Vote for Jeita? Vote for Jeita for the next seven wonders of the world? Participate in the New Seven Wonders – and pay ‘only’ 7 cents to vote?
The Ministry of Tourism has sent text messages to our phones (unsolicited text messages, might I add). My University is promoting the “vote” also – by advertising for it on the website, and, today, by placing computers in a main pathway to encourage students to vote.
I understand the MoT promoting the vote. (I don’t agree, but can just shrug)
But for universities to promote it; that’s another aspect all together. What are we teaching our students?
I say, vote for Jeita, if:
(1) You have adequately studied the other 28 “finalists” so you can made an educated decision – based on the merits of the sites. And then, after that study, you find that, yes, Jeita (and the other 6 sites that you’re obliged to vote for – since you must vote for 7 sites) are worthy because of particular unique characteristics they have.
(2) You have adequately studied the organization itself – the organization hosting this “largest global vote.” Who are they? Why did UNESCO distance itself from them? Why is there a charge of 7 cents?
(3) And, then, it would be grand as well if you would think about the repercussions of such a vote on Lebanon. What would happen? Would tourism increase in Lebanon? Is that necessarily a good thing? Or, since night-life tourism is what is most promoted in Lebanon, would it make a damn difference?
But, to vote for Jeita just because we are Lebanese is … national chauvinism. Superficial nationalism.
So, will I vote for Jeita? Because I don’t have the time – or the inclination – to do steps 1 and 2 above, and because I don’t want tourism promoted in Lebanon, and because I definitely don’t abide by this “we are greater than you just because” nationalism that is being promoted, I won’t vote.