The statements of the father of deceased Lebanese Captain Pierre Bashaalani, martyr of duty, army and the entire of Lebanon, reminded me of Ghassan Tueni’s stance in church in front of his son’s body, Gebran.
The martyr’s father has not lost hope in establishing the state, as he bid farewell to the most precious of people and looked with sorrow and a sense of double responsibility toward his two-month-old grandson, who will now live life without a father.
He made a statement in grave pain. He thanked the president, the army commander and his son’s comrades. He did not forget the people of his town and neighboring areas who stood by him. This is the spirit of the mature in faith, hope and patriotism. Women did the same while receiving the president last night. They told him that they paid with their most precious for the sake of the country and that they were counting on justice. The justice of the Lebanese judiciary. The citizens of the Beqaa town of Maraygat did not speak of vengeance but of justice. Some of those who do not understand faith and patriotism may accuse them of defeatism and cowardice. In reality, they are totally the opposite of that.
I remember I needed a while to understand and accept my grandfather’s, Ghassan, reaction. During those moments at the church, love of vengeance grew and the desire to enjoy executing the criminals increased inside me. However, a while later I came back to my senses, and with total conviction, I adopted my grandfather’s position. I learnt from him -- this is how the wise and mature and especially people of orthodox faith react.
Memories came back to me while watching the funeral yesterday. I once again felt how there are people in Lebanon who open up their hearts and minds. In the past years and months, we got used to instinctive reactions across areas. One kills, another blocks a road and promises of the gravest of reactions, until insults reached the army and security forces’ members in more than one area. Perhaps the funniest is what is happening at the Roumieh Prison where inmates detain guards in a place supposed to be jail.
What‘s worse than these violations is political covers – sometimes sectarian ones provided by religious men – that justify murder and other crimes and categorize them under either self-defense or unintentional mistake. In both cases, there is a crime. In the first one, there is an action that cannot be forgiven and in the other there is accomplice to murder and covering it up. Law usually holds accountable the inciter and also punishes the perpetrator.
Many officers, sergeants or soldiers may be killed during battles but for them to fall in an ambush in their own country and among people supposed to belong to it, is shameful and rather dangerous. Rectifying the matter cannot occur unless it is done from with Aarsal itself, from its own people as they reject this reality, repudiate it and hand over the perpetrators for justice to take its course, so that not the entire population of Aarsal is judged by an offense carried out by just a few people.
This article was first published in the Lebanon-based Annahar on Feb. 4, 2013.
Nayla Tueni is one of the few elected female politicians in Lebanon and of the two youngest. She became a member of parliament in 2009 and following the assassination of her father, Gebran, she is currently a member of the board and Deputy General Manager of Lebanon’s leading daily, Annahar. Prior to her political career, Nayla had trained, written in and managed various sections of Annahar, where she currently has a regular column. She can be followed on Twitter @NaylaTueni