Sunday, May 15, 2005

Part 2: Hariri's Murder

Grief and Hope
-Amal Chaaban

Lebanon suffered another huge loss this week with the death of former Minister and Parliamentarian Basil Fleihan in France. Mr. Fleihan died of wounds inflicted in the explosion that killed the Late Rafik Hariri making him the 20th martyr resulting from the devastation of the 14th of February.

The wounds from the 14th of February had not even begun to heal when the latest in a series of devastating blows hit Lebanese the world over. Basil Fleihan was not just a Minister or Parliamentarian; he was a patriot, a man who cared about Lebanon and its people. Mr. Fleihan never lowered himself to become involved in petty sectarian politics preferring instead to look at Lebanon as a whole. The most important job that Mr. Fleihan had however was that of Husband and Father. Mr. Fleihan has left behind a wife and two young children who will sorely miss him. The senseless act of February 14, 2005 has forever affected not one, not two, but millions of lives in a myriad of ways.

From the abyss of grief rises new hope. It was announced this week that Saad Hariri second son of the Martyr Rafik Hariri will take on the political role that his late father carried.

This news was met with both jubilation and fear. Jubilation that the plans the late Prime Minister had for Lebanon were not going to go by the wayside and fear that Saad would next be targeted for assassination (should Syria be wishing annihilation, this is what they will do). Saad Hariri is thought to already be running the Hariri family corporations.

Saad was quoted in Beirut’s English Language Daily The Daily Star as saying:

"We're helping the government, which is in the process of creating itself, to draw up the electoral law, … When there is a law we will decide whether I will run [in parliamentary elections to be held this spring] or not.". He is also quoted as saying

"The void left by my father's killing is great ... but we will continue in his path with the Lebanese youths who descended to the streets and demonstrated an unprecedented will for national unity."

For those Lebanese who want a true and independent Lebanon, this was most welcome news however; it was met with a distinct silence from Pro-Syrian factions in the country not to mention from Syria itself. This silence is both welcome and somewhat disconcerting as it leaves people wondering what Syria and its puppets will be doing next. .

Now that Syria has withdrawn it’s troops and the hated Rustom Ghazaleh has finally quit the country, it remains to be seen how the pro-Syrian factions will behave in the face of growing opposition to their domination in Government. In reality, those politicians who are pro-Syrian must face the fact that should they not choose to fall in line with what the general populace wants (a free, stable Lebanon), they will face ridicule, and worse (for them anyway) they will become irrelevant.

From the abyss of grief, new hope for Lebanon has risen. It is up to all Lebanese to live up to the expectations of unity and stability. It is up to us to live up to our hope.


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