PRESIDENT SAMY GEMAYEL: A GLIMMER OF HOPE
I wrote this article back in May of 2005, when 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 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
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, even veterans.
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
While Samy 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
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
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
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
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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