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Panoramic Views > Beirut


Upsurge for Independence, a National Resurgence

What great rejoicing, in heaven and on earth!

Against the splendour of an azure oriental sky, the standards, the banners and the flags, all green, white and red, bear the cedar, the national emblem, and waltz in the wind with splendid grace.
A vast human crowd of unprecedented number, covering the ground as far as eye can see, plunges us into deepest emotion; venerable grandsires, babies in arms, children and ardent youth, all ages, men and women, all children of the Lebanese fatherland.

We are in Beirut, on the very campus of the first School of Law in the world, where now the citizens demand application of the Law and respect for their rights.

There is no place like this, for here the martyrs met their death almost a century ago, they who also demanded sovereignty.

Liberty, sovereignty, independence, democracy, these are all synonyms, one for another.
Great crowds flow into this space like human rivers whose sources gush forth in every place in the land.

The tides of humanity can scarce be distinguished from those of the wide Mediterranean in front.
Slogans, chanted refrains, shouts, music, speeches, all enliven this joyous occasion.
The very angels in heaven admire us amazed. The whole world regards us astounded. We have gone beyond our earth-bound frontiers to distant lands to reach hearts and to stir spirits and noble feeling. We take consciousness of all existence, inspired by our prayerful saints and the foundations of civilisation laid here six thousand years ago.

Martyr's Square is a very hive in the wide world or rather a world within this hive, here where life seethes and overflows, to stir this whole region from its centuries-old sleep. There is a life which is revolutionary, contagious, epidemic, a human revolution of love, purity and innocence flowing over the frontiers. Just as our forebears spread the alphabet across the world, so we shall sow in distant fields our revolutionary actions to free the world.

Not far away, in front of the St. George Hotel, the St. Valentine's Day martyrs were sacrificed in a terrible conflagration, and here in this Independence Square they were buried.

...And so the revolution follows its course...

For it is something contagious and also pure, and the Lebanese are a great people, always aspiring to what is better.

With the July War, unjust and planned in advance for the destruction of Lebanon, of its land and its people, directed by an extremist state supported by great powers, the Lebanese, whether willingly or by force of circumstances, came together to face the invader. Finally the United Nations sent military forces to consolidate peace and security.

Another revolution broke out, under the same slogans and banners, pacific this time, with its various demands, partisans on all sides claiming that they stood for peace, independence, liberty, democracy and all the rest. Now nobody is ready to make any concessions and now all one hears are claims, counter-claims and efforts to outbid the others. The plot against our dear Lebanon continues, but who are the ones who profit? They can on only be our two neighbours.

For more than five months, in other words since last October, the area adjoining Martyr’s Square has been occupied by adherents of the various Lebanese parties. Tents are pitched in the streets, certain places are out of bounds to those without authorisation, there are frequent demonstrations, and a way of life adapted to this new situation takes shape. Above each of the tents some emblem indicates the party, movement or region it stands for. Public prayers are held to mark the religious feasts of each community, with representatives of the press and various other media always in attendance.

The coming days will be marked by the trend of events. The tents are a means of expression, a message addressed to the nations. Who is right and who is wrong? It makes me sad to have to look for an answer, for I feel bitterness and anguish in my heart. Our so-called leaders of whatever side or tendency have lost all sense of direction and in their hearts and minds know not the way to follow. Do the angels in heaven who once gazed on us in admiration, still look down tenderly upon us and do they ask the Lord God to give us his help and show us his justice?

Joseph Matar

Sit-in, the Lebanese detainees in Syria

- Upsurge for Independence: >> View Movie << (2005-03-14)
- Upsurge for Independence: >> View Movie << (2005-04-23)
- And so the revolution follows its course: >> View Movie << (2007-04-20)
- Sit-In, the Lebanese detainees in Syria: >> View Movie << (2007-05-01)

 

 


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