It was in 2016 while preparing to begin my second year at the Ghana Institute of Journalism when I received a call from the school that I have been shortlisted for a scholarship following my impressive performance in the first year.

Stunned. There I was caught between whether it was a scam, a dream or it was actually real. To clear my doubts, I quickly made inquiries about the scholarship scheme to know if such a thing truly existed. Well, it did. I was overjoyed and took to prayer with the hope of passing an interview which was a prerequisite for final confirmation of scholarship.

Essentially, the scholarship was going to cater to my tuition for the rest of my stay on campus. I wasn't the only one. About four other colleagues had also been shortlisted and we all eagerly awaited the interview.

This for me, was a blessing I didn't see coming. I counted it as a timely favour from God at the time. A much needed financial cushion was coming in to support my Aunt, Mrs Gloria Aidoo, who had invested so much into my upkeep and education since she took me in as a kid.

The day finally came for the interview, and sitting across me was the affable Lebanese Ambassador to Ghana at the time, H.E. Ali .H. Halabi.

The scholarship scheme was instituted by the Lebanese Community in Ghana 2014 to support exceptional students studying journalism at the Institute. For them, it is a selfless effort to help budding journalists, regardless of their background, receive uninterrupted education and pursue their careers.

My colleagues and I were the third batch of students to benefit from the scheme. Redeemer Buatsi, Tracy Ibrahim, Juliana Odamea,  Emmanuel K. Nartey, and I, Razak Musbau.

Razak Musbau

About a week after the interview, a call came in again that we had all been selected to benefit from the scholarship. That was the beginning of an excellent relationship with the Lebanese Community in Ghana.

For a young boy from the unknown village of Dodi Mempeasem in the Oti Region, this wasn't part of my dreams. Probably, because it was too big to dream about.

The community and especially, the Ambassador, stayed in constant touch with us, making us feel like his children. Truly, the scholarship gave me an impetus to study even harder. My first degree was finally done in 2019, graduating with a first-class honours as well as all my colleagues.

Even before that, the Lebanese Community again reached out to us and confirmed that the scholarship has been extended to cover the master's course in the school. Unbelievable right?

That was how I was privileged to do my Master in Development Communication right after my first degree. H.E.Maher Kheir, who had now become the Ambassador continued with the policy and even enhanced it.

A few years later, I am currently a broadcast journalist with Ghana's biggest media house, Multimedia. I produce and present sports content on Joy News, Joy FM, and Joy Prime daily. And there's no doubt that the support of the Lebanese Community has played a big part in that journey.

This year, 2024, marks exactly 10 years since this life changing scheme was introduced with Millions of cedis invested into the life of many young Ghanaians.  

Interestingly the scholarship is not limited to students of GIJ. It extends to exceptional students in law at the University of Ghana, and KNUST, Language and Arts students at UG, and the children of fallen peacekeeping officers in Ghana.

All these beneficiaries and their families remain forever grateful to the Lebanese Community in Ghana for this kind gesture.

As we mark the 10-year anniversary of this remarkable policy, my heartfelt gratitude goes to the community, with special appreciation to Mr. Naaman Ashkar for his unwavering dedication.

Long live the Lebanese community in Ghana!

May your ongoing efforts to transform lives through education continue to prosper!”

DISCLAIMER: The Views, Comments, Opinions, Contributions and Statements made by Readers and Contributors on this platform do not necessarily represent the views or policy of Multimedia Group Limited.

DISCLAIMER: The Views, Comments, Opinions, Contributions and Statements made by Readers and Contributors on this platform do not necessarily represent the views or policy of Multimedia Group Limited.

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