Lebanon: More Than The Headlines

#morethantheheadlines

The Lebanese National Anthem (with Lyrics)

 

All of us! For our Country, for our Flag and Glory!
Our valor and our writings are the envy of the ages.
Our mountain and our valley, they bring forth stalwart men.
And to Perfection we devote our words and labor.
All of us! For our Country, for our Flag and Glory!
All of us! For our Country
Our Elders and our children, they await our Country’s call,
And on the Day of Crisis they are as Lions of the Jungle.
The heart of our East is ever Lebanon,
May God preserve him until the end of time.
All of us! For our Country, for our Flag and Glory!
All of us! For our Country
The Gems of the East are his land and sea.
Throughout the world his good deeds flow from pole to pole.
And his name is his glory since time began.
The cedars are his pride, his immortality’s symbol.
All of us! For our Country, for our Flag and Glory!
All of us! For our Country[4][5]

Homeland’s portrayal of Lebanon

A famous example of negative stereotyping of Lebanon, was the recent portrayal of Lebanon in the hit US series Homeland.

Although I am a massive fan of the programme, Homeland portrays Lebanon’s famous Hamra Street in West Beirut, as downtrodden, in need of new infrastructure and swarming with militia.

However the reality couldn’t be further from the truth.

It prompted a reaction from Lebanon’s foreign minister Fady Abboud. “This kind of film damages the image of Lebanon – it is not fair to us and it’s not true, it is not portraying reality.”

The Lebanese government even threatened to sue the producers of the programme.

Is this justified?

Have a look at these images and let us know.

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Homeland’s portrayal of Lebanon prompts Beirut to consider a lawsuit. 

Lebanese hit out of Homeland ‘lies’ in depiction of Lebanon 

The National Pact

The National Pact is the unwritten agreement between Maronite  President Bechara El-Khoury and the Sunni Prime Minister Riad Al-Solh. Agreed to in   1943, it laid the foundation for the modern confessional Lebanese state.

Essentially the pact stated that:

–       Lebanon is an independent state.

–       Arab in character but not to seek alliance with the West or the Arabs.

–       The President must be a Maronite Catholic.

–       The Prime minister a Sunni Muslim

This established a delicate balance in the highly pluralistic Lebanese society.

This pact retains much of its form in modern-day Lebanon.

However the Lebanese Civil War (1975-1990) altered some of the Pact.

Beirut's_Martyrs'_Square_during_celebrations_marking_the_release_by_the_French_of_Lebanon's_government_from_Rashayya_prison_on_November_22,_1943,_the_day_of_Lebanon's_independence._Adib_Ibrahim

Lebanese celebrating the release of the Government, November 22nd, 1943. Leading to the National Pact.

How Lebanon Became Independent

In less than a month, Lebaon will celebrate its Independence Day. Celebrated annually on the 22nd of November, it is a national day of celebration and remembrance of Lebanon’s independence from the French in 1943.

Lebanon’s independence did not come easily.

In 1941, France declared Lebanon ‘independent’ , however continued to exercise authority based on the ‘French Mandate’ agreed to following the fall of the Ottoman Empire in 1918.

In 1943, Lebanon’s first democratic elections saw Bechara El-Khoury elected President and Riad Al-Solh appointed Prime Minister.

The new Parliament amended the constitution by abolishing the article referring to the mandate, therefore constitutionally ending French control.

France reacted by arresting the President, Prime Minister and other cabinet ministers.  This act further galvanised public opinion towards independence. Both Christians and Muslims marched in favour of this.

With international pressure mounting France eventually relented and released the President and Prime Ministers on the 22nd of November 1943.

Since then, this day is celebrated as the start of Lebanon’s independence.

Image

The first ever Lebanese flag.

Is unity the start to people looking beyond the headlines? What is your view? Does the media underestimate Lebanon’s unity?

Lebanon selected as guest of honour at Sharjah International Book Fair 2013

We don’t really read things like this in the media! Lebanon needs more attention on its positivity! Agree?

http://www.ameinfo.com/blog/real-estate-&-property-management/expo-centre-sharjah/lebanon-selected-as-guest-of-honour-at-sharjah-international-book-fair-2013/

#morethantheheadlines

The media does not seem to show these photo’s of respect in Lebanon. The Christmas Tree right next to the Mosque, shows the positivity in the country, rather than the negativity the media reports about.