deal drugs, throw them in prisons, and prosecute them. This is one way to address the consequence and close the door on addiction.

2-            There is another method. God Almighty called upon humanity through His prophets and messengers, to engage in spiritual and psychological fortification of individuals and generations.

If we raise future generations to fear God Almighty and avoid sinning and everything that is ugly, evil, and bad, this aptitude becomes second nature to them.

Hence, they become immune to intellectual and moral corruption. They become immune to falling into the temptation of using narcotics and immune to violence – violence that exists daily is the result of educational failure.

The American media does not show us everything; it talks about some of the main states in America. But look at the outcry there in the schools; boys – sometimes girls – kill their school mates and teachers and eventually commit suicide, why?

Hence, there must be immunization. What leads to immunization? Education. For example, in the past three or four years, people were all concerned about health. So, people with weak immune systems would crash and burn over any germ or microbe. As for those who have immunity, no matter how close they are to germs, they remain steadfast, strong, sound, and healthy.

The same thing applies to the spiritual and psychological issue. Let us build immunity. Immunity is not done by learning but by education.

There are people who have knowledge, but they do not have immunity. In other words, they do not have piety and perhaps have no moral values. They may have knowledge, but you see them using their knowledge to exploit people and profit from them during the worst circumstances. We have many examples in the country and elsewhere. The responsibility of educating is very great, and we have to build immunity. That is why we emphasize education. What does this require?

This requires that the job of the teacher, the principal, the superintendent, and the educational institution not only remain a profession. There is no problem in it being an honorable and a paid profession. This is very natural, but it must also establish with it a missionary and human spirit. What is the difference?

Considering that there are brothers from Qom who are overseeing us, let us give an example from Hawzas. There are two types of teachers. One type of teachers, for example, are sheikhs explaining lessons without paying attention to whether the students benefited and learned or not. They do not care about the students’ moral and spiritual wellbeing as well as their faith.

The other type of teachers are those who teach and care that their students acquire knowledge. He is a  teacher and an educator at the same time. These students become like their own children and loved ones. This is the missionary dimension.

A missionary teacher really cares that these students learn, benefit, advance, achieve, and succeed, and if they excel, it is even better.

In other words, this is part of his concern, responsibility, and obsession. We were all students at one point. We all know that the teacher usually becomes a role model for students. I remember when we were in elementary school, most of our teachers were men. Today, most of them are women. We used to like to wear what they wore, style our hair the way they did, and speak the way they did. This is how we were in school.

I believe that people are people. Children nowadays are the same as us back then. Teachers – men and women – are seriously role models. They must pay attention their behavior, performance, speech, and interaction with the students because they are educators. Thus, they imprint their personality on these students, especially those in the elementary and intermediate levels.

However, we ask for more than that [from our teachers]. We ask for the missionary responsibility. For their part, Al-Mahdi schools aim to educate generations that are believers and fighters as stated in the sweet nashid and beautiful poetry that we heard. [Sheikh Mahmoud is a great poet, in any case.]

We do not hide it; we educate generations that are believers, fighters, resistant, and prepared. These generations aspire for justice, peace, and love and reject injustice, tyranny, and tyrants. This requires effort, and this is the top responsibility of the institution.

The education sector:

I would like to say a few words related to the education sector. In general, the education sector in Lebanon, in view of the relationship with the Islamic Foundation for Learning and Education, is facing great challenges like the rest of the other sectors, including the health sector, which is facing serious and grave dangers, as a result of the circumstances that have developed in recent years.

The living conditions, of course, affected all parties of the [educational] process. It affected the parents. Today, many parents who used to enroll their children in private schools can no longer do so. This caused many to transfer their children in recent years to public schools. The number will only increase with the status quo.

Secondly, it affected the teachers in terms of their salaries, whether in public schools or private schools. They are right; based on the current situation, the deterioration of the national currency and the rise in the price of the dollar, and the high prices in the country, their salaries are worthless. This was a big stressor.

Another party of the [educational] process are the educational institutions that were caught in the middle. In private schools, if the tuition is raised, there will be a problem with the people. If the tuition is not raised, how will the teachers’ salaries be raised and how will this institution continue [to function]? So, when we come to public schools, the situation is more difficult.

Therefore, today, the risks are not only, as I mentioned, on the scholastic and educational levels of the education sector, but rather there are risks to the existence of the sector itself.

There are questions about whether some universities and schools be able to continue or will they be forced to close. How long has it been since the closure of public schools? They opened again. I will return to this topic later.

In any case, there is an existential threat today to this sector, which requires national mobilization. It is not only the responsibility of the government, and we must not only place all the weight on the state and the Parliament, for example. There are various responsibilities.

I have a recommendation for private schools. I fully appreciate and understand that you want to increase tuition, improve teachers’ salaries, and want to balance.

There is, however, a problem in the country, and, unfortunately, we all have to acknowledge it. This problem is widespread. It’s obvious and ugly manifestation is greed. Some merchants in the country are not content with modest profits. Despite the difficult situation as well as the pain and woes, they want to make high profits.

There is grotesque greed, implausible greed. Which leaves you wondering if such a person is a human being? Does he have human feelings or not?

I am forced to speak harshly because this is the reality. We know the prices. In recent years, it has become part of our interest to compare the prices of the foodstuffs and many commodities – the few that are produced at home or the imported ones – in Lebanon with those abroad.

What is their price abroad? How much do they cost in Lebanon? What is its price when it is sold in the market? How are the prices manipulated? How are prices raised?

There is something immoral and inhumane, and there is something vicious. What should you bet on? You have to bet on reminding these people of their moral responsibility towards their families and people. You have to remind the state that it has a responsibility, but it bears little responsibility.

When it comes to private schools, I recommend that despite all the difficult circumstances, can we not make profits? Can we organize our affairs in a way that both parties leave without losing? Let it be a social, humanitarian, and national contribution and aid for the coming few years. Let it be a rescue operation and a moral effort.

No one is asking private schools to lose, but we can, for example, not profit. If we want to profit, let it be something reasonable and modest because this is one of the problems in the country.

Despite all the suffering and difficulties, there are private schools that are still insisting on abundant profits, and I have numbers on this subject and I am not being unfair to anyone at all. This is an invitation to private schools.

As for public schools, you know what we’ve seen for the past 30 years. We stand with the public school. We have private schools, but we stand with the public school. We are with strengthening public schools, taking care of them, and giving them priority. Same goes to public universities. This is because public schools cannot accommodate all many students – it was not able to do so before, and in light of the crisis, it’s become more difficult.

I do not want to talk about theories in this file, but I want to comment on the latest developments. The teachers in public schools and universities are right. No one can argue about the righteousness of their demands, and even if they ask for more, they also have the right. There is no discussion on this.

They launched a strike as a means of putting pressure on the state. Hence, the schools were disrupted and were suspended for a long time. The academic year is practically going to end. This means that there are generations that may miss the academic year. Here, I am talking about elementary, intermediate, secondary, and university students. We do not know what will happen next year.

The decisions the caretaker government made [regarding the education] did not please the teachers and do not fulfill their aspirations. The majority of teachers accepted and returned to teaching.

Today, I want to talk to the rest of the teachers, and I hope they accept. This is your right, and your demands are correct. There is no doubt about that.

I want to ask all the teachers something and wish they have compassion for the generations. Something is required of them, and there is something that is required of the government. The government must implement the promises it made, and we must all demand that it implements them and not to fall behind and not to give anyone an excuse to go back to striking.

To the teachers, I tell them: It is true that what the government provided is not enough, but we hope that you will balance between a group of things – between your rightful demands and generations that will lose an entire academic year and between the capabilities of the government, which are actually very modest capabilities.

I am not defending the government or the state. But we all know today what the financial situation is, and we know that even if there is a possibility to increase salaries, they will increase taxes. In other words, if we increase the salaries, things will be more expensive.

Nevertheless, I invite you in these next few months and the rest of the academic year – consider it a humanitarian contribution, a moral contribution, and a jihadist and faith contribution – to continue the school year and not strike again. This is directed to all those who understand the human and ethical language, those who care about the religious matter – who care about rewards from God Almighty and the Day of Resurrection. You will find this good deed on the Day of Resurrection.

I will say a couple of words about the occasion and conclude with a general point. Everything we talked about related to schools applies to the universities as well. Let us return to the occasion and mention one of the most important messages.

We believe that the 15th of Sha’ban is the day Imam Al-Mahdi [PBUH] was born. He is the Promised Imam. The Shiites and Sunnis cite the Messenger of God as saying that at the end of time, a man from his descendants, from his pure daughter Lady Al-Zahraa, will come and fill the earth with equality and justice after being filled with injustice and unfairness.

The most important message is hope, the culture of hope, the spirit of hope, hope for the future, hope for the promised tomorrow, and hope for the time to come. This means a culture of no closed doors, no walls, no complete darkness, and no injustice, therefore no chance for justice and freedom.

This is also means that the future of this land is not always wars and violence. A day will come when peace will prevail. Of course, in religion, hope is part of the religious and faith education. It is part of the religious culture because whoever believes in God Almighty and that He is ever-present and watching, All-Knowing, Hearing, Seeing, Rich, Generous, and Powerful, and that the realm of the heavens and the earth are in His hand. This person cannot despair and must always have hope, why?

If one despairs of people and natural causes and all the doors are shut in his face, there is an open door day and night, which is the door of God Almighty. He can talk to God whenever he wants and converse with Him and ask Him and call upon Him. God Almighty is Hearing, Seeing, All-Knowing, and All-Aware.

He is not only Hearing and Seeing. For there are those hear, see, and know but are not able to do anything. He is also Powerful, Rich, and Generous.

Whoever believes in God in this way cannot despair because he always has a door for hope, which is God Almighty. This is what we must do in our lives and in the lives of all the generations that preceded us, in our personal, private, and public lives, and even in our battles, and struggle.

In addition, God Almighty gave and specified direct reasons to be hopeful. This also exists in all religions – the hope in the coming future.

Let us take the Jews, for example. They believe that a Messiah will come at the end of time to establish the kingdom of heaven on earth, regardless of their literature. Of course, they do not believe that this Messiah is the Lord Jesus Christ, son of Mary. Rather, they are waiting for another Messiah.

Most of the Christians believe in the return of Christ to this world at the end of time also to establish the kingdom of heaven. Muslims unanimously believe in two things.

The first is that a grandson of the Messenger of God from Fatima will appear at the end of time, and his name will be the Mahdi. He will fill the earth with fairness and justice. Some Muslims as us say he was born on the 15th of Sha’ban. Others say that he will be born before the promised day, the great reappearance, and the fulfillment of the promise. He will be 30 or 40 years old.

The other thing is that we believe in the return of Christ [PBUH] to this world, and we who believe that he is still alive. This means that God Almighty has prepared two great saviors and reformers for humanity. It is clear that humanity is difficult to the extent that it needs these two great people. However, this gives hope.

The time is not specified. It can happen at any time. This is also a source of hope because when we say that this will happen after a hundred or a thousand years, this weakens hope and even opens the door for despair.

However, when we do not know – this is the wisdom behind concealing the time – the time of the appearance of Al-Mahdi and the return of Christ, peace be upon them both, this makes hope present day and night. This is what we feel and go through as well. What we need most, brothers and sisters, in this current stage is the spirit of hope.

I will talk about the general point now. If you remember in 1982, the “Israeli’ occupation forces invaded Lebanon, the multinational forces came, and part of the Lebanese interior made an alliance with the occupation. Basically, this small country was occupied by more than 130,000 “Israelis” and foreign officers and soldiers. It was also experiencing an acute internal problem and part of the Lebanese interior was cooperative [with the occupation].

One of the things they worked on in the media, in politics, and in society was the spirit of despair – that there was no possibility to liberate the land; Lebanon entered the “Israeli” era, and there was no hope for Lebanon and the Lebanese to get out of the “Israeli” era. What does despair cause?

Despair is not only hiding one’s sadness and pain and locking oneself at home. No, despair has political, security, and social consequences. Its most dangerous outcome are surrender, accepting the occupation, accepting the reality imposed by the occupation, accepting the conditions set by the occupation, and accepting the present and the future that the occupation shapes for you that has nothing to do with your homeland and your national interests, your dignity, freedom, sovereignty, and honor.

They wanted people to despair. However, the resistance in Lebanon, with all its manifestations, factions, platforms, and calls started from a position of hope. The resistance said that we can defeat this enemy, wipe out the “Israeli” era, and defeat this invincible army, humiliate it, and force it to unconditionally withdraw.

It was this hope that established the resistance. The result of hope is resistance. The result of despair is surrender. The resistance created quick victories, from 1982 to 1985. The first great victory was the occupation’s exit from Beirut, from the suburbs [of Beirut], from Mount Lebanon, Sidon, Tyre, Nabatieh, West Beqaa, Rachaya.

Of course, the Lebanese did not have a proper celebration for that great victory due to the internal fighting. The “Israelis” turned the wedding into a funeral. This is what the enemy tried to do in 2000, but thanks to the resistance’s morality and discipline, it thwarted it.

In 2000, the resistance continued due to this hope. In 2006, the resistance was able to withstand due to this hope. When September 11 happened and we were told that the region had entered the American era and that America invaded Afghanistan and Iraq and threatened the rest of the countries in the region, the same platforms, media outlets, and parties told us and others to despair.

They said that there was no possibility to confront America; there was no possibility to expel the occupation from Afghanistan; there was no possibility to expel the American occupation from Iraq; there was no possibility to confront the American project; America is coming with all its army, equipment, money, weapons, as well as its conventional war and soft war; it will fight whoever stands in its way and wipe it from existence.

A few years passed, and it became clear that it was defeated. It was defeated in Iraq; it was defeated in Afghanistan; its project in the region was defeated, and the new Middle East project failed.

How did the people in the whole region stand up again? With hope. They did not give in to despair; they did not accept despair. Of course, there are multiple factors, including moral, cultural, intellectual, faith-based, and humanitarian ones.

There was something related to the nature of us being the people of the region, the people of the land, our history, our customs, our traditions, and hope!

Also, in the past, in order to strengthen our spirit of despair and convince you that you are weak, feeble, and helpless, one of the most important means was killing and massacres, demolishing homes, and general displacement. Wasn’t this happening in Lebanon at different stages, including 1978 and 1982?

Here, I will evoke an occasion – also as a lesson – the 1985 Bir al-Abed massacre. We all remember that incident. The new generations should read and know about it because teaches a very great lesson.

Of course, the target of the bombing, the car bomb that was detonated on the Bir al-Abd road, was His Eminence Ayatollah Sayyed Muhammad Hussein Fadlallah. Why was he targeted? I will return to this later.

The Americans made a decision along with some in the region and Lebanon. I will not mention a lot of names because we do not want during this period to stir problems. Let us see how we will overcome this stage.

Those people in Lebanon and the region are known. These are the people who tell you we are sovereign, free, and patriotic. These people have blood in their hands. They were involved, and this incident happened during their time.

It is a well-known story – His Eminence used to lead the men in prayer, and he would come back and lead the sisters in prayer. After that they would be given time for Q&As. So, one of the sisters took a bit of time in discussions. In the meantime, a part of the procession moved on, and the explosion occurred.

More than 75 people were martyred, and more than 270 were wounded, many of whom had serious injuries. Most of the martyrs were women and children, some of the martyrs were fetuses in the wombs of women. When was this?

On International Women's Day. This is America that calls for International Women's Day and that criticizes governments and countries in the world on how they deal with women. Isn’t this correct?

America sent a car bomb to the southern suburbs of Beirut, the capital of Lebanon. They knew that His Eminence would be leaving the mosque and heading home using this road at that time. They also knew that most of the people on that road were women since the Friday prayers for women would have just ended. The Americans did not care about women, men, children. That was a terrible massacre.

Of course, the aim of the operation was to spread terror and despair in our hearts. First, by targeting His Eminence for what he represented [and continues to represent] in the face of arrogance as well as the American and Zionist projects. He also mobilized the youth to join the resistance and fight this enemy.

The position of His Eminence is known to all, especially at that stage. His presence was prominent and influential since the rest of the [players] were still invisible and hidden and did not take their place in the arena yet.

His Eminence used to fill a very large space, and his assassination was meant to be a very severe blow. On the one hand, he represented hope for everyone.

On the other hand, the massacre was for them to tell us that the price of our resistance in the south – because we are talking about 1985 – and the price of our victory in 1985 was that we pay with the blood of our women, children, and men. This meant that you are incapable of defending and protecting your honor and your women, we will turn your women into body parts and will rip open the wombs of your women and kill the fetuses in them. This was the message of the 1985 massacre sent by the US and the regional countries and local forces that were part to this.

However, we overcame this with hope. The pain, sadness, and bereavement turned into anger, determination, and resolve because we don't give up and collapse in this way.

During all the difficult circumstances that he lived through as well as what he witnessed in Karbala, Kufa, and the Levant and the captivity of his sister, daughters, aunts, loved ones, and relatives [the daughters of the Messenger of God were insulted and threatened], Imam Zayn al-Abidin made his said his famous speech which we adopted as a slogan.

For everyone who threatens us with death, with car bombs, with military wars, with starvation, with sieges, with being killed in any way, this does not shake us psychologically.

Our imam, in the most difficult circumstances, said: “Do you threaten me with murder? Don’t you know that getting killed has become a habit for us [the Imams], and that our honor is in martyrdom?!”

We do not give in when threatened with killing. Even if you kill our men, women, and children, our will can never be shaken and our resolve softened. We will not or weaken because we depend on God and trust in Him and in our people and their capabilities and the great goodness that exists in them. we also trust in our generations and our youth.

In the face of the emerging crisis over the past three years, including the economic crisis and now the political crisis, I say to the Lebanese: The main message is we should not despair. They want us to despair. Of course, as a result of despair, they want us to surrender.

However, there are people who insist that there is no blockade. A few days ago, I heard an interlocutor asking: Is America the cause of corruption in Lebanon? Of course, the cause of corruption in Lebanon are the Lebanese, but America is a partner in the corruption in Lebanon. No one must hide this issue.

America is a partner in the corruption in Lebanon. Part of the corruptors and corrupt policies are America’s people. It is at the request of America, with American management and protection. However, let us set this matter aside.

These people will continue to ignore the ban on aid and deposits. Several days ago, despite the rivalry between Saudi Arabia and Mr. Erdogan [now there are elections], Saudi Arabia deposited $5 billion into certain political accounts via the Turkish Central Bank. Is this true or not? Who is preventing? Is the US banning deposits?

If Saudi Arabia does not want to put deposits, I know other countries that are ready to put deposits, but the Americans are preventing them.

I am certain of that. Deposits are not allowed; aids are not allowed; loans are not allowed. They withdrew deposits from Lebanon. Investments are not allowed. What do you call all this? What is required? They want us to surrender.

As I always say, do not expect us to surrender and submit. Killings, assassinations, massacres, and the slaughter of our women and children did not force us to submit or surrender. Also, in this battle, do not expect submission or surrender from us. This is with regard to despair.

When it comes to hope, we say that we must all cooperate and open up to each other. There are solutions, we must search for them. There are ideas that we always talk about. We must look for solution.

Political discourses that says we cannot do anything except surrender to international and regional conditions must not be allowed in Lebanon.

I asked a question before, and I will ask it again: Did those who surrendered survive? Are those who surrendered still drowning? I will not mention names because when I mentioned names it caused a problem. You know everything.

Did those who surrendered and submitted to America's conditions and to the conditions of some regional countries survive? No. We will not give up, and we believe that there are solutions. Hope must remain, but it certainly requires a spirit of cooperation, integration, courage, and will. Cowards do not make resistance; cowards cannot liberate a land; and cowards cannot change reality.

Today, out of a spirit of hope, we are betting on these good generations that these schools, including Al-Mahdi schools, will be graduating, to bear responsibility.

Once again, all thanks, appreciation, and blessings to all the curators, teachers, and workers in this educational, faithful, and resistant institution on these great occasions. God bless you and thank you.

Peace, mercy, and blessings of God be upon you.