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No!!! Lebanon is not Arabic, Lebanon is LEBANESE.
The LF Daily Prayer:
Our Father, who are in Heaven, Hallowed be Thy Name, Thy Kingdom Come, Thy Will be done, on Earth as it is in Heaven. Give us this day, our daily bread, and forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us, and lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from all evil. For Thine
is the Kingdom, and the Power, and the Glory, forever.
About Bashir Gemayel:
7th president of the Republic
Founder of the Lebanese Forces
Bashir Gemayel 1947-1982
Some people worshipped him; some disliked him. He was a leader to many; to others, he was an enemy to be eliminated. But above all, he was a man who carried a dream and who had conviction, strength and popular support to make that dream a reality. He had already begun weaving the threads of a new fabric for his country when his life was cut short by those who feared the changes he proposed. But his spirit lives on in those who knew and loved him.
Out of the wound in our bleeding hearts, out of the tears in our children's eyes, out of our strong attachment to our land, he emerged and struck lightning in the sky giving us hope and a dream, a beautiful dream of a free 10452km² Lebanon. Free of all foreign occupation and brotherly presence. He gave us the dream of a strong unified Lebanon whereby all its different ethnic and religious groups could coexist in peace and harmony.
After the Cairo Agreement, the situation in Lebanon was steadily deteriorating, with continued violent outbreaks of fighting between the armed Palestinians and the Lebanese Army. Attacks by the armed Palestinians against Israeli targets across the Lebanese-Israeli border grew more numerous and deadly. After the Lebanese-PLO war broke on in April 1975, Bashir joined his fellow militia members of the Kataeb party in defending the Christian areas against the PLO attacks.
When William Hawi, Commander-in-Chief of the Kataeb Military Council was killed in the Lebanese Forces siege of the PLO stronghold in Tell Zaatar in July 1976, Bashir was chosen to succeed him. By August 30, he was appointed head of the unified command of the Lebanese Forces, a coalition of the Christian militias of the Kataeb Party, National Liberal Party, the Tanzim and the Guardians of the Cedars.
On July 7, 1980, these Christian militias were unified into one as the Lebanese Forces with Bashir Gemayel as their Commander-in-Chief. By January 1981, Gemayel also held positions as Chief of the Kataeb Security Council and member of the Kataeb Political Bureau.
As Commander-in-Chief, Bashir went on strengthening the military branch of the Lebanese Forces, instituting military training in schools of the Christian sector to build up reserves. He also gave the Lebanese Forces a broader political dimension and popular basis. He organized public services in the liberated areas (Eastern Region) to substitute for the lack of government provided services. These included a public transportation system; a popular committee to provide the daily needs of the population such as water, electricity, road maintenance, garbage collection, sewage, social relief services, etc.; two radio stations and a television station; and a small airport.
Under President Elias Sarkis, a Council of National Salvation was formed in June 1982 which grouped the major militia and political leaders in an effort to draw up measures to end the seven years of war which had shaken Lebanon. Gemayel participated on the short-lived Council as the representative of the Lebanese Forces.
As Commander-in-Chief of the Lebanese Forces, Bashir had many opportunities to meet foreign officials both abroad and in Lebanon to discuss his vision of Lebanon. Most notably of these were several trips he made to the United States, where he consulted with officials from the State Department, the White House, Senators and Congressmen; his visit to Saudi Arabia in July 1982 to consult with King Fahd; his meeting with European Christian Democrat Parliamentary groups; and his meetings with US, UN and Arab envoys who were working on finding solutions to the Lebanese crisis.
Bashir officially announced his candidacy for President of the Republic of Lebanon on July 24, 1982. On August 23, 1982, Gemayel was elected President of the Republic in a second ballot by a vote of 57 for with 5 abstentions.
During the next few weeks, he held countless planning sessions and intensive meetings with Christian and Moslem leaders, preparing plans for the rebirth of Lebanon. He began rallying l Lebanese people, Moslems and Christians alike, around him as no other leader in Lebanon had been able to do since independence.
Nine days before he was to be inaugurated President, Bashir attended his usual discussion session at the Kataeb office in Ashrafieh. A powerful explosion on the second floor ripped through the building, killing Bashir along with 26 others. The hero and hope of Lebanon was dead and all Lebanon mourned.
It was later discovered that two members of the National Syrian Socialist Party one of whom was related to the owners of the building in which the Ashrafieh Kataeb offices were located, were the instigators of the bombing and that Syria was behind the assassination.
Bashir was frank and direct in his dealings with people. His zeal for the Lebanese cause, an independent Lebanon free of all foreign occupation, inspired many. This goal took him around the world, meeting with Arab and Western leaders, in search for solutions and support. He was a bold man, charismatic, decisive. He maintained a clear political course, attracting young, dynamic and specialized individuals to the cause. He was forthright and realistic, a man who refused compromise or half-way solutions. He was open to dialogue and not afraid of criticism.
The Lebanese emigrants had a major role to play in supporting the Lebanese cause, Bashir believed. He instituted offices in many countries overseas, including the Unites States, France, Brazil, West Germany and Italy to keep those governments informed about the Lebanese communities there active in working for the liberation of their mother country, Lebanon.
Gemayel consistently worked for free, democratic, independent Lebanon, pluralist in nature and strong, secure state. He believed that Moslem and Christian can live together in peace and that Lebanon need to maintain good relations with the Western World as well as the Arab World. He advocated the withdrawal of Syrian forces occupying Lebanon since 1975, the withdrawal of Israeli forces occupying Lebanon since June 1982 and disarming of the Palestinians while on Lebanese soil.
When Bashir Gemayel announced his candidacy for the presidency, he went beyond confessional conflicts and personality quarrels. He pursued a very sublime goal to unite all the Lebanese, defend the country's sovereignty and champion a modern and democratic Lebanon. Exhausted by so many years of war and terror under foreign occupation, the Lebanese yearned for independence, freedom and peace. This could only build upon a country at peace with itself. For this purpose, Gemayel ordered the Lebanese Forces as they prepared to reenter their villages to refrain, under heavy penalty, from any wrong doing to their Lebanese brothers. He firmly warned against any breach of discipline.
"Those against whom you fought; those who demolished your houses, desecrated the tombs of our grandfathers... we must respect their dead without any feeling of vengeance. They destroyed our homes, but we shall protect their homes... We must secure freedom and protection for every Lebanese without discrimination."
(June 17, 1982).
In the Middle East, where tyranny, fanaticism, turmoil and intolerance exist, Lebanon was unique in his attempted to be the country of stability, liberty and tolerance--peaceful by vocation, democratic by tradition and liberal by civilization. Bashir Gemayel was seen as the man to restore this freedom and peace to his country. His candidacy was not only a bet on the future of Lebanon, but also on the interests of the Free World and above all the United States.
Bashir Gemayel's sole purpose from founding the Lebanese Forces was that he wanted an organization, a party that would always be ready, able and willing to stand in defense of Lebanon. He wanted it a strong political party and a strong military power whenever the Lebanese army failed to defend the country as was the case in 1975. The Lebanese Forces was created to make sure that what happened in 1975 never happens again and that the reasons, which lead to the starting of the war be resolved in a final and permanent way.
The Lebanese Forces was needed and Bashir saw to that need. When the Lebanese army unwillingly was divided there was a strong need for someone to protect the true and free Lebanese from Palestinian fighters who sought their Palestine through our Lebanon.
The Lebanese Forces and its allies resisted and liberated all of what was once known as the liberated areas where no foreign armies existed and where the Lebanese government and institutions were working freely and where the Lebanese Army had a presence.
The Lebanese Forces fought everywhere on the Lebanese soil trying to resist both foreign and local threats to Lebanon and its independence, in many cases our resistance was successful and we liberated our land due to the fact that the people of certain areas backed us and stood behind us and supported us and unfortunately we were not successful in others due to the fact that many local threats were a knife in our back working with the invaders against their fellow Lebanese.
In the summer of 1978 Bashir Gemayel and the Lebanese Forces launched the war that was later known as the one hundred days war which ended in a great big victory for the Lebanese Forces commanded by Bashir. Syrian and Palestinian forces were taken out of East Beirut and from then on wards it BEGUN.
Bashir resisted the Syrians and Palestinians anywhere they existed and anywhere he could attack them starting from the north, passing through Beirut all the way to the south and the mountain.
Bashir Gemayel gave his life for his dream and ours, he gave his daughter's life and set the example. He paved the way and believed in us to accomplish the mission.
About Lebanon :
Lebanon's fate has been closely connected with the development of its territorial neighbors. But in character the Lebanese mountains, which their snow covered peaks, and the fertile Mediterranean coast, are very different from desert-like region which compromises present-day Syria and its southern neighbor, the Biblical Palestine.
Lebanon is divided geographically into four distinct zones: a small coastal strip along the Mediterranean borders on the precipitous Lebanon Mountains which run from north to south and fall on the east side to the fertile high plateau of Bekaa. The Anti-Lebanon Mountains from the eastern boundary of both the Bekaa plain and the Lebanese national territory. With its 10452 square kilometers Lebanon is half the size of Wales and Monmouth.
The most important towns in Lebanon are situated along the Mediterranean coastline. Apart from the capital Beirut, the towns are, from south to north, Tyre, Sidon, Jounieh, Jbeil, Batroun and Tripoli. Under Phoenician rule, the coastal region already flourished remarkably in the second millennium B.C. The ancient Phoenician city-states grew rich trough their long-haul trade and through the export of purple dye obtained from the purple snail. In Jbeil (the Byblos of antiquity), Sidon (Saida) and Tyre (Sur), as well as in Beirut, impressive ruins still bear witness to ancient glory. In early antiquity Phoenicia compromised only the coastal region adjoining the western slopes of the Lebanon mountains, but the Romans sometimes used the term "Phoenicia" to include also the whole Western part of Syria, with Damascus and Emesa, known today as Homs.
The Semitic peoples and European civilization owe their alphabet to the Phoenicians. The Phoenician religion, with its male god Baal and mother-goddess, was closely related to the beliefs of the neighboring Semitic peoples. However, some Phoenician mythological figures, like the beautiful Adonis who was torn to pieces by a boar, and Europa who was abducted to Crete by a bull, stimulated the imagination of the Greeks and Romans. In the ancient myth, Europa, who gave her name to the Europe and its culture, was a daughter of the King of Tyre which had once been principle Phoenician town on the Mediterranean. The most important Phoenician colony in the Western Mediterranean was Carthage, which under Hannibal became Rome's great enemy.
Pride in their Phoenician heritage is an essential element in the national consciousness of the present-day Lebanese. Their national character has been no less decisively formed by the Lebanon Mountains. These mountains have the highest winter rainfall in the Near East, and rivers flow down their sides through green valleys into the Mediterranean. The Eastern slopes of the mountains are drier and thus have less vegetation. The highest peak in the range is Qornet es Saouda in the north, 3,090 meters high; from this point the mountain range decreases in height towards the south; the Sannine peak east of Beirut is 2,630 meters high and Jabal Niha, east of Saida, only 1,860 meters. The broad characteristics of Lebanon Mountains are easy to take in, but the multiplicity of peaks, high plateau, river valleys and smaller mountains in this imposing massif on which the snow continues to lie right into the hottest summer months, make a complex picture. In the coastal plain they grow oranges, bananas and vegetables, and in the uplands apples, cherries, figs and vines. Since antiquity, peasants have tried to expand the agricultural land at their disposal by terrace cultivation.
To the east of the Lebanon Mountains the fertile Bekaa plateau runs parallel to it, with the Anti-Lebanon Mountains on its east side-the plain is 20 kilometers broad. The frontier crosses the highest point of the Hermon mountains (2,800 meters), which are continuation of the Anti-Lebanon to the south. While the Bekaa plateau, with its rich wheat fields and vineyards, has a resemblance to Southern Europe, the rugged Anti-Lebanon peaks and the adjoining Hermel region in the north show desert characteristics. Both the Lebanese Mediterranean coast and the Bekaa valley have served, ever since antiquity, as main roads to conquerors and as trade routes for caravans traveling from Egypt and Palestine to Northern Syria, or from the eh north into Palestine.
Since early Middle Ages the country's mountain valleys have been places of refuge for persecuted religious minorities. At first sight, the multiplicity of religious communities appears confusing; some Lebanese authorities count eighteen different denominations. However, the religious communities which are significant in the political life of the country are not difficult to grasp. They belong to three major religions: Christianity, Islam and the Druze faith.
About Lebanese Forces:
The "Lebanese Forces" was created as a result of excruciating circumstances in Lebanon in late seventies when the Lebanese Christian community felt the need to defend itself against impending internal and external dangers and threats. These dangers were amplified by the fact that the government with its entire infrastructure proved to be impotent in containing the Palestinian military presence in Lebanon, which threatened Lebanon’ sovereignty and independence. The resistance forces consisted of several separate factions: the Phalangists, The National Liberal Party, Al-Tanzeem Party and the Guardians of The Cedars, who took a multi-lateral decision on August 1976 to consolidate the war efforts and to establish a unified resistance military council under the command of the late Lebanese president "Bashir Gemayel".
Bashir Gemayel founded the "Lebanese Forces". He created it, organized the cadres and he molded it with his own patriotic spirit, hopes and aspirations. He transformed it to play a dual role in the Christian community, a defensive military machine (30,000 fighters) and a sophisticated infrastructure that served the Christian community politically, economically, socially and by providing it with both radio and TV stations. He continued to serve in that capacity until he was elected president of Lebanon in 1982, and consequently his assassination by the enemies of Lebanon on September 14, 1982.
After the assassination, the "Lebanese Forces" went into a state of shock and paralysis that lasted few years until January 15, 1986 when Dr. "Samir Geagea" assumed its leadership. On that day the winds of change started blowing and the march of rebuilding, reform and modernization started moving forward. The "Lebanese Forces" became the institution holding a historical political proposition for the Lebanese Christian community aiming at:
Ensuring a sovereign, free, and secure Lebanon for all its citizens equally.
Establishing a system of government whereas the superstructure (the government) is congruent with the infrastructure (the society) resulting in a fair, true and balanced political participation.
Promoting a political system built on three basic principles: diversity, freedom to foster development and democracy representative of the diversity that exists in the Lebanese Society.
Halting support to any ideology or movement that works directly or indirectly to joining Lebanon to another country.
Adopting a neutral foreign policy to provide for internal security and to allow for freedom to build foreign international relations.
The "Lebanese Forces" peaked in its organization and modernization. After the signing of the "TAEF Accord" on October 24, 1989 with international and regional blessings, it transformed its military resistance into a political resistance. Hence, the "Lebanese Forces Party", with its 30,000 members not counting their families, was formed on September 10, 1990 based on three undisputed principles:
Safeguarding Lebanon’s independence, sovereignty and distinct identity within its
Internationally recognized borders.
Founding the Lebanese Government on the basic principles of human rights.
Establishing a democratic system whereas freedom and Human Rights of every citizen are protected and guaranteed.
Post "Taef Accord", and after dismantling its military machine and surrendering its weapons, the Lebanese Forces Party attempted to control the dangerous digression in the implementation of the Taef Accord due to the Syrian regime, single-handedly taking control of the "Lebanese File". This scenario manifested on the Political arena as a result of two factors: the international/regional powers that accommodated the Syrian regime and the refusal of the Lebanese Muslims to respect and abide by the "Taef Accord".
The "Lebanese Forces Party" refused the status quo and used every democratic means to realize its political ambition on one hand and to prevent Syria from annexing Lebanon, on the other hand. As a result, the ruling regime in Lebanon launched a persecution and terror campaign against the "Lebanese Forces Party" starting with the government decision to disband it on March 24, 1994 and to falsely accuse and imprison its leader "Dr. Samir Geagea" on April 21 of the same year. The waves of arrests began soon after and continued to target Lebanese Forces officials and hundreds of its members to date. The government confiscated all assets and equipment belonging to the Lebanese Forces Party and took over all of its social, educational and media institutions.
The direct result of this persecution and terror campaign was the forced emigration of a large number of "Lebanese Forces Party" members to Europe, United States and Australia where representative political offices have been established for years.
In spite of all the pressures exerted upon it and the false imprisonment of its leader, the "Lebanese Forces Party" is still the most organized party on the Lebanese political arena. This is proven by the official results in the last municipal elections of 1998 (300 "Lebanese Forces Party" officials elected). Furthermore, the "Lebanese Forces Party" enjoys a strong presence and a wide area of influence on the educational level within student organizations in universities and schools and also within many labor unions representing doctors, lawyers and engineers to mention a few. Still, the "Lebanese Forces Party" cannot operate freely within Lebanon as other political parties who are Syrian sympathizers.
Human Rights page:
“The hottest place in Hell is reserved for those
Who remain neutral in times of great moral conflict.”
We Dedicate This Page
To those whose screams are not heard and whose agonies are not shared
To those whose rights are violated and voices are muffled
To those who endured and are enduring persecution
To prisoners of conscience
The Lebanese Forces Party provides you with accurate reporting on Human Rights abuses and violations committed against its members and supporters.
Should you have a story or a testimony that you would like to share with us, please feel free to e-mail it to us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Church leader urges dialogue after Sidon killing
The secretary-general of the Middle East Council of Churches has criticized the handling of fallout after an American woman was murdered in Sidon last week, saying improved dialogue was necessary to avoid violence.
Minister Riad Jarjour made the remarks during a meeting with Maronite Patriarch Nasrallah Butros Sfeir on Tuesday. Jarjour called for dialogue between the concerned parties, regardless of confessional or religious differences.
Some believe the killing of Bonnie Penner Witherall was related to anti-American sentiment here or local hostility to the victim’s work with an evangelical Christian group in predominantly Muslim Sidon.
The Middle East Council of Churches has “a clear goal,” said Jarjour, which is freedom of religion, not converting people.”
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