Supporting legitimacy against the illegitimate in Lebanon

Nayla Tueni
Nayla Tueni
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Former Lebanese minister Mohammad Chatah preceded many others when he decided to address a letter directly to the Iranian president Hassan Rowhani, describing the bad role of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards, through supporting Hezbollah, in involving Lebanon in Syria’s war. Chatah was clear and firm, and wasn’t a moderate, as some now pretend to justify his assassination. He was firm and solid like a stone, yet very wise and calm, calling things by their names.

By assassinating Chatah, his murderers wanted to intimidate the Lebanese but they will not succeed, as the Lebanese have become addicted to death. They wanted to take control over the country and its people, but they will not succeed, as the Lebanese survived long wars, and all types of oppression and humiliation but they didn’t surrender. They learned how to resist all types of occupation and succeeded in liberating their country.

The assassins, in spite of their knowledge, don’t seem to know that the Lebanese formula, no matter how outdated it might seem, is resilient and able to survive in spite of their will, because it gathers what they cannot apprehend, in terms of diversity and differences and even contradictions. It might even become a model for today’s complex and illimitably nested world in time and place.

Some don’t seem to be satisfied with the former attempts against the Lebanese formula, but they keep on repeating it over and over, striving to create new demographic realities through occupying others’ properties in the outskirts, or through systemic ownership of real estate in the heart of the region in which they plan to change the identity.

By assassinating Mohamad Chatah, his murderers wanted to intimidate the Lebanese but they will not succeed, as the Lebanese have become addicted to death.

Nayla Tueni

However, they still lack the knowledge that the times have changed and that systemic displacement will only achieve limited and small goals. This is because the wealth of the nation is in the brains of its people, and maybe in their global deployment and universal role, a place where these people can better serve their country than in the limited political calculations in a limited geographic space, or a seat in local council or a municipality.

These same people are even willing to sabotage the ties of Lebanon with its friends and brothers, with the ultimate goal of changing its identity, through attacking Saudi Arabia, and trying to forget their “Thank you, Qatar” slogan, and attempts to justify the horrible assassination of the martyr Chatah and seven others.

Last but not least, we were surprised yesterday by a report claiming that “it is possible to label the assassination as part of the wings’ fights within the American administration, and that the Head of the Saudi Intelligence services (Prince) Bandar Bin Sultan, who follows the camp of the American hardliners who are in favor of a military action against Syria’s regime, might be responsible for Chatah’s assassination, as part of the war led by Bin Sultan through the religious hardliner groups in Iraq and Lebanon, especially that he had threatened of eliminating the eyes of the Pentagon."

Saudi support

An anecdotal analysis that was faced promptly by the announcement of the President Michel Suleiman that Saudi Arabia decided to award Lebanon a grant of $3 billion to the Lebanese army, which is the first and biggest aid of its kind from a single country to the army and Lebanon. The aid is targeting the army, the national military apparatus which holds the legitimate arms, facing all types of illegal arms and aid in the weakening of the Lebanese state in favor of the mini states for others.

Announcing the Saudi grant to Lebanon and its army is a beacon of hope as it confirms its confidence in Lebanon, its role, and is a clear message that it will not abandon it to its fate and turning it as a victim to the Syrian war.

This article was first published in Annahar on Dec. 30, 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

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