Pierre Maroun (USA) wrote:
I wrote this article back in May of 2005, after we had the privilege to invite Sheikh Samy Gemayel to an event in Ohio. It was different times, different struggle, and different players, yet the cause was the same-Free Lebanon!
To republish this article today is to show the true characteristics of a genuine leader, and to prove that Lebanon and its people still have hope.
“In 1982, a dream was born when Bashir Gemayel was elected president of Lebanon, a nation ravaged by war and torn apart by crimes. The election of Bashir brought new hope to people who were for so long starved for peace, unity, and freedom. Unfortunately, the extravaganza that filled the streets of Lebanon was abruptly curtailed. It was extinguished by a criminal hand that blew up the Kataeb Headquarters in Ashrafieh, burying beneath it the dream and the hope in the birthplace of resistance. In a split second of hate and evil, Bashir and twenty-five of his colleagues disappeared beneath the rubbles.
Again, a dark cloud of fear and uncertainty
loomed over the sacred land of the Cedars of God-Lebanon. Out of this darkness,
however, a promise resurrected; Amine vowed on Bashir’s coffin to never rest
until the dream of Bashir to free Lebanon the 10452km2 was fulfilled.
Decades later, though Bashir has long been gone, the Dream of a free Lebanon lives on through the blood of new leaders-Samy and Nadim.
Samy and his colleagues were vigorously active in various means to achieve our martyr’s sacred dream. Thus, his popularity originated from his zealous involvement in fighting the occupation of Lebanon, fighting for human rights and freedom of expression, and fighting for independence and democracy in a region foreign to such concepts.
He defied the
Syrian/Lebanese security apparatus, organized demonstrations and “sit ins” at
times when people feared to whisper anti-Syrian slogans for fear of persecution
and execution. These activities have triggered people’s interest in learning
more about the brave Samy Gemayel.
Those around him believe that Samy’s bravery stems out of his conviction that Lebanon’s heritage cannot be saved by writing poetry and that independence cannot be restored by issuing crafty press releases. Therefore, during the Syrian occupation, unlike others who were fighting for independence and sovereignty around dinner tables in fancy restaurants, Samy and his friends chose to fight these battles in the streets of Beirut. Instead of facing the microphones of journalists and the lenses of photographers, they were facing the water hoses of the Syrian regime’s lackey firemen and the batons of its crony policemen. Whenever Samy organized a demonstration, the puppet regime deployed entire battalions of its agents to subdue the “rebel.”
Just like his
grandfather before him, Samy marched before his supporters and he received the
first punch. His outstanding spirit and courage influenced many youngsters,
Samy Gemayel's influence, however, was not limited to Lebanese towns and cities, but rather extended into the Lebanese community abroad. His trip to the USA in May 2005 was a clear example. It was a visit that succeeded beyond everyone’s expectations; it brought a refreshing message of hope and unification to the entire Lebanese community in diaspora. They came
from all over the US and Canada to meet the young leader.
Samy’s approach to
the Lebanese cause and his plea to expatriates were unparalleled. Instead of
taking the usual narrow window of a political partisan approach, Samy walked
into the hearts and minds of his audiences from the broader gateway of a
national resisting figure. His message was clear and very decisive. He
declared: “The war on Lebanon today is very different and much more dangerous
than that of 1975. This is simply due to the fact that Lebanon’s heritage, culture,
and customs are being rooted out on daily basis by the Syrian regime’s minions.
The fundamental fabric of our society and identity are being coerced, and our
immense history is being distorted and rewritten.” He added: “this calculated
war of manipulating public perception and beliefs is being waged to conquer and
defeat our notably historic independent school of thoughts in order to promote
those of defeat.” Samy continued, “Our quest for freedom and democracy is being
portrayed as treason, while others’ radical and remote ideas are being
glorified and presented as national ones. Our belief in a diverse, independent,
and sovereign Lebanese nation-state with rich and unique roots is being
suppressed in order to advance outdated ideologies with no connection
whatsoever to our identity. This war,”Samy affirmed, “is none but a
continuation of the violent subjugation which commenced against Mount Lebanon
centuries ago in order to subdue its free people and to rob them of their great
legacies and values. The Syrian regime,”
Samy believes, “has picked up where other intruders have left off. Their goal remains: to annex and subdue our proud nation-Lebanon-the only enduring beacon of freedom in the region.”
Samy’s concerns were based on troubling facts. In a pure Bashirist tone, he declared: “Unless we resist and defeat this organized war on our heritage, Lebanon as we know will cease to exist.” Therefore, he urged every Lebanese man and women to rise above party politics in order to fight this war as one group of Lebanese nationalists.
acknowledged that students back home practiced cooperation, he stressed the
need to improve solidarity and coordination. He declared: “I am not asking you
to forget your political parties; I am not asking you to become Kataeb; but all
that I am asking you is to set your parties aside until this war is over. Only
then,” he concluded, “we can all go back to our parties and play as much
politics as we wish.” He affirmed: “we must not falter until the dream is
fulfilled and the promise is delivered.”
Furthermore, Samy emphasized the importance of the Lebanese women and their significant role in society as well as in our struggle to save the nation. In his private “mingling,” Samy urged Lebanese women to become more involved in resistance in order to take their proper size and position in leading the Lebanese society.
The US visit revealed that Samy Gemayel was a leader of a great caliber with a unique personality. He presented himself as a nationalist with a greater cause and a fighter with a noble mission to accomplish. His demeanor was above political pettiness and beyond partisan campaigns. To many, Samy was no longer viewed as the head of a student movement. He was no longer limited to Lebanon’s geographic boundaries, and he was no longer a marginalized human rights activist. Instead, Samy was a leader who represents the aspirations of the youths; he symbolized the struggle of veterans; and he led a resistance with an international reach.
Samy believed that it is time for a real change in Lebanon. There is a need for a new political formula and a new viable plan which benefits each community. The Lebanese should have learned from their mistakes, he said. No one can impose his/her rules on others. The Lebanese live in a multicultural society and they need to respect the different political opinions, religions, and cultures. His call was to let this great country develop socially, economically, and politically. Let it be free of any foreign interference and let be untangled of all regional conflicts.
Today, Samy and his colleagues are still serving the cause. Their mission remains precise: save Lebanon the 10452km2 from all foreign and domestic aggressors.
May God bless those young Freedom Fighters, for they are Lebanon’s only glimmer of hope!”
~Pierre A. Maroun
May 20, 2005
**Today, a decade of hard work has only proven what we have already known about that resilient, tenacious, and genuine young leader who never wavered, never bargained, and never failed to serve the cause of his people and his country. President Samy Gemayel upholds that same faithful, peaceful, and effective course of resistance due to his oath to continue the road, which his Grandfather Sheikh Pierre drew to build a distinctive Lebanon in the region; to win the struggle of his uncle Bashir for sovereign and independent nation; and to prove to his brother that “Pierre Gemayel is a name that will never die in Lebanon!”
Samy Gemayel’s steadfastness stems from a deeply rooted faith in God, Family, and Country. His world views and national ideologies are entrenched in his inner being and his struggle for Lebanon is a lifestyle which he acquired through the discipline he received from his father and mentor Sheikh Amine Gemayel.
May God bless the new President of the Kataeb Party and his colleagues. May Charbel, Rafqa, and Hardini guide his steps and protect him from all evils for Samy Gemayel remains Lebanon’s Glimmer of Hope!
Pierre A. Maroun
June 14, 2015
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