I will not talk about him or how and where I met him. He doesn’t need my introduction. Bachir Gemayel doesn’t need any introduction. I’ll leave you with this song …
Lebanese MP Elie Marouni blames Lebanese women for getting raped. When asked about the Lebanese penal code law that stipulates that a rapist can marry his victim whereby absolving him of his crime. His reply was as follows: “There are certain circumstances where we need to ask ourselves if women have a role in pushing men to rape them,” Marouni said. Hey idiot, there are no circumstances. Rape is rape and its a crime. Marouni is a chauvinist pig. Rape is never the victim fault. Rape is the fault of those who committed this ugly crime and specially the fault of people like MP Marouni.
Women do not ask to be raped. Neither by the way they dress, the way they behave or their line of work. It is sickening to hear an MP blaming a victim of a crime for the crime that someone else committed against them.
Here we have, an MP that represents the Kataeb party, covering rape. What will be the position of the party? Do they agree with his position? If Marouni is not asked to resign and kicked out of the Kataeb party, then it is clear that the party, its leader Sami Gemayel and all Kataeb members are defending rapists.
My question to all members of the Kataeb party, from Sami to the newest recruit, when will you kick this chauvinist pig from the party and force him to resign as an MP?
It was summer 1975. Few month after the famous Ein el-emmeneh bus and the start of Lebanon civil war. I was at my uncle’s house in Ghannoum street and heading up to our house. At that time the first bunker was right behind our building. We had to jump from the balcony to get in and out of our apartment. I was walking between the buildings and through couple of oranges fields (yes they were oranges fields at the time), and one of the battles had started. When I got to the “Mrayeh” (mirror), where today stands the famous virgin Mary statue, I saw a young men in his swim suit, a towel on his shoulder, hands wrapped with couple of bandages, firing a B10 rocket from his shoulder. Ein el remmeneh, the Stalingrad of Lebanon, knew him very well. Her fronts, Maamal El riha, red shoe, Saydet Lourde, Mazda, Gallery Zaatar, Nehmeh Station, Rond point al-Barid, El Hajar building, …. Mahmasit Sanine …. if they can speak, they can tell story about his heroism. He became the leader of the area. He organized the fronts. His main concern was the security of the population and his fighters. He was beloved by all and hated by his enemies. An icon of Lebanon Stalingrad that faced all kind of attacks. I still remember making the holes in walls from a building to another with m cousin. Both mastered the B10. They used to put it through several holes in order to hit their targets. Every time I see a corned beef can, I think of the early hours of the morning back in Ein el Remmeneh. I was entering the bakery and he was passing by. He said take these corned beef cans do with them some Lahm Baajin. We had no meat due to the fighting and he wants to treat his men with some Lahm Baajin. They turned out great.
One day, the Syrians were bombarding the area with their preferred weapon, Grad multiple rocket launchers. This time it hit our streets hard. One of them landed on the top floors of our building and others landed on buildings down the street. When we finished checking damages in our building, we moved to the others. I saw several fighters with teary eyes. When a rocket hit one of the building, one of the balconies dropped and landed and Toni Harb and other fighters. It happened he was standing in front of their office. Toni passed away defending the area in which he grew and loved.
I knew him from my street. His parents had a convenient store. We were not friends, he was older than me. He impressed me growing up. When I used to wait for my school bus, he passes by me, returning from the front, under the dark early morning of Ein el Remmeneh. He was in almost every battle that was there prior to his death. Iqlim war, mountain war, aswak …. But mostly Ein el Remmeneh front. It was one block away from our street. We exchanged the good mornings and that was the only exchange between us. He was respected. He did his duty and went home. Never got into a fight or bragged about this battle or not. Between all the show off, he was a silent doer. Then came the division after Bachir’s death. It was the second intifada. Geagea vs Hobeika. I still remember when a military jeep pulled up in front of his apartment. He didn’t want to go but they insisted. It was a fight he is not interested in fighting. He wasn’t willing to fight his brothers. They insisted and almost forced him. Few hours later the bad news game. He was killed in a battle that wasn’t supposed to happen. He was killed in brother’s fight. A fight, he didn’t want to be part of. For those fighters who died in a senseless fight and for you Jean Khoury all the respect. You were sacrificed for nothing ….
According to MP Nadim Gemayel, this picture was taken before the parliamentary session started. He added what is more important is what he said during the session about garbage session ….
The country is without a president, the government is about to fall, the parliament renewed to itself another term, garbage crisis, water crisis, electric crisis, pollution crisis, traffic crisis …. And yet MP Nadim Gemayel has time to play a game. If his dad can speak, he would have said: …. …. … ….
His name is Sleiman Akiki, known as Shlomo. He was also given the name of “Hares al-Jird”. Shlomo is from the village of Kfardebian, where he was assassinated after the end of the war on Christmas eve 1991. Shlomo was killed by Syrian agents. I met him in Oyoun el-Siman, the ski resort area. At the time he was the head of the LF Ski unit. His story with the resistance started when he was 13. He fought on all fronts and was wounded several times. I’ll summarize Shlomo in one story. A major snow storm hit Lebanon in late eighties. Even though Oyoun el-Siman was prepared with machines to open the roads, at that time minister Walid Jummblat ordered all them to head to Daher el-Baydar to open the roads there because civilians were stuck on the roads. From our side, we were stuck in Oyoun el-Siman for few weeks. The roads were covered with over 3 meters of snow. One day, we hear a voice calling. We stepped outside and here he was, with his usual smile, standing in front of the white snowmobile Ratrak. Are you OK? You have enough food? What do you need? We are out of bread, he passed us couple of “Rabtit Khibiz” (bundle of bread). He refused to come in and rest, he has been driving and tackling the snow for hours. Shlomo reason:” I have to get to the Lebanese Army soldiers, those guys for sure are out of food. They are my priority.” He jumped in the Ratrak and headed to feed the Lebanese Army soldiers. Those soldiers will turn their guns on him after few years …. Shlomo was assassinated on Christmas eve, he was heading home to give his kids Christmas gifts. Several time he approached me on the ski slopes and asked to either join his unit or come train them skiing. One day the Syrians were shelling the ski slopes with their Russian Grad rockets. We kept skiing, we met him heading to inspect the front and he told us: “you are one crazy sons of B…..”.
A man like him should either live for a long time to tell his story or die on a front.
September is the month of the martyrs for the Lebanese Resistance. It is the month in which we remember those who fell defending the freedom and sovereignty of Lebanon. Many died too young and others in the wrong places. They died dreaming of a better Lebanon. A Lebanon that we are still searching for. Today, while surfing the net, I stumbled on a picture that made me remember a friend of mine. We were in the boy scouts together. I still remember the day we visited this place, the climbing, the swimming and the laughter. For some reason, I only remember him through this picture. I left the country and he stayed behind. Few years later, he joined the Lebanese Forces, hoping he can change things. I worried about him and other friends during the “Liberation war”. I asked about him and told me that he was an instructor in the LF officers training facility, teaching topography. When “Ilgha'” war started, I asked about others but didn’t ask about him. For me he is an officer teaching topography. Little did I know that he joined the “Sadem”, LF élite unit. One day the call came from overseas, Toni passed away. How? In Adma battle … Few years later, I met those who were with him in the battle as well as the head of the Sadem unit. They told me how he died. Toni was the silent type of guy, who died in silence on a battle front that should have not existed. Toni Nasr, I hope, from where you are today, remember the Yahchouch waterfall and probably the last day I saw you. Until we meet again.