Hazem Al Amin

Nassib Lahoud

Nassib Lahoud is dead, and it seems as though his death is symbolic in nature. Indeed, his physical death was preceded by the death of those like him or those who wish to be like him, those who went out of the confines of their confessions, parties and regions to take part in the March 14, 2005 protests. Yes, we died before Nassib Lahoud did. Rather, the man’s death is a culmination epitomizing a major political death that had been creeping slowly from the day following the success of the protest.

Nassib Lahoud, who took part in the protest from an exceptional standpoint in Lebanon’s public life, was the only March 14 figure whom we can say we resembled without mentioning the word “unfortunately.” Much like the March 14 coalition forsaking him in the latest elections, it had also forsaken us, and here again, his being cast aside was a culmination of our being cast aside.

The man attended former PM Rafik Hariri’s funeral even though he was opposed to the economic governments of Hariri Sr. No matter how hard he tried, Former Deputy PM Michel al-Murr was not able to deprive the man of a parliamentary seat in the Metn. Nassib Lahoud defeated former President Emile Lahoud in his hometown of Baabdat, thought one day that Paul Achkar could head his electoral campaign, and believed in the need to reconcile former Communist Party leader George Hawi with his Metn origins. This same Nassib Lahoud died yesterday and signaled the death of an illusion. George Hawi was killed in a car bomb explosion in Mosseitbeh, and Paul Achkar is now wandering all over Latin America while still holding onto an expired press card.

Rumor had it that Nassib Lahoud had relinquished his loyalty to the Metn in favor of a new and progressive loyalty to Lebanon. Yet, contrary to such rumors, the man is as much loyal to the Metn as he is loyal to Lebanon. This native of the Metn region came to public office from a traditional political family, and now he leaves behind an advanced and modern political substance. In this sense, Nassib Lahoud is a rare occurrence. Indeed, political dynasties in Lebanon have long provided us with young people who acted as the exact clones of their fathers and grandfathers. In contrast, they provided with Nassib Lahoud the true and promising meaning of the succession of generations.

Should we have realized early on that the man was out of place in our republic? We almost did when we realized that he could not be president. In fact, we knew the man would never be president on the day he submitted his candidacy for the job when he announced his platform at BIEL in front of the Lebanese people, as he never departed from his stance on March 14, 2005 and never took one step closer toward his new allies. No Lebanese president actually announces his platform in front of the Lebanese people or chooses the people whom Nassib Lahoud chose as his audience.

Should we have realized that the man would never become president when it dawned on him and on us that the March 14 coalition was bargaining his seat away in favor of a candidate who is a big, scary symbol of decadence?

Is there a clearer political sign than the fact that General Michel Aoun and former President Amin Gemayel were both opposed to him? This goes without mentioning his decisive rejection of Hezbollah’s weapons and his realization that the March 14 coalition was no longer speaking to its public without whom no spring could be complete, which was indeed the case. Nassib Lahoud’s death is merely the intensive culmination of the failure to have our own spring.

This article is a translation of the original, which appeared on the NOW Arabic site on Thursday February 2, 2012