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How one Lebanese woman sets the mark

Nayla Tueni

Published: Updated:

Despite all that is happening in the Arab region, mutations that are changing the face of the political map, and - who knows - the geographical map also, the Lebanese people are still engaging in battles full of disappointment, far from reality, as if they did not care or were not aware about the situation.

The Lebanese only pay attention to terrorist explosions threatening their lives and the lives of their children who are readying for the new school year, and to amassing food so as to not starve in time of war.

Political calculations are so tiny if we were to compare them with what is happening around us. In Lebanon, there is no space for diplomacy. In Lebanon, no government decides.

Blindly following

Only our dear minister of foreign affairs blindly follows the guidelines of Syrian policy in Lebanon. Our dear minister acts as if he owned the land, or as if the political party he represents possessed the country. Our dear minister resembles the Pharaoh of Egypt, the tyrant of Syria, commander of the revolution, and ignores the “happy endings” of those.

Political calculations are so tiny if we were to compare them with what is happening around us. In Lebanon, there is no space for diplomacy.

Nayla Tueni

As our small matters and calculations do not exceed the very small size of our country, and as we enjoy playing about as time passes by, it is probably more important to get away from this nonsense, and rather stop at two issues related to human rights and world heritage: the first refers to the Syrian village of Maaloula and its historical value.

Maaloula is home to the world's oldest monasteries (monastery of the Saints Sergius and Bacchus), and the most revered Christian sanctuaries (monastery of Saint Takla). Aramaic, the language of Christ, is still spoken. The excessive harm of which Maaloula fell victim to symbolizes the abandonment of a heritage for all mankind, and a victory for resentment and ignorance.

Arlette Tabet

The second point relates to a decision brings back hope, a decision that honors human rights in a time when honor and human rights are desecrated.

It is about Judge Arlette Tabet who made a ruling in favor of a woman plaintiff and ordered her husband to allow her and her daughters to return home whilst committing to secure an alternative housing for his family.

The judge did not break the law. Rather, she bravely set a precedent. The home is a property to share, a right to all family members – the right of residence being the most important. This decision breathes new life into Lebanese justice; hope is reborn in the spirit of the Lebanese for a guarantor, a protector who despises temptation and bribe, a savior who stands the grounds of a victim to win their rights, without having previously known them.

We do not know Judge Arlette Tabet in person, but it is an old motto that says, “By their acts you will recognize them.” These words fit Arlette Tabet well. She is creating hope in Lebanon despite the corruption eroding it.

This article was first published in Annahar on September 15, 2013.


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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

Disclaimer: Views expressed by writers in this section are their own and do not reflect Al Arabiya English's point-of-view.