Made in Lebanon

By: Nayla Tueni


Independence Day in Lebanon falls in the upcoming week. We insist to call this day a feast although we don’t feel both – the joy of a feast and independence. It’s also the anniversary of politician Pierre Gemayel’s martyrdom. Gemayel, who was assassinated on November 21, is the one who launched the “Made in Lebanon” initiative to encourage the Lebanese people, particularly the youths, to believe in their country and build a future in it.

Last week, Parliament Speaker Nabih Berri commented on the country’s crises, saying he’s “certain that domestic initiatives are [futile] and that work must be made outside Lebanon [to resolve them].” This is a clear and frank confession that domestic parties are incapable of making any initiative to alter the status quo or present solutions for our problems.

With this confession, perhaps silence is better than inciting and threatening statements which are made day and night in compliance with the desire of these foreign parties which often negotiate at our expanse if not against us.

We haven’t made a decision in the past twenty years. We were governed by the Syrian-Saudi relationship. Our situation improved and our domestic agreements progressed when Saudi-Syrian relations developed in the shadow of a semi international-regional agreement that sponsored the political process in the region.


Captives of struggles

But the agreement stands no more. The Syrian regime is no longer part of all the agreements which Hafez al-Assad long worked for and ruled under. With this new given, our situation changed, and we became captives of struggles.

As we await possible solutions and future agreements, our incapability to hold domestic dialogue is exposed. Statements on possible solutions are a waste of time and lies. This is the case as long as the effective parties in Lebanon wait for regional changes. Some of them deny the truth by accusing others on counting on foreign parties. Those making such accusations are drowning in the wars of others as they count their victims a day after another.

Meanwhile, is surrender and waiting the only solution the Lebanese people have left? This reality may be the truth. But it’s beneficial to highlight the experience of veteran Lebanese journalist and diplomat Ghassan Tueni and others at the U.N. and the tours of former premier Rafiq Hariri to world leaders to prevent sealing agreements at Lebanon’s expanse. It’s also beneficial to strengthen the domestic arena to lessen the losses as much as possible. It’s only then that we can decrease Lebanon’s weakness and say that Lebanon’s crossing over to a better phase and warding off the specter of war were made in our country.


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. This article was first published in Annahar. 

Opinions do not necessarily reflect the view of ARA News. 


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