Literature amongst older generation

     After meeting with my group members, and after several discussions on Whatsapp – we agreed on a common theme: language. The ways in which each of our projects diverge are based on our personal interests and interpretations of the acquired data. Theresa will be talking about the lack of intersection between school curriculum and the books read in people’s free time and school time, Marriane will be looking at the ways that transnational theory and Lebanon’s history of colonial and mandate powers have affected the different kinds of educational systems we have laid out for us, and I will specifically be talking about the ways canonicity and languages intersect and how differences arose between the older generation and the new generation. Although, our second blog posts will mostly be dedicated to looking at the ways we could start to analyze the data. 

   My own Data

As mentioned in my previous blog, I believe many aspects could be focused on. In order to demonstrate the canonocity awareness in Lebanon, I will go through some of the questions that were treated in my first blog.

Since most of my intervenes consist of people who graduated before year 2001, I’m going to focus on the older generation that graduated in the following years: 1957-1965-1968-1975-1981-2001-2004-2007-2015. To narrow down the process, it will be interesting to study how the canonicity awareness of those people during those years varied in private and public schools and within the generations.

Hypothesis 1: After questioning the intervenes whether they read books during high school in their free time or in their school time, and considering their cultural and intellectual background; the results found in the spreadsheet show that none out of 10 intervenes that were enrolled in public schools read books in their free time. While only two out of 8 people who went to a private school read in their free time. However, this following analyze is not enough to support my argument, therefore I will look at more people that graduated during the 90’s. I gathered all the 26 people that graduated before 1995 and the last 26 that graduated during the 21th (results shared in the third blog).


I created this Excel table in order to differentiate between the older and new generation in function of free/school time. Before 1995, 10 people out of 26 read during their free time, while 16 read during school time. In addition, after 1995, 14 people out of 26 read during their free time while 12 read during their school time. In both cases, the number is added by  4 people, which shows that the two generations equally read during their free time and school time. To be more specific, I will be looking in the third blog at the same differences but added by a private/public school label.

In addition, many people believe that the education offered in the Lebanese public schools is not as a good the private schools’ one (hypothesis 1). This realization allows me to argue that the Lebanese people seek the best education in town. However, after having interviewed people who went to a private school, I have come to realize that the public schools’ curricula and canonicity awareness are not as bad as everyone think. I would like to mention that French plays and novels read in high schools by the Lebanese people are repetitively read through out the years in both private and public schools. Although some public schools does not give enough importance to French and mostly English literature as private schools, some of them still require students to read very interesting and well-known novels. For example, Le Malade Immaginaire/The Imaginary Invalid is read in both schools. In addition, when it comes to French Literature, books by Moliere, Jean de La Fontaine, Gustave Flaubert and Pierre Corneille were read in public schools.

Main focus 

Another finding that will be interesting to focus on is books that are read in French language. Thus I will compare the older generation’s reading vs. the younger generation, and investigate if French, as a language, is still important as it were after the French colonization in Beirut until the 21th century. The younger generation, graduated between 2001 and above, read books such as Frankeistein, Anna Karenina, The count of Monte Cristo, Veronica decides to die, Les Miserables and L’avare. However, the older generation that graduated in between 1957 and 1981, read books that are mostly French. Out of twelve people who graduated during the 20th century, only two of them read English. I believe that this association within French/English books is very significant since the number of people that read French is higher than the ones in the younger generation part. In order to have equal results, I will look closer at a larger scale of the data, which will equalize the number of intervenes in the older and the new generation ; allowing the research to be more reliable and significant.

Therefore, I will broaden the research on my main focus in the third blog, and compare the books that were read among the older and new generation. Then, I will analyze the results I obtained by adding a Palladio graph, which allows me to complete my research and support my argument. I addition I will tend to look at the schools people went to during the older and the new generation. 

Reflection on digital project

         Writing Blog posts on WordPress is something I really enjoy. I wrote other posts on this WordPress account in an other English course. Some of the previous blog posts consist of maps showing different street signs in Beirut, Lebanon. However, in this post, I will introduce a different project assigned in another English course at AUB. This project is based on collecting a data base of books that were read by people from different ages and in different high schools. This digital project will reveal what and why particular books have specific values and were regarded as important texts that should be read.  It also shows how each the public and the private school follow a certain curricula.


       images  In this project, over 20 student contributed in gathering the necessary information such as book titles and authors, graduation year of the intervene, which school they went, etc..and then plugged them into a specific spreadsheet that all the students are accessed to. In this spreadsheet, each student adds what he or she has found during his interviews. In this project, students should actually collaborate since it’s a group project. My group is formed by three members,  including me. The three of us all created WordPress accounts. Marianne and I used to take another English course together and I think she has writing skills. Yet I don’t have enough background on my other team-mate Theresa, but I think she is a kind person and has writing skills. Their participation and knowledge is very essential in this group since this project focuses on literature and genre; however, I’m overwhelmed with comfortableness when it comes to group works because I enjoy working on my own and some group members depend on the other to complete the work. Hopefully, I won’t go through any disadvantage in this group! 


        The most surprising part about interviewing people is that some of them have read the same Novels that were read by different people that went to different high schools. I used to believe that private schools’ requirements differ completely from the private’s schools ones, especially French system schools. However, after collecting the date base, I came to realize that the French plays and Novels are read repetitively through out the years in both private and public schools. 

A reader lives a thousand lives before he dies..the man who never reads lives only one. -George R. Martin

           One of the most important aspects that features this project is the fact that we, as students will be able to differentiate between the books that were read in public schools and the books that were read in private schools. Furthermore, another interesting feature that I would like to focus on, is looking at the importance given to literature and reading in both high schools and whether the students in private schools were more educated. In addition, I will also tend to focus on the younger generation nowadays, and look at the books read by French system schools. It will also be interesting to investigate if French as a language is still important as it were after the French colonization in Beirut until the 21th century. In addition, it is significant to notice what were these people reading during their free time, and based on that I will evaluate their cultural background, and whether this person is more intellectual than the person who does not read in his/her free time, and if the school has an effect on that.