Friday, April 20, 2007

Basil Fuleihan: Two Year Commemoration

On February 14, 2005, Basil Fuleihan was critically injured while riding in a motorcade with former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafiq Hariri. Hariri, in addition to 16 others in the motorcade, was killed.
Rushed to a Paris hospital, Dr. Fuleihan was expected to live only three days. After fighting for his life for over two months, Dr. Fuleihan succumbed to his injuries on April 18, 2005.

A Columbia PhD in Economics (’90), Dr. Fuleihan served in the United Nations Development Program, and was a Professor of Economics at the American University of Beirut, before becoming Lebanese Minister of Finance and later Minister of Economy and Trade.

At the time of his death, Dr. Fuleihan was serving as a member of the Parliament of Lebanon.


  1. Anonymous12:39 AM

    good to remember that NOT only hariri died the 14 of feb but as well 22 other people that we are tending to forget.
    What about as well gebran Tueni, Samir Kassir, and all the military that died a 14 of march 1990 those people that always fought against the syrian occupation of lebanon.
    We need a date to remember all the lebanese that fighted for their freedom and not only one guy.

  2. You're absolutely right Anonymous.

    Unfortunately, due to the de-facto Syrian occupation that promulgated throughout Lebanon after the signing of the Taef, any attempts at honoring or remembering those fallen soldiers was met with stern resistance from the authorities concerned.

    As for the moment, it is important to remember those who have fallen, but it is equally important (if not more so) to remember those Lebanese still in Syrian jails, and to uphold the fight to regain and safeguard all of Lebanon's sovereign dues and rights in the face of continued Syrian intransigence

  3. About the lebanese in jail:
    it seems the governement forgot them

    just read that article:

    LEBANON-SYRIA: Families of missing detainees in Syrian prisons demand action
    24 Apr 2007 15:26:04 GMT
    Source: IRIN
    Reuters and AlertNet are not responsible for the content of this article or for any external internet sites. The views expressed are the author's alone.
    Alert Me | Printable view | Email this article | RSS [-] Text [+]

    Lebanon crisis
    BEIRUT, 24 April 2007 (IRIN) - BEIRUT, 24 April 2007 (IRIN) - Lebanese activists are calling on the United Nations and the Lebanese government to increase pressure on Damascus to release final details of the whereabouts and fate of more than 600 Lebanese missing in Syrian jails since the 1970s.

    As a sit-in protest in front of UN House in Beirut by the families of the missing detainees enters its third year, activists are calling on the UN to consider the missing prisoner cases as part of the implementation of a series of Security Council resolutions that have demanded Syria respect Lebanon's sovereignty.

    "Just as the UN is investigating all the assassinations in Lebanon since the killing of [former Prime Minister] Rafik Hariri, so we should have an independent international investigation into the cases of the missing prisoners," Ghazi Aad, chairman of Lebanese NGO Support for Lebanese in Detention and Exile, or 'Solide', told IRIN.

    "This issue is beyond the Lebanese authorities and they have failed to do their duty towards their citizens."

    An estimated 17,000 people went missing over the course of Lebanon's ruinous, 15-year-long civil war, in which Syria intervened in 1976 – a year after the war began - becoming de facto ruler of the country after the war's end in 1990.

    Since the Syrian withdrawal from Lebanon under UN resolution 1559 in April 2005, Solide has registered 643 prisoners believed to have disappeared in Syrian jails.

    Aad and other activists are urging the UN to consider Syria's implementation of 1559 – which called for the withdrawal of all foreign forces from Lebanon – to be incomplete until Damascus provides details of missing Lebanese prisoners it is believed to be holding.

    In the past, Syrian-controlled Lebanese governments denied the existence of Lebanese prisoners in Syria. In 1995, Beirut even issued a law declaring anyone who disappeared during the civil war as officially dead.

    Syria has also denied on several occasions having Lebanese detainees in its prisons. But in 2000, it released a number of Lebanese captives several years after their abductions from Lebanon.

    'Hurry up'

    In the last picture Violette Nassif has of her son Johnny, he is wearing a sweater that reads simply: 'Hurry up'.

    The image has haunted her for the 17 years that have passed since the young corporal in the Lebanese army was taken to a prison in Damascus, along with an estimated 150 other soldiers, after Syria defeated the Lebanese army in 1990.

    Tears stream down Violette's face as she recalls her years of desperate effort to first find out if her son, who would now be 34, is still alive, and then to try and bring him home to Lebanon.

    "After Johnny disappeared in 1990, I looked for him in morgues, in hospitals and in prisons for weeks. Finally, some friends in Syria told me he had been transferred to Damascus," said Violette, standing outside UN House in Beirut.

    The now elderly mother said that in November 1990, a month after her son's disappearance, a Lebanese army officer gave her a telegram stating that Johnny and five others Lebanese were not dead, but that they had indeed been imprisoned in Syria.

    Four years later, Violette at last managed to visit her son in Damascus' central prison. Two years later, she saw him again for the last time. But in 2001, a Lebanese detainee released from Syria told Violette that he had been in the same prison as Johnny and that her son was still alive.

    That hope keeps Violette going through her daily sit-in, demanding news that never comes.

    "The government has abandoned us so we must have an independent international investigation. We have been in this camp for two years now. Are they waiting for us to die as well? How can they not bother to search for their missing soldiers?" she asked.

    Syrian officials have said they would launch their own investigation into the whereabouts of nearly 800 Syrians they say have disappeared in Lebanon.

    "The Lebanese crimes against Syrian citizens were mostly motivated by political hatred, with an aim to divide Lebanon into smaller states loyal to Israeli governments," Syrian MP Faysal Kalthoum, who heads the National Committee for Syrian Disappeared in Lebanon, told the state-run Tishreen newspaper last year.

    Lebanese MP and member of the Parliamentary Human Rights Committee Ghassan Mkheyber said last week the committee would investigate all the cases of Lebanese who have gone missing in Syria, Israel and Libya.

    "It's about time we all came around to this humanitarian and moral issue so that we can uncover the truth about who's still alive and who's not," he told IRIN.


  4. French Eagle,
    I disagree with the way in which you've presented the above article.

    For the most part I agree that the more the government does on this issue the better. It could, for instance put out some sort of declaration (if theres one out there I'm not aware of please send it in), it could - as the activist in the article pointed out - petition the UN to add it to the 1559 mandate, it could provide psychological support, etc.

    But in addition to this, we have to be very apprehensive of the environment that this government is operating in domestically, and Syria's refusal to address any bilateral issue (other than its continued assassination and terror campaign) until Lebanon abandons the Int'l Tribunal.

    The fact that political parties like the FPM continuously call on the government to more readily address this subject, and yet at the same time align themselves with Syria's Lebanese allies, effectively handicapping any efforts at establishing proper contacts between the two countries on a state-to-state level, is completely counter-intuitive to me.

    All this and I still haven't mentioned Hizballah's so-called patriotic war on behalf on 2 prisoners in Israel while more than 200 languish in Syria. All the while Nasrallah praises the Assad regime.

    I don't mean to come off overly partisan here, but if I don't agree with your point of view on the subject it is because of these and many other reasons which I like to refer to as reality.

    It is this muddling of issues that is keeping the country in a state of paralysis. (Sigh)

  5. By the way, its easy to provide a link to an article (instead of posting the whole thing in a comments section).

    Here's how you do it:
    < a href="link url"> Name you want to give to link< /a>

    just don't include the space between < and a.

    Click Me!

  6. Anonymous1:17 AM

    are there still orangina retards out there? I guess stupidity has no limits!

  7. just the ones with no self-esteem and a skewed sense of reality.


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