19.11.13

Bittersweet triple anniversary

* Hamid Aouad The mourning prevails on the Lebanese Independence Day. As after 17 days of his election President of the Lebanese republic and after the closure of ceremony celebrating this anniversary on 22/11/1989 the convoy of late President Rene Mouawad was blown up by a huge explosion that killed him along many guards, companions escorting him, and by-standers. His death was deemed a huge national loss as he was a prominent political figure among the Chahabist Group and he was a seasoned politician who successfully assumed many legislative and ministerial offices and responsibilities since he was elected MP for the first time in 1957. He was elected President of the republic on the heel of the closure of At-Taaef Convention and his mind was set on assuring the muslem partners that the constitutional amendment agreed upon are going to be implemented and he pledged to exert relentless pressure to bring about a preliminary Syrian army withdrawal to the Bekaa Valley to peacefully solve the standoff with General Aoun Cabinet. Perhaps such pressure brought about the blast that killed him. Seven years ago, on the eve of Lebanese independence 63rd anniversary unmasked criminals chased in broad daylight the car of the young, ambitious, and intensely active minister Sheikh Pierre Gemayel and carried out what they have been commissioned to by the mastermind of the serial assassinations targeting leaders of the Cedar Revolution: they shot him and his two bodyguards with bullets fired from revolvers equipped with silencers. This tragedy blew pain and anger in the heart of every sincere Lebanese patriot. Those two heart-wrenching assassinations stamped the anniversary of the Independence day with indelible seal inked with the blood of the two beloved martyrs. Sheikh Pierre worked enthusiastically and passionately with his peers to consolidate this independence sapped by various parties aspiring to dominate our beloved Lebanon. He is not the only martyr of the Gemayel's family: there is baby Maya and her father Sheikh Bashir, Pierre's uncle, who was assassinated with tens of partisans by blowing up the house of Kataeb committed by known perpetrator (who has been smuggled from prison) in Ashrafieh before he took the reins of the presidency. Martyr MP Antoine Ghanem silent fighter is another Kataebist leader assassinated in the context of the string of assassinations targeting leaders of the Cedar Revolution . The baptism with blood of martyrdom poured from the top of the Phalange Party cedar until its roots to defend the sovereignty, freedom and independence of Lebanon and protect its democratic system and its civilized message of harmonious diversity from the gusting winds of extremism propelled to wipe all features of its civilization. Phalanges Party is well established and entrenched in national political scene since it was founded in 1936 and has a pivotal role in Lebanese political life and in the completion of transition from the stage of the French mandate to the banks of Independence and its founder Sheikh Pierre Gemayel since his youth until his death was a proficient superstar player on the theater of politics and was surrounded by a crew of supporting partisans deputies, ministers, political theorists , writers and thinkers. The party continues to play a constructive role under the chairmanship of Sheikh Amin Gemayel who thrives in his endeavor to serve the country nationally and internationally in coordination with the Central Committee and its Coordinator MP Sami Gemayel who courageously raises the concerns of fellow Lebanese and defends their interests under the dome of the parliament, where he proposes laws to secure their fulfillment. Unlike the incompatible triad designed to implant an armed faction as partner for the army and geared to erode the power of state, the motto of the Phalanges party is the timeless Cedar decorated at its angles by the words "God," "country" and " family," as God is watching our actions and the country embraces us to share the love, loyalty, and service we dedicate to it, and family-wise nurturing sublime spiritual and patriotic values is the surest way to build a healthy society. Of course, the Phalanges Party has many partners, the most prominent among them its twin the Lebanese Forces who sacrificed lives in defense of Lebanon's sovereignty, freedom of its people, independence of its decision and protection of its democratic regime. Well deserved salute, appreciation and tribute are addressed to all guards of sovereignty, freedom and independence of the country, especially the brave army and various security forces. Lest we forget let's renew our pledge to fulfill the wishes of our faithful martyrs . Another sincere tribute goes to His Excellency the President of the Republic Michel Suleiman for his vigilant supervision of the constitutionality of legislation, his rejection to every infringement on the sovereignty, his keen pleas to seek support for Lebanon's urgent needs and long-term affairs in international fora, and his wisdom in tackling internal matters and outlining frameworks of understanding. Independence Day infuses pride in our spirit as it reminds us of the greatness of our ancestors and the uniqueness of our heritage and splendor of our country . It's also a "teleportation" sucking us back in time to allow us to review a long history full of heroic exploits scored along the emergence of our country. Our forefathers exerted great sacrifices and majestic efforts in order to build a small paradise embracing ancient civilizations and blending diverse cultures which they baptized Lebanon . They have made Lebanon a strong bastion hard to invade, a hub for construction, a tribune for free speech, a treasure of knowledge, a safe haven for free people, and open forum for dialogue. Lebanese are creative since the time of the Phoenicians , who invented the ships to explore the horizons of the Mediterranean sea and carried with them the alphabet, the purple dye, and the wine. Like a genie coming out of the bottle the Lebanese spread all over the world and excelled and continue to Shine in various fields. Every great feat they achieve explodes a flood of momentum in the minds of the new generations and motivates them to outmatch their predecessors in performing outstanding acts of goodness. The goodness of human nature in Lebanon is matched by the goodness of nature which gives generously, bears good fruits, glows with breathtaking beauty with mountain tops crowned by snow adorned with tall everlasting cedars which inspired us endurance and prompted us to chose it as the icon for our country . The Lebanese land is filled with historical sites, relics and treasures left behind by many civilized peoples who came to this country and with whom Lebanese interacted to evolve their own fertile civilization. In the framework of national pact the Lebanese agreed not to rest in the arms of East and West but rather take advantage of their relationships with the world to serve this nation distinguished from its surroundings by the ethnic blend of its population, their openness, the concordance of their innate inclination along the intellectual beliefs of its elite with the universal values ​​of human rights. Every faithful patriot couldn't imagine that repeated regional intrusions into its communities during periods of weakness will polarize groups that erred from the path of modernity and engaged in a ferocious infighting inside the country and out of it. There are those who tightened their bonds with their spiritual Iranian Supreme Leader vowing absolute loyalty and others who yearned to revert to tribal life and the rules of "Sharia" and swore allegiance to so-called nominated "Khalifs" (successors) . Lebanon and its people are stuck hostages in the midst of crazy conflicts fueled by a fierce ideological religious conflicts masking a race to expand hegemony. This risky situation jeopardizing the future of the country motivates us to contain it by supporting the state institutions, respecting the constitution provisions, abiding by the laws, forming a neutral nonpartisan cabinet of technocrats, clinging to our land, taking advantage of untapped stocks of oil and water and sticking to our right to vote and submit candidacies for parliamentary elections through a law that gives the pro-sovereignty segments of society the power to have adequate representation rather than being dispersed and diluted within constituencies designed to give domination to a fanatic majority. We won't be bullied nor terrorized by those who brandish their arms nor allow the demographic deluge to sweep through the country to uproot the Lebanese from their strongholds, but we stand firm in our villages and preserve our land and adhere to our loyalty to our country shielded by its status as epitome of moderation, tolerance, and mutual respect. Independence is the cornerstone of the state structure, the fulcrum of national identity and the essence of citizen dignity. Therefore let's shelter it out of the harm way, protect it from the persistent aggression attempting to strip it from its distinctive features, and preserve its diversity by thwarting the marginalization and dislodgement of its citizens out of their hometowns. We are attached to our country as a baby who refuses ablactation is attached to his mother. The national anthem, which is one of the most beautiful anthems, speaks our mind and so does the Anthem composed by al-Akhtal assaghir ( brothers Fulayfel composed the music for both ) from which I excerpt the beginning: The love for my country supersedes any other passion It flows in my veins like my blood stream On my face shows our ancestors pride For they built great things since Adam was born We the youth have great expectations, life is built on our covenant

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