Meet the WLCU Sydney Youth President
By Cedric Barakat
I’m Cedric and I’m honoured to be the President of the Youth Committee for the WLCU Sydney.
I’m currently in my final year at Uni, studying Law and Civil Engineering at UNSW. Along with tutoring, I work as a paralegal while I finish my degrees. I was born in Lebanon, and moved here when I was only one year old. I speak fluent Arabic (or Lebanese rather), and have visited Lebanon more times than I can count.
You might think Cedric is a very un-Lebanese name, but in fact I was named after my late Gido (“grandfather”), Sayed, and it remains part of my name today: Cedric Sayed Barakat. As the eldest son of the eldest son, I couldn’t let tradition die away.
What Lebanon means to me
It is not often that I get the chance to speak about Lebanon to so many people who are eager to listen. Usually, it is to a group of friends who have given up trying to stop me, and begrudgingly listen as I pour out my appreciation for this beautiful country some of us lucky few are able to call home.
Lebanon to me has a certain kind of resonance within. Being born there and having moved to Sydney when I was only one year old, I have always looked at Lebanon as an alternate reality of what my life could have been.
The picturesque valleys of Ehden, North Lebanon.
Visiting almost every year for as long as I can remember, I never felt that I was a tourist. I never looked down upon the roaring valleys of my beloved Ehden, looked up at the mountains from my native Zgharta, and saw myself looking at anything else except home. And ultimately that is what Lebanon is to me: home.
Home is such an inadequate word, for not only is it the place I come from, but it is my haven. It is the place where I recede into the recesses of my mind to find comfort in trying times. Living in a country now whose soil I bury my roots into, whose people I draw my culture from; my mind cannot help but turn to the Cedar tree that is planted in my front lawn.
The Cedars Of Lebanon
I am from the Biblical land of the Cedars, the country that bore the brunt of hundreds of years of oppression, witnessed an expansive Empire, weathered the brutal storm brought upon us from without and proliferated from those within; and yet I remain tall and proud.
Lebanon is my spiritual cornucopia; the golden horn from which I reach in and feed my soul. It is my home, my haven, and my pride. For this reason, I am proud to be involved in the WLCU Sydney and honoured to be the President of the Youth Committee as we try to help my beloved homeland during her time of great need and much suffering.