Stories from Afar & Up Close

Treat your country as you would treat your mother

In Lebanon, politicians do not talk with each other, they talk to each other. They usually deliver their messages to the leaders of the opposite camp through press-conferences, speeches at rallies and demonstrations, or even interviews or mediators – I often imagine how silent it must be during their meetings, seen that they only start venting their plans and opinions to journalists after the parliamentary sessions are over. This time, Sleiman Franjieh (a Maronite Christian leader who supports the Opposition) called on his fellow Maronite leaders to 'stop using Bkirki, the highest Maronite religious authority, as a platform for politicians to deliver statements'.

Geagea (a Maronite leader who supports the Government) let it be known that 'Franjieh should be respectful towards Bkirki and treat it like it is his mother'.

Enmity between Franjieh and Geagea dates back to the civil war, when Geagea's militia killed Franjieh's family, and it is there that Franjieh found his answer: ‘If Geagea had left my mother alive, I would have known how to treat her well.

In Dutch we say: Zo, die zit.