Great President

On August 8, 1987 a great Lebanese President died away. He was 87.

Camille Nemr Chamoun was elected President of Lebanon from 1952 to 1958, and one of the country’s main Christian leaders during most of the Lebanese Civil War. Lawyer by profession, Chamoun was first elected to the Lebanese parliament in 1934. One of the fathers of Lebanon Independence, he was arrested on November 11, 1943 and was imprisoned by the French authorities in Rashaïa castle, where he was held for eleven days, along with Bishara el-Khoury and Riad el-Solh, who were to become the first President and Prime Minister, respectively, of the new republic. Massive public protests led to their release on 22 November which is now commemorated as Independence Day. He served as ambassador to the UK and the UN in the late 40’s. Chamoun served as president of Lebanon in 1952–58.

When President Bishara el-Khoury was forced to resign amid corruption allegations in 1952, Chamoun was elected to replace him. Near the end of his term, Pan-Arabists and other groups backed by Gamal Abdle Nasser of Egypt, with considerable support in Lebanon’s Muslim Sunni community, attempted to overthrow Chamoun’s government in June 1958 when Chamoun tried to seek another term as president. At the time Chamoun appealed to the United States for help under the new Eisenhower Doctrine, and the American marines landed in Beirut. The revolt was squashed, but to appease Muslim anger, Gen. Fouad Chehab whom, though Christian, enjoyed considerable popularity in the Muslim community, was elected to succeed Chamoun.

On his retirement from the presidency, Chamoun founded the National Liberal Party (al-Wataniyoun al-Ahrar) NLP. As the leader of this party, Chamoun was elected to the National Assembly again in 1960, much to the consternation of President Chehab.

In the 1970s and 1980s, Chamoun served in a variety of portfolios in the Cabinet. This was during the Lebanese Civil War (1975–1990), in which Chamoun and the NLP participated through the party’s militia, the “Tigers” (in Arabic, nimr means tiger). He servived several assassination attempts.

In the early stages of the war, he helped found the Lebanese Front, a coalition of mostly Christian politicians and parties, Chamoun was chairman of the Front in 1976–1978. In 1980, all christian military factions were joined in one group which was called the Lebanese Forces.

Chamoun was one of the rare man of state. He is a giant in politics comparing to the politicians we have today.

“We are not a nation that likes war. We just want everybody to be on his own side.” Camille Chamoun.

Camille Chamoun, people of your caliber are really missed today.

Bachir to Lebanese Forces fighters in Zahle

bachir-baraket-zahleIn Memory of Zahle battle, the following is the last communication between Bachir Gemayel and Lebanese Forces fighters inside the city before all supplies roads were cut off. The night of April 10-11, 1980.

“Comrades, You have one hour to take a historic decision. Either you stay in Zahle or you leave it. The roads to Zahle will only be open for few more hours. If you leave Zahle, no doubt you will save your lives. But the fall of the city will be imminent. This how the epic resistance will end. If you stay, you will find yourselves without ammunition, medicine, bread and perhaps without water. Your mission will be to organize the internal resistance, the defense of the identity of the Bekaa valley and the Christian identity. You will give meaning to our past 6 years of war.

I hereby authorize you all the power to decide what you think is appropriate. I do not want to philosophize from afar. My place is next to you. This is where I want to be. Getting killed by a random shell in Beirut and dying carrying my weapon in Zahle, I would rather die in battle.
If you decide to stay with, then know one thing: “heroes die and do not give up”.” Bachir Gemayel words to the Lebanese Forces fighters during Zahle Battle(April 1981 to June 1981).

Rise Above Lebanon

You have to rise above Lebanon to see its beauty. I had mixed feelings when I watched this video. I loved every scene and region (couples were left out). It reminded me why I have this deep love for this country even though when there are times I feel like I hate it with passion and lost hope in it. On the other hand, I felt sad and angry. We have a beautiful country and instead of enjoying and make it better, the Lebanese are following corrupt leaders and are divided by their sectarian sects. I still doubt that one day we will have a decent country without corruption, religious division, hate, and Zbeleh – garbage (be it real garbage or political garbage). Enjoy this short touristic ad about my beloved country and maybe one day the children of my children enjoy it from the street level and not from above.

Save Adloun Port

In other countries, they preserve their history. In Lebanon, they destroy it.
In other countries, they preserve their history. In Lebanon, they destroy it.

What attend Adloun Beach (one of the most important is the lively and historic harbors of the town) in the south, through the construction of 100 thousand square meters seaport? A destruction of an old Phoenician harbor that dates back to thousands of years, in addition to the destruction of fish stocks and marine life.

The governmental project will affect the location of the prehistoric caves, the location of an ancient Phoenician port and The location of ancient Phoenician ruins and ornaments.

Please help NGOs and civil society organizations nationwide who are working hard to protect Adloun’s cost by signing this petition.

“Noun” to support the Christians of Mousl – Iraq?

Mousl in Iraq has been emptied of its Christians. They fled amid threats to convert or die. Mosul is considered the second largest city in Iraq. It housed around 60,000 Christians. Today no Christian is left in Mosul.

Muslim extremist group ISIS ordered all Christians to convert to Islam or get killed.  They left.

The end of Christianity in Iraq is very near. Two million Christians called Iraq home before operation desert storm. Many have left during the wave of attacks against them in Baghdad and other regions years ago and the rest have been forced to flee today.

Who is to blame? We can blame many factions. The West for creating the fiasco in Iraq and the region. The Arab regimes who supported Muslim extremists for many reasons. The Christians themselves. Yeah the Christians of Iraq. They should have reacted long before. They should have seen this coming. After all what happened in the pas years, they should have predicted that the time will come and they will be attacked and forced to leave. They saw what happened in Iraq after the fall of Saddam. They saw what happened during the waves of attack with car bombs and executions after. With the rise of ISIS in the region, they should have seen it coming. What did the Christians of Iraq do since the 1990’s? They relied on the Iraqi government for security. This would be normal if the country runs normally. They could have learned the lessons from the Christians of Lebanon. Lebanese Christians saw the danger coming. They experienced it in 1958. What did they do? Instead of staying idle, they started by training and arming themselves. This could have been an option to Iraqi Christians. Out of 2 million Iraqi Christians, they could have mobilized a hundred thousand to defend them.

Where we ended up today? Iraq empty of its Christians, France offering them asylum (maybe this was the plan from the beginning).  This was the plan for Lebanon, but Lebanese Christians defied it, paid the price by blood, lost a bit of their political power but they are still alive and doing relatively well in Lebanon.  In Syria, the Christians are clinging to a dictator hoping he will save them from the outcome of Iraqi Christians. In Lebanon, the Christians leaders are drowning in their ego and alliances and if they don’t pull their shit together, they will face the same outcome.

Charles Malek, in his article “A lot is required from Maronite Christians”, he wrote: “If free Christianity fell in Lebanon, and Lebanon is its last stronghold in the Orient, it will end not only in the Middle East, but also in Asia and Africa.  This responsibility is serious and dangerous!  The Maronites are the first responsible of this free Christianity in front of her divine providence. Are they aware of this responsibility?  Do they realize the danger? Do they understand the significance of what they have been entrusted with? Are they ready to carry it in front this holy providence and history? Are they able to carry this burden?”

Where are the Maronites of Lebanon? Can they carry the burden? They did for a while. They stood up and defended until the day they got divided and fought each other.  Since that day decadence took over. Since the 1990’s they are in a free fall. They can’t change because their leaders don’t want them to change. Their leaders own existence is based on this division. Yet the supporters, with all what is going on in Lebanon and the region, can’t realize that this division is the end of free Christianity as Charles Malek put it.

What can the Christians of Lebanon do? Sadly, all they can manage is an online campaign to post a “Noun” (N in Arabic) on a Facebook status, a tweet about it or wear a t-shirt with “Noun” on it.

What a tragedy …  What a loss …. what and end ….

Ancient Phoenician Relics Unearthed in Lebanon

Alan Boyle wrote the following article to NBCNEWS

Archaeologists have found a treasure trove of ancient artifacts at a dig in the southern Lebanese city of Sidon, including a 4-foot-high (115-centimeter-high) statue of a Phoenician priest dating back more than 2,500 years.

“Nothing comparable has been found in Lebanon since the early 1960s,” Lebanon’s Daily Star quoted the excavation’s leader, Claude Doumit Serhal, as saying. The priest portrayed in the statue is wearing a pleated kilt, and in his left fist he holds an object that experts suggest could be a scroll or a handkerchief.

To read the article, follow this link.