Hariri’s return, a patriotic opportunity for Lebanon
Over the past two days, there have been several positive incidents which began with Hariri’s return to Lebanon
This is the first time that an incident in Lebanon has not become the subject of gossip as it seems that the Lebanese people, despite their differences, have begun to sense the threat that surrounds them. Some have even abandoned their adventures, which did little for the general interest of the country and only achieved a few temporary benefits.
The Lebanese people welcomed Saad Hariri’s return to Lebanon after Damascus’ apparent decision to eliminate him politically. Back then, this decision was implemented by toppling his government. A new, faltering, phase began and consecutive governments failed to achieve patriotic reconciliation. They also failed to manage their own affairs and confront the repercussions of the Syrian crisis in Lebanon.
But what is more important than Hariri’s return - which may be permanent or temporary depending on the circumstances - is to invest in this return and cooperate with his positive rhetoric which addresses the continuous bleeding wounds of the country. It’s important to do so in order to take Lebanon to safety, which many think is difficult to reach and some even think is impossible to achieve amidst the insecurity across the region.
Over the past two days, there have been several positive incidents which began with Hariri’s return to Lebanon. Then there came the election of a new mufti as well as many positive political meetings and official stances being declared. These meetings and stances were announced following the most important move in support of Lebanon - the donation which Saudi Arabia presented in support of the army and security forces in confronting terrorism. This step is of moral and financial benefit as it provides the army with the ability to confront terrorism which flowing in from Syria. This donation also provides moral stability as the Lebanese people do not feel as though they are left to face their fate amidst the inability to confront the many threats which neighboring countries face.
Perhaps Hariri’s return does not make for a miracle, but it certainly contributes to bringing political actors in the country closer together. Reconciliation is urgent amidst the presidential vacuum and the general political vacuum in the state.
Hariri’s return requires embracing moderation and openness. This must be translated into action, not just ink on paper. If this is not done, opportunities will be missed and we could lose the entirety of Lebanon.
This article was first published in al-Nahar on August 11, 2014.
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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