John Boustani, PhD in Political Sciences, mathematician and author of school manuals. Taught 2 years at USJ and became a coordinator in at least two dozens of schools in Lebanon.
John came up with an idea in 1976 while he was a teacher at Ashrafieh, Jounieh and Jal El Dib. “I saw youngsters (about 14-15 years old) get carried away with the war, and take their weapons in order to fight; since I had studied political science, I was conscious of what was happening”. He stated that the country was passing in a transitory phase, and that numerous kids risked ruining their future, for a cause that wasn’t convincing. Hence, he told himself that he could give them a possibility for a better academic life while giving them the ability to continue their studies, so they end up with a school degree once the situation came to an end.
He took the initiative to open in the establishment of the “college de L’Essor- Sin El Fil”, an afternoon school that gives those young fighters a chance to attend secondary. Therefore he contacted the owner of that institute and they decided on a mutual agreement to go forward with his project. After which, he used his connections and his friendships to bring together an excellent academic team of professors of all disciplines. All of them manifested a desire to rally the project. They accepted willingly to fix a very low tuition fee, compared to other schools or learning establishments during that period. The entire team took their duties very seriously, which led to the functioning of the school to pick up quite quickly.
This implied to repercussions such as having serious and motivated students. The classrooms rapidly became full and the students observed a discipline, far more commendable than any other school in the district. This reached a point where the students from the best schools in the valley envied the College de l’Essor’s students. This happened not only because the professors in the afternoon stayed overtime to help some students who faced difficulties, but also because of the friendly ambiance that was created between the peers and their teachers.
Consequently, the year after, Mr. Boustani decided to double the classes and the sections, hence opening new scientific classes. The school thus functioned in this spirit for 6 years till 1982, after what, John decided to leave the school in the hands of the proprietary; “I left, since I felt that the situation in the country seemed to regain its norm”. The students appreciated the fact that the teachers gave them importance (during that time) and they became successful. Some grew up to become doctors, others engineers, in big companies in Lebanon. Several of the students, continued to visit Mr. Boustani, until this present day. Unfortunately we lack more people like him in today’s society.