Kataeb party and rape

"There are certain circumstances where we need to ask ourselves if women have a role in pushing men to rape them" MP Marouni
“There are certain circumstances where we need to ask ourselves if women have a role in pushing men to rape them” MP Marouni

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?

The most corrupt groups in the region.

“In Lebanon, numbers are alarming as nine in ten people (92 per cent) say that they think corruption has increased. Government officials, tax officials and members of parliament are perceived to be the most corrupt groups in the region” according to the new Transparency International new survey.

“In some countries the situation is perceived to be particularly bad. In Yemen and Jordan three quarters or more of respondents (84 per cent and 75 per cent, respectively) say that they think corruption rose in the 12 months prior to the survey. This rises to over nine in ten people (92 per cent) in Lebanon, which was the highest of any place we surveyed in …. Citizens in Yemen and Lebanon think that the public sector in their country suffers from particularly widespread corruption. More than two-thirds of respondents (68 and 67 per cent, respectively) say “Most” or “All” individuals working in these institutions are corrupt, while a further quarter say that “Some” are corrupt (26 and 22 per cent, respectively). Only one in twenty (5 per cent each) thinks that the national public sector institutions are completely free from corruption …. People in Yemen and Lebanon are particularly critical of government efforts to address public sector graft. In Lebanon three-quarters (76 per cent) rate their administration’s efforts as either very or fairly bad, while in Yemen this proportion rises to nine in ten (91 per cent) …”

Rubbish job: dissatisfaction in Lebanon’s waste services Citizens in Lebanon are very critical of their government efforts at fighting corruption, with over three-quarters saying it is doing a bad job (76 per cent) in this area. Recently, many people have taken to the streets in Lebanon to protest over the government’s failure to dispose of waste in the country’s capital, Beirut, as part of the “You Stink” campaign, and public dissatisfaction is reportedly growing in the country over the extent of alleged corruption. iv Garbage collection services were stopped in some parts of the city in July 2015, after the country’s largest landfill site was closed. It took until February 2016 for the government to agree on a new site for the city’s refuse to go to – while, in the meantime, the growing piles of rubbish are causing a terrible stench and posing a significant public health risk to the city.  Campaigners blame potential corruption and political paralysis for the delay in solving the crisis. In Lebanon, refuse processing can be part of the bargain used by politicians when exchanging favours behind the scenes. The lack of transparency in such types of deals means that citizens can foot the bill for inefficient or expensive service delivery. The failure of the political system to deal swiftly with the garbage crisis has caused greater attention to be turned to such behind-the scenes-deals, as people became tired of the slow response from their elected representatives.

CAN PEOPLE MAKE A DIFFERENCE?

Citizens in Morocco, Algeria, Lebanon and Egypt are more divided on this issue. Only around a half of the citizens of these countries (from 50 to 53 per cent) agreed that ordinary people can make a difference in fighting corruption, while a sizable minority feel disempowered…  People in Lebanon are the most pessimistic; a third (32 per cent) of citizens there say that there is nothing people can do … The second most common reason why people don’t report more cases of corruption is that they feel that it won’t make a difference, as nothing will be done about it (19 per cent). In Yemen and Lebanon (26 and 30 per cent, respectively) this is particularly the case, which perhaps reflects the lack of government capacity in both these countries.

The widespread extent of corruption in Yemen, Lebanon and Sudan in particular is also considered another factor why more cases of corruption are not reported there. In these countries respondents are particularly likely to say that the reason why people don’t report is that corruption is normal and everyone does it (between 11 and 14 per cent), or that the officials to whom they would report corruption are often also involved in it (between 14 and 15 per cent). When corruption is endemic within communities it triggers a feeling of resignation and apathy, which is why greater efforts need to be made to tackle bribery and other forms of corruption head-on.

Lebanon and Yemen stand out in the region as having the most negative ratings by citizens. Since Yemen was on the verge of collapse when the survey was conducted, these ratings indicate a larger malaise within the country just prior to the civil war and the imminent crumbling of public infrastructure and services. Lebanon, which is divided along sectarian lines, has failed to produce a functioning government since the former president stepped down in 2014.The public sector suffers from high levels of corruption according to its citizens, who are critical of government efforts at fighting corruption…

Way to go my fellow Lebanese. What are you going to do about it? Will you do something about it? When will you? Municipality elections coming up in couple of days, will you start there? I doubt.

I will call him Adam

This is an Arabic Calligraphy by Nihad Nadam
This is an Arabic Calligraphy by Nihad Nadam

A friend of mine posted on his Facebook page a text written by Tamara Awad. The original text is in Arabic. He translated as best he can to English. It is an interesting short article that I would like to share with you.

“When I will have my baby boy I will call him Adam…..Because our names in our present time can be a charge….I will not name him Mohammed or Issa (with all the due respect to both names)…I will not name him Ali or Omar….I will not name him Sadam or Hussein….Not even Zachariah or Ibrahim Nor even David or George.
I fear he will grow up a racist….I fear that his name will cause him grieve….for the Westerners, he will be a terrorist, for the extremist he will be an oppressor, for the Shiites he is a Sunni and for the Sunni he is a Shiite. I fear that his name becomes his passport!
I want him to be Adam…..Muslim, Christian, Sunni, Shiite….I want him to know nothing of religion except that it belongs to God and that his homeland is for all….I will teach him that his religion is what is in his heart and what his deeds show….not what his name is!
I will teach him that Pan-Arabism is an illusion and that humanity is more important….I will teach him that hunger is blasphemous…..ignorance is blasphemous and tyranny is blasphemous….
I will teach him that he who started the war didn’t know how to end it otherwise, he would not have started it…..and he who allies himself to a side loses whatever he gains…..I will teach him that GOD is in the hearts before he is in mosques and churches…..That GOD is love and not only fear…..
I will teach him what our parents forgot to teach us….not out of negligence…but…because their world was “cleaner”….I will teach him that what we lack is what we have and what we have been what we lack….
I will teach him that I started my speech saying “when I bear a baby boy”….because female “infanticide” is still “practiced” and that the dysfunction in our society is here to stay”…..(Tamara Awad)

سانجب طفلا اسميه ادم … لأن الأسامي في زماننا تهمة فلن اسميه محمد ولا عيسى (مع احترامي للإسمين) …لن اسميه عليا ولا عمرا … لن اسميه صدام و لا حسينا ..و لا حتى زكريا او ابراهيم …و لا حتى ديفيد او جورج … اخاف ان يكبر عنصريا … اخاف ان يكون له من اسمه نصيب … فعند الاجانب يكون ارهابيا..و عند المتطرفين يكون بغيا … و عند الشيعة يكون سنيا و عند السنة يكون شيعيا … اخاف ان يكون اسمه جواز سفره … اريده ادم …مسلم …مسيحي…سني..شيعي… اريده لا يعرف من الدين الا انه لله … و اريد ان يعرف ان وطنه للجميع … ساعلمه ان الدين ما وقر في قلبه و صدقه عمله …و ليس اسمه … ساعلمه ان العروبة وهم … وان الانسانية هي الاهم … ساعلمه ان الجوع كافر … وان الجهل كافر وان الظلم كافر … ساعلمه بان من بدأ الحرب …لم يعرف كيف ينهيها … و إلا لما بدأها … وان من ناصر طرفا … كان خاسر مهما كسب … ساعلمه ان الله في القلوب قبل المساجد و الكنائس … و ان الله محبة و ليس مخافة فقط … ساعلمه ما نسي اهلنا ان يعلمونا …ليس تقصيرا …ولكن … لان عالمهم كان انظف … ساعلمه ان ما ينقصنا هو ما عندنا … و ان ما عندنا هو الذي ينقصنا… ساعلمه انني بدأت حديثي بانني سانجبه ذكرا …لأن الأنثى ما زالت توؤد … وان الخلل في المجتمع باقٍ ..
-تمارا عوض

فصل من رسالة مار مارون إلى الموارنة

نقلا عن جريدة الجمهورية

الكاتب: مجد إسكندر

يا اخوتي

أما وقد أسستم بطريركية على اسمي بعد موتي، فلم يعد يُجدي الكلام إن كنت راضياً على ما قمتم به أو معترضاً. وكيف لي أن أزيد في متاعبكم؟ وأنتم بسبب هذا الكرسي البطريركي، خاصمتم الإمبراطور البيزنطي، وأمضيتم سنوات طويلة حتى اعترفت بكم روما الفاتيكان.

في حياتي، وربما بعد مماتي، لم اعرف بطريركية نقلت مقرّها عشرات المرات، كما فعل بطاركتكم هرباً من الاضطهادات. ولم اعرف بطريركية تتكنّى بإنطاكية وليس لها في إنطاكية إلا القليل.

ولم اعرف كنيسة لا يرد في بال أبنائها ضرورة عودة مقرّها الى منطقة المنشأ! ما سر تلك الأرض التي اسمها جبال لبنان، والتي لا تعرفون كيف تستقرون فيها أو ترحلون عنها؟ خصوصاً بعدما علمت أنكم في مرات كثيرة، كنتم تحاربون في وقت واحد أباطرة مسيحيين وجيوش الفتح الإسلامي. أرجو أن يكون هذا العَناء مُجدِياً، وليس بدافع العناد فحسب.

ولأكون صادقاً معكم، لا يسعني إلّا إبداء الإعجاب بكم، وفي الوقت عينه الخوف عليكم من هذا العناد التاريخي الذي أُصبتم به. تعرفون كيف تُقِيمون أوطاناً، ولا تعرفون كيف تَحكمون الأوطان. تعرفون ما ترفضونه، وتجهلون ما هو في مصلحتكم. ساعة تعطون خليفتي مجد لبنان، وساعة تدخلون صرحه وتبعثرون داره وتصفونه بأقذع الأوصاف.

أيعقل أنكم في إحدى محطات التاريخ نَصَّبْتُم بطريركين اثنين في آن واحد؟ وكم أهدرتم من وقت وحبر، لتَسْتَجدوا رضى روما التي اعتقدَتْ أن عقيدتكم الكاثوليكية تشوبها شوائب المِلل والنِحل في هذا الشرق؟ أهي العلة في المياه التي تشربون أو التراب الذي تزرعون أو الهواء الذي تتنفسون؟untitled

أهي عوامل الطبيعة والمناخ، تجعلكم غير راضين عن أنفسكم وتجعل غيركم غير راضٍ عنكم؟ رسالتي هذه لا تحمل إليكم توجيهاً ولا تكليفاً ولا قراراً كنسياً ولا حتى نصيحة. كل ما أريده، إن كان لي حق الشفعة، ما دمتم نصبتموني شفيعاً لكم، هو أن تتواضعوا قليلاً.

الانتصار على الامبراطوريات ليس بطولة وليس فخراً، خصوصاً عندما تعيشون هزيمة ذاتكم. لا تُمَنِّنوا أحفادكم وأصدقاءكم وأعداءكم بأنكم تموتون ولا تركعون. لستم وحيدي عصوركم في الشجاعة والكرامة. معلمكم ومعلمي أراد رحمة لا ذبيحة. ارحموا أنفسكم يرحمكم الله.

ربما بعضكم يسأل، لو كنت حياً، هل كنت أرضى أن تقيموا كنيسة على اسمي؟ أنا الغريب عنكم، كيف أرضى؟ نعم أنا وانتم غرباء بعضنا عن بعض. أنا لا أفهم في شؤون الدنيا، وأنتم لا تفهمون في شؤون الدين! أنا تَنَسَّكْتُ في العراء، لم أنم تحت سقف، وقلما نزلتُ تحت خيمتي. ولم أجلس على كرسي خشب، ولا على كرسي ذهب. على التراب بقيت طوال حياتي لأعود بأسرع ما يمكن الى التراب.

أما أنتم فاستغليتم ضعفي وغيابي وموتي لتقيموا عروشاً، ولتتقاتلوا على ذهب هذه الدنيا. وما حاربتم سلطاناً إلّا لأنّ في نفوسكم سلطاناً يريد أن يحكم مكانه، وربما بظلم أبشع من ظلمه. الحمد للعناية الإلهية لأنّ زمنكم في الحكم كان دائماً زمناً قصيرا. تليق بكم العذابات ولا تليق بكم السلطة، وستبقون تحت وطأة هذه اللعنة الى أن تعودوا عودة الابن الشاطر.

يومذاك أقول كنتم أمواتاً فعشتم، وضالين فوُجدتم. نعم إنكم أبنائي الشاطرون! أخذتم اسمي لتُقيموا مجداً زائلاً لأنفسكم. وبدَّدتم رصيدي على موائد المُقامرات الدولية والمغامرات الشخصية. الحكام والمستبدون لم يضطهدوكم لأنهم قساة، بل لأنهم شعروا بأنكم لا تقدّرون ألمي وصلاتي وعذاباتي.

لم يحاربوكم لأنكم على ديني وعلى دين سيدي، حاربوكم لأنهم وجدوا فيكم شبهاً بهم! صدقوني لو كنتم تملكون ذرة من إيماني، لكنتم قلتم لهذا الجبل الذي اسمه لبنان، انتقل الى جبل قورش وحلب ولكان انتقل. لقد ثَبُتَ بحكم التجارب، أنكم ضعفاء، فأتيتم الى جبل لبنان بدلاً من أن يأتي الجبل إليكم! لا التقى جبل على جبل، ولا التقى إنسان مع إنسان.

وحتى لا تفهموني خطأً، أنا لم أطلب منكم هذه الطوباوية في النظر الى شؤون الدنيا والدين، ولم أطالبكم بهذه الرسولية التاريخية التي تدَّعون، ولكن انتم تنطّحتم الى هذه الابراج العالية، وتوهمتم أن علو النفس يُقاس بقدْر ارتفاع قراكم عن سطح البحر! سيدكم المسيح ظهر مجده حول بحيرة، ولكن أنتم من يتبجح ليل نهار بأن البحار والمحيطات لا تتسع لمجدكم وعظمتكم. تواضعوا. ثم ما سر هذه العلاقة السخيفة بينكم وبين ستة آلاف سنة حضارة؟ من منكم، إلّا قلة، تعرف من هو جدّ جدها؟ المسلم فيكم كان مسيحياً.

والمسيحي منكم صار مسلماً. الأرثوذكسي انتقل ملكياً كاثوليكياً، وعائلات درزية وسنية حولتهم السلطة موارنة، وكثير من “موارنتي” بحسب ما يُقال يغيّرون دينهم ليطلقوا! في عرفي ونهجي وإيماني، أنتم، بصراحة، وثنيون منذ ستة آلآف سنة! توقفوا عن الاحتفال بعيدي، ففي كل عيد أنتم لستم بخير. أُصلي لكم لتصبحوا على خير. وبارك يا سيد.

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.

How are you helping?

nadimgemayelThis question is directed to MP Nadim Gemayel. He attended today the Mass that was held in Damour village in the memory of Damour’s massacre. After the Mass MP Nadim Gemayel said:”no matter how intense the difficulties are, we stand firm in our land, we are anchored in our roots, we believe in our principles and our values.  We will return to our land because it is the land of our fathers, grandfathers and martyrs.”
Great words, but can you tell me, MP Gemayel, what did you do for those who left to return? In addition, what kind of program you presented in order for people to return? Furthermore, can you please enlighten us, what kind of programs you, the Kataeb MP’s, Tayyar MP’s, LF MP’s, ….. put in place in order for those who stayed to be able to live and not leave? The garbage been on the streets for yours and as MP’s none of you proposed a solution. None of you resigned because he is incapable of serving the people. Remember an MP serves the people and not vice versa. From my part, I had enough of few nice words said in some occasions. Don’t you think it is better to resign because you are not capable of presenting one single project to help our youth from immigrating? I think it will be too much to ask from you to introduce programs in order for those who left to return. You and other MP’s been elected in 2009 and you guys extended your terms in 2014 to 2017. Can any of you, besides empty words, tell us what did you do for people to return? or to stay? I know I’m asking too much but “birabak” your words can’t be cached in any bank.

Historical Fact: The Massacre and Destruction of Damour

Damour lay across the Sidon – Beirut highway about 20 km south of Beirut on the slopes of a foothill of the Lebanon range. On the other side of the road, beyond a flat stretch of coast, is the sea. It was a town of some 25,000 people, containing five churches, three chapels, seven schools, private and public, and one public hospital where Muslims from nearby villages were treated along with the Christians, at the expense of the town.On 9 January 1976, three days after Epiphany, the priest of Damour Father Mansour Labaky, was carrying out a Maronite custom of blessing the houses with holy water. As he stood in front of a house on the side of the town next to the Muslim village of Harat Na’ami, a bullet whistled past his ear and hit the house. Then he heard the rattle of machine-guns. He went inside the house and soon learned that the town was surrounded. Later he found out by whom and how many — the forces of Sa’iqa, consisting of 16,000 Palestinians and Syrians, and units of the Mourabitoun and some fifteen other militias, reinforced by mercenaries from Iran, Afghanistan, Pakistan and a contingent of Libyans.

Father Labaky telephoned the Muslim sheikh of the district and asked him, as a fellow religious leader, what he could do to help the people of the town. ‘I can do nothing,’ he was told ‘They want to harm you. It is the Palestinians. I cannot stop them.’

While the shooting and some shelling went on all day, Father Labaky telephoned a long list of people, politicians of both the Left and the Right, asking for help. They all said with apologies and commiserations that they could do nothing. Then he telephoned Kamal Jumblatt, in whose parliamentary constituency Damour lay. ‘Father,’ Jumblatt said, ‘I can do nothing for you because it depends on Yasser Arafat.’ He gave Arafat’s phone number to the priest. An aide answered, and when he would not call Arafat himself, Father Labaky told him, ‘The Palestinians are shelling and shooting at my town. I can assure you as a religious leader, we do not want the war, we do not believe in violence.’ He added that nearly half the people of Damour had voted for Kamal Jumblatt, ‘who is backing you,’ he reminded the PLO man. The reply was, ‘Father, don’t worry. We don’t want to harm you. If we are destroying you it is for strategical reasons.’

Father Labaky did not feel that there was any less cause for worry because the destruction was for strategical reasons, and he persisted in asking for Arafat to call off his fighters. In the end, the aide said that they, PLO headquarters, would ‘tell them to stop shooting’.By then it was eleven o’clock in the evening. As the minutes passed and the shooting still went on, Father Labaky called Jumblatt again on the telephone and told him what Arafat’s aide had said. Jumblatt’s advice was that the priest should keep trying to make contact with Arafat, and call other friends of his, ‘because’, he said, ‘I do not trust him’.

At about half-past eleven the telephone, water, and electricity were all cut off. The first invasion of the town came in the hour after midnight, from the side where the priest had been shot at earlier in the day. The Sa’iqa men stormed into the houses. They massacred some fifty people in the one night. Father Labaky heard screaming and went out into the street. Women came running to him in their nightdresses, ‘tearing their hair, and shouting “They are slaughtering us!” The survivors, deserting that end of the town, moved into the area round the next church. The invaders then occupied the part of the town they had taken. Father Labaky describes the scene:

‘In the morning I managed to get to the one house despite the shelling to bring out some of the corpses. And I remember something which still frightens me. An entire family had been killed, the Can’an family, four children all dead, and the mother, the father, and the grandfather. The mother was still hugging one of the children. And she was pregnant. The eyes of the children were gone and their limbs were cut off. No legs and no arms. It was awful. We took them away in a banana truck. And who carried the corpses with me? The only survivor, the brother ofthe man. His name is Samir Can’an. He carried with me the remains of his brother, his father, his sister-in-law and the poor children. We buried them in the cemetery, under the shells of the PLO. And while I was burying them, more corpses were found in the street.’

The town tried to defend itself. Two hundred and twenty-five young men, most of them about sixteen years old, armed with hunting guns and none with military training, held out for twelve days. The citizens huddled in basements, with sandbags piled in front of their doors and ground-floor windows. Father Labaky moved from shelter to shelter to visit the families and take them bread and milk. He went often ‘to encourage the young men defending the town’. The relentless pounding the town received resulted in massive damage. In the siege that had been established on 9 January the Palestinians cut off food and water supplies and refused to allow the Red Cross to take out the wounded.

Infants and children died of dehydration. Only three more townspeople were killed as a result of PLO fire between the first night and the last day, 23 January. But on that day, when the final onslaught came, hundreds of the Christians were killed. Father Labaky goes on: ‘The attack took place from the mountain behind. It was an apocalypse. They were coming, thousands and thousands, shouting ‘Allahu Akbar! God is great! Let us attack them for the Arabs, let us offer a holocaust to Mohammad ‘And they were slaughtering everyone in their path, men, women and children.’

Whole families were killed in their homes. Many women were gang-raped, and few of them left alive afterwards. One woman saved her adolescent daughter from rape by smearing her face with washing blue to make her look repulsive. As the atrocities were perpetrated, the invaders themselves took photographs and later offered the pictures for sale to European newspapers. Survivors testify to what happened. A young girl of sixteen, Soumavya Ghanimeh, witnessed the shooting of her father and brother by two of the invaders, and watched her own home and the other houses in her street being looted and burned. She explained: ‘As they were bringing me through the street the houses were burning all about me. They had about ten trucks standing in front of the houses and were piling things into them. I remember how frightened I was of the fire. I was screaming. And for months afterwards I couldn’t bear anyone to strike a match near me. I couldn’t bear the smell of it’.

She and her mother Mariam, and a younger Sister and infant brother, had been saved from being shot in their house when she ran behind one Palestinian for protection from the pointing gun of the other, and cried out ‘Don’t let him kill us!’; and the man accepted the role of protector which the girl had suddenly assigned to him. ‘If you kill them you will have to kill me too,’ he told his comrade. So the four of them were spared, herded along the streets between the burning houses to be put into a truck, and trans-ported to Sabra camp in Beirut. There they were kept in a crowded prison hut. ‘We had to sleep on the ground, and it was bitterly cold.’

When eventually Father Labaky found the charred bodies of the father and brother in the Ghanimeh house ‘you could no longer tell whether they were men or women’.

In a frenzy to destroy their enemies utterly, as if even the absolute limits of nature could not stop them, the invaders broke open tombs and flung the bones of the dead into the streets. Those who escaped from the first attack tried to flee by any means they could, with cars, carts, cycles and motorbikes. Some went on foot to the seashore to try to get away in boats. But the sea was rough and the wait for rescue was long, while they knew their enemies might fall upon them at any moment. Some 500 gathered in the Church of St Elias. Father Labaky went there at six in the morning when the tumult of the attack awakened him. He preached a sermon on the meaning of the slaughter of innocents. And he told them candidly that he did not know what to tell them to do. ‘If I say flee to the sea, you may be killed. If I say stay here, you may be killed.’

An old man suggested that they raise a white flag. ‘Perhaps if we surrender they may spare us.’ Father Labaky gave him his surplice. He put it on the processional cross and stood it in front of the church. Ten minutes later there was a knock on the door, three quick raps, then three lots of three. They were petrified. Father Labaky said that he would go and see who was there. If it was the enemy, they might spare them. ‘But if they kill us, at least we shall die all together and we’ll have a nice parish in Heaven, 500 persons, and no check points!’ They laughed, and the priest went to the door.

It was not the enemy but two men of Damour who had fled the town and had seen the white flag from the seashore. They had come back to warn them that it would not help to raise a flag. ‘We raised a flag in front of Our Lady, and they shot at us.’

Again they discussed what could be done. The priest told them that one thing they must do, although it was ‘impossible’, was to pray for the forgiveness of those who were coming to kill them. As they prayed, two of the young defenders of the town who had also seen the flag walked in and said, ‘Run to the seashore now, and we will cover you.

The two youths stood in front of the church and shot in the direction from which the fedayeen were firing. It took ten minutes for all the people in the church to leave the town. All 500 got away except one old man who said he could not walk and would prefer to die in front of his own house. He was not killed. Father Labaky found him weeks later in a PLO prison, and heard what had happened after they left. A few minutes after they had gone, ‘the PLO came and bombed the church without entering it. They kicked open the door and threw in the grenades.’ They would all have been killed had they stayed. The priest led his flock along the shore to the palace of Camille Chamoun. But when they got there they found it had already been sacked and partly burnt. They found shelter, however, in the palace of a Muslim, who ‘did not agree with the Palestinians’, and then got into small boats Which took them out to a bigger boat, in which they sailed to Jounieh. ‘One poor woman had to give birth to her baby in the little open boat on the rough winter sea.’

In all, 582 people were killed in the storming of Damour. Father Labaky went back with the Red Cross to bury them. Many of the bodies had been dismembered, so they had to count the heads to number the dead. Three of the men they found had their genitals cut off and stuffed into their mouths.

The horror did not end there, the old Christian cemetery was also destroyed, coffins were dug up, the dead robbed, vaults opened, and bodies and skeletons thrown across the grave yard. Damour was then transformed into a stronghold of Fatah and the PFLP (Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine). The ruined town became one of the main PLO centers for the promotion of international terrorism. The Church of St Elias was used as a repair garage for PLO vehicles and also as a range for shooting-practice with targets painted on the eastern wall of the nave.

The commander of the combined forces which descended on Damour on 23 January 1976 was Zuhayr Muhsin, chief of al-Sa’iqa, known since then throughout Christian Lebanon as ‘the Butcher of Damour’. He was assassinated on 15 July 1979 at Cannes in the South of France.

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.