Woeful stories from Lebanon’s Beqaa

During his Sunday sermon delivered from the Lebanese town of Btedaai in Beqaa, Maronite Patriarch Bechara Boutros al-Rai said: “It’s shameful that Beqaa is becoming an unrestrained land for thugs and those targeting people’s souls. It’s also painful that some figures in charge of the area’s security are being bribed to overlook these thugs’ evil acts.”

Rai had said nothing new; the people of Beqaa have been saying this for a long time. Some had turned deaf ear on the matter but the fact that Rai still voiced this issue has made it better heard.

We don’t want to hold the government as a political authority responsible for what’s happening because the security authorities are more responsible. The parties that should be held even more accountable, particularly in northern Beqaa, are Hezbollah and the Amal movement because security - which’s often loose - is their responsibility in that area for a long time now.

The Syrian tutelage has shared this influence with them for a long time and it - of course - did not do that by imposing security but by dividing revenues of drug cultivation and distributing stolen cars before transferring some to Syria and selling others.

Many in Beqaa know that some security apparatuses are accomplices and that it’s not possible to make arrests due to political interferences and sometimes due to threats made by tribes or political parties. Justice is not being served. We cannot exit this tunnel unless the political cover is lifted off. This is the means to restore Beqaa to the bosom of the state or else the snowball will keep rolling amid the silence of those watching.

“Working on strengthening the authority of the state and the rule of law can fortify our unity and co-existence.”

Nayla Tueni

If Hezbollah and the Amal Movement rush towards dialogue with the Future Movement to fortify the domestic arena, then working on strengthening the authority of the state and the rule of law can fortify our unity and co-existence.

However, protecting criminals and aggressors will push others towards a vengeful path.

Patriarch Rai urged one clan “to hand over the murderers to pave way for reconciliation because there is no reconciliation without justice.” Meanwhile, we will keep telling active parties on the ground and the heads of clans, who brag about the values they have, to work towards real reconciliation that ends all grudges.

This article was first published in al-Nahar on Dec. 29, 2014.
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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

 

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Last Update: Wednesday, 20 May 2020 KSA 09:44 - GMT 06:44
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