In full public glare Saad Hariri, accompanied by his wife and son, visited Paris and met with the French president at the Elysee Palace. With his appearance and participation during the Independence Day celebrations in Beirut, Hariri exposed a web of lies and rumors woven around him by the terrorist organization Hezbollah.
Presently, the Saudi-Lebanese relations are at an unprecedented crossroads. This crisis has revealed the extent of hatred and lies against Saudi Arabia and its symbols is being spread by a lot of Lebanese politicians and their flock.
Irrespective of the situation, Lebanon has changed a great deal and now it needs to answer some pertinent questions, portraying a true picture of its identity and the mission. The country has been promoting itself as a beacon of science, freedom, tolerance and coexistence in the East for a long time.
As a matter of fact, Lebanon is changing and transforming. It lost its true identity and its icons such as Saint Maroun, the patron saint of Lebanon and Fakhreddine, prince of the Mount Lebanon Emirate, have been replaced by Hassan Rohani and Ali Akbar Velayati and they are proud that Lebanon is under their command.
Today there is an explicit Iranian occupation that systematically erases the identity of LebanonHussein Shobokshi
Lebanon had a banking system, which was a source of its pride, stability and a shining example of its power and professionalism. It has now been infiltrated by corrupt elements involved in money-laundering crimes, facilitating financing of terrorism, drug trafficking and sale of weapons.
As a result, Lebanese banks are now threatened by unprecedented international sanctions. Baalbek is no longer a hot spot for festivals, art and world culture. It t has in fact become a breeding ground for mafia gangs, kidnappers, blackmailer and murderers.
Rafik Hariri International Airport, which was the urban civilizational facade of Beirut and Lebanon, has become a den for the organization of terrorist Hezbollah and Syrian intelligence elements. These criminals indulge in false accusations, kidnappings and extortion. There are many known stories of prosecution and threats against Lebanese visitors and assassination attempts on businessmen and diplomats affiliated with some countries.
Football matches now have sectarian aspect. Fairouz’s songs were recently banned at universities and books were confiscated. Lebanon has become wild. It has recognized various occupations, known in the Turkish era, in the French era and in the Syrian era.
Today there is an explicit Iranian occupation that systematically erases the identity of Lebanon. The spirit of freedom, the spirit of and ‘mercantilism’ and the idea of free trade has vanished after the penetration of the organization of the terrorist party in the authorities, which look after the affairs of economic life.
A few years ago, the distinguished Lebanese scholar, Kamal Deeb, in his widely read book entitled “This Ancient Bridge” predicted that within two decades no Christian would remain in Lebanon because of the tyranny of extremism and militancy.
OPINION: Lebanon: A tale of two occupations
Lebanon has become a part of the Islamic Republic of Qom, as Hassan Nasrallah swears repeatedly. If Lebanon agrees, in this case there will be no difference between it and North Korea and Zimbabwe.
Everyone knows where they are, but no one wants to deal with them, especially as they have become platforms for exporting terrorism and killing. If the Lebanese accept this wounded Lebanon, then forgive them for their heart, but please “keep it” in Lebanon, as Lebanon which we loved, is no longer as it is.
This article was first published in the Saudi Gazette on December 4, 2017.
Hussein Shobokshi is a businessman and prominent columnist. Shobokshi hosts the weekly current affairs program Al Takreer on Al Arabiya, and in 1995, he was chosen as one of the “Global Leaders for Tomorrow” by the World Economic Forum. He received his B.A. in Political Science and Management from the University of Tulsa. His twitter handle is @husseinshoboksh.