Lebanon’s martyred heroes must live on

Nayla Tueni
Nayla Tueni
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Lebanese Metropolitan Greek Orthodox Archbishop Elias Audi has expressed many Lebanese people’s fears over the presidential vacuum and the obstruction of institutional work.

Meanwhile, former Prime Minister Saad Hariri tweeted on the 10th anniversary of the assassination of Lebanese journalist and politician Gibran Tueni: “We miss your outspokenness and frankness. Your memory will not fade, and your oath will live on in Lebanon’s conscience. Your cause and [that of] the martyrs... will be lost if Lebanon is lost.”

Tueni’s revolution was against corruption, sectarianism and injustice. His revolution was not limited to street protests, but also individual work to change institutions from within and impose the rule of law.

Nayla Tueni

Hariri’s last sentence confirms that the cause of many martyred figures, including his father Rafiq, must be safeguarded, and can only be lost if Lebanon is lost. The country will not be lost. We have inherited this faith from our fathers and grandfathers, and carry it in our hearts. We will safeguard this cause and hand it to the next generations.


Many have fallen, been defeated or emigrated, but Lebanon will stay despite all the occupations it has been through and all the conspiracies against it, thanks to people who have stood their ground and defended it with all their might. It will stay because there are honorable politicians - accusations that all politicians are corrupt are untrue.

Lebanon will stay because there are competent state employees carrying out their duties despite all the pressures and temptations they face, and because there are saints who pray for it and families who are loyal to it.

Audi asked: “Does this country deserve its martyrs? Were Gibran and his comrades assassinated for their blood to go in vain? Did Gibran Tueni, Samir Kassir, George Hawi, Pierre Gemayel, Walid Eido, Antoine Ghanem, Francois al-Hajj, Wissam Eid, Wissam al-Hassan and others die so the country decays and its spirit slowly dies [to the point] where there’s no president to represent it and be the symbol of unity and maintain independence and safety of its lands?”

These are legitimate questions that politicians and citizens alike are asking. Even those in charge cannot answer them, because Lebanon is governed by a limited number of leaders who do not take others into consideration.

Tueni’s revolution was against corruption, sectarianism and injustice, which are still prevalent. His revolution was not limited to street protests, but also individual work to change institutions from within and impose the rule of law. There is still an opportunity to turn against this destructive reality. What matters is for Lebanon not to be lost, or we will bear the consequences of the historical sin of not performing our duties.

This article was first published in an-Nahar on Dec. 14, 2015.
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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