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French Version

Lebanon's new generation languishes in e-hibernation

Maybe our leaders want them to stay ignorant

I have been teaching marketing courses at the American University of Beirut for a few years now. Hundreds of Lebanese students have attended these courses already. One of the courses is "E-Marketing," which explores the use of information technology to create, communicate, and deliver value to customers through customer relationship management, knowledge management and supply chain management.

E-business is the continuous optimization of a firm's business activities through digital technology. E-commerce is the subset of e-business focused on transactions.

The 21st century is based on globalization and technology. It is sad to sense the ignorance implanted in our beloved Lebanese children in the fields of e-marketing, e-business and e-commerce.

Our new generation is already years behind other generations in the Middle East in many fields, mainly technology. Not even 10 percent of our students use the Internet to reserve a hotel room or buy an airline ticket. They simply do not know how, panic because of unfounded mistrust, or have no credit card.

Maybe our leaders want them to stay ignorant. Maybe they want them to stay in an e-hibernation stage and worry about trivial matters such as how many hours the electricity will come today, traffic jams or political disputes.

The new generation's brain is focused on which country to emigrate to and how to get a visa. Our new generation are our future and we should keep them, invest in them, retain them and educate them to become efficient, global and technologically advanced.

Major companies are shifting to e-business. In a few years no one will buy an airline ticket from a travel agent but directly from the airline Web site.

The Lebanese media should realize the damage we are doing to our boys and girls. Newspapers, journals and television stations should invest in their children. We all need to get our children out of this hibernation, and very soon.

Marwan Stambuli is an AUB professor. See www.stambuli.com.

Beirut,11 21 2006
Marwan Stambuli
The Daily Star
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