Thursday, January 26, 2006

Hariri And My Question

Raja is back to the business-as-usual mode, which really means that I'm not going to be the only one "managing" our dear blog. Welcome back Raja!

On another point, Raja mentioned that we attended the presentation MP Saad Hariri conducted at the Woodrow Wilson Research Center in DC yesterday. I was bold enough to ask Hariri a question, during the hour-long question-and-answer session. You can find my question referenced in Al-Mustaqbal on page 4:

بعد لقائك الرئيس بوش كيف سترد على من يتهمك بتدويل القضية اللبنانية؟ـ لن اعير هذا
الامر أي اهتمام وأنا اؤمن بأنني اعمل لصالح لبنان ومصالحه، ولا اكترث لرأي أي كان
في انتماءاتي فانا انتمي الى لبنان الحر.

Among the attendants was journalist Naseer As'ad, who alternates the writing of Al-Mustaqbal's editorials with Fares Kashan and who is a favorite analyst, MP Bassem Sabeh, MP Farid Makari, and former MP Ghattas Khoury.

When Saad Hariri entered the conference room, my eyes got fixated on him. His features are strong, he's tall, has a wide chest and shoulders, and he looked serious. His soft eyes contrasted the boldness of the dark hair and the beard.

When he spoke, however, that impression changed. He is soft-spoken, in contrast to his features. Some of what he said was overshadowed by my thoughts of asking a question to him. I hesitated by raising my hand to request the microphone, but I did, and he was funny and nice when he answered my question.

What struck me though, was when journalist Hisham Melhem asked him a tough question about how Hariri would face the vision he has of Lebanon with that of Hizbullah's, which is diametrically opposed to his. Hariri said that he liked the question, because it is a tough one. His answer, unfortunately, was vague; he believed that the Lebanese need to be given enough time to resolve all their standing issues amongst themselves. So basically he thinks that time will be the solution. I wanted to grab the microphone and say: but as we wait longer to resolve those contentious issues, regional pressures are increasing and affecting the country's stability...but of course I didn't.

Despite his lack of political savvy, his sincerity and belief in Lebanon were very powerful. By virtue of answering my question, saying that accusations of internationalizing Lebanese affairs will be ignored, as he stands strongly by his convictions...shows his strength of heart and determination.

This answer reminded me of the late Rafiq Hariri; his strength lied in his determination and perseverance to resolve difficult problems and his love of Lebanon...all shrouded in a soft-spoken, calm, and quiet aura. The late Rafiq Hariri was not politically savvy, but he always surrounded himself by experts and always listened and was willing to learn. I believe his son is following in his footsteps. I wish him luck. In the hopes that the idealism he carries will not be tarnished by years in politics, especially the Lebanese type.

"Nobody knows how many rebellions, besides political rebellions, ferment in the masses of life which people earth."


Vox Populi - Agent Provocateur said...

Saad Hariri isn't an extraverted person. Actually, he's rather soft probably because his father didn't give him a psycho education like Oudai and Qousai. That said, it only means that Hariri is not a barbarian, not that he's a weak person that cannot make tough decision.

Anonymous said...

I hope you are both right.
He seems to be a nice fellow and loves Lebanon.With right and wise advisors
he will do the job fine.

Lazarus said...

I'm not sure if I'm the only one who doesn't seem to share in enthusiasm for Saad ... but that is only for one reason. Do we, as a country, have to wait for Saad to gain political experience, in order for him to become competent? Why? Because he is Rafik Hariri's son? Are we going to accept that?

There are many who love Lebanon, and many who can become good leaders with enough years and good advisors. However, at this crucial time, we should probably ask for more ... just my two cents ...

Anonymous said...

Dude you know this post will attract sunni-haters (disguised as Hariri haters) like that idiot Vic. Do you really want to turn this post into a pissing contest of who can use words like "phariasic" and "pseudo-wâhabists" the most?

P.S: I don't mean to say that all people against Hariri hate sunnis, but plenty of people who do hide it under the cover of anti-harirism or anti-wahhabism (funny how no one ever presents any tangible evidence that Hariri is a wahhabi). They can also be easily noticed by their ferocious attacks on the Al-Amin mosque, even though its history is documented and well-known; and in no way is it Hariri's mosque.

Anonymous said...

Stop hiding behind this docrine of Lebanonism when you are only a Syrian occupation critic ONLY after Sheikh Rafik's death. Most if not all Sunnis were Syrian puppets before the tragic assasination. In addition, lets face reality Harriri was in fact as you say " a political savy" that is because he was also a Lebanese theif, who robbed the government of its very minimal funding. An airport that cost $400 million was built in Dubai twice the size for $200 million!! that is because it was built by solidair!! Even though I am against the brutal assisination Of Harriri, I also cannot be a supporter of his. SO to all these temporary Syrian enemies of occupation, I hope that you continue the course and not change as your leaders DO!!! Saad is a replica of his DADS!!!!

puppets will always be puppets!!


Doha said...

Just for the record Danny, I said that both Hariris are NOT politically savvy. And I was always a critic of the Syrian occupation way before the late Hariri's assassination.

As for Lebanonism,what do you mean by it? Being a patriot? If that is so, then I'm not hiding behind it; I carry its banner.

hummbumm said...

I think you have a crush on our boy here. I guess he should be on the cover of People Magazine, but I would rather he come to lebanon, knowing the risks.
"Blunders can be forgiven, but a lack of boldness cannot"

Anonymous said...

I agree with Dany completely, I think we should all support Aon who unlike Hariri used to be anti-syrian but is now pro-syrian because it may get him the presidency. Hariri is a hypocrite because he used to like the syrians and the only reason he dislikes them now is because they killed his dad. booohooo..what a lame excuse.

Doha said...


I don't have a crush on Hariri. Actually at the moment, I have a crush on Jumblatt! Specifically because he's in Lebanon against all odds, facing the challenges.

hummbumm said...

Lucky Jumblatt, who says you need: "His features are strong, he's tall, has a wide chest and shoulders, and he looked serious. His soft eyes contrasted the boldness of the dark hair and the beard. " and billions of dollars to attract women.

Anonymous said...


Do I detect jealousy towards Saad Hariri? I, for one, appreciate Doha's physical description for Saad,we women care for and notice everything about a person. Appearance is as much important as words spoken and actions taken. After all, the eyes are mirrors of the souls.

hummbumm said...

Of course I am jealous, I thought Doha had the hots for me, hummbumm, the anonymous commenter, purely based on the quality of my mind!
Now apparently, physical attributes are a factor. Saad is a doughboy compared to me.

Anonymous said...

I totally agree with Danny. Saad Hariri seems to be a nice, cosmopolitan guy with good manners and high level business relations. He would be a good ambassador, but certainly not a leader.

Abu Kais said...

I can't believe you guys went to see him without me. :(

Doha said...


I should say that I knew about this one day before. It was all so quick! I got the news of this event from did you miss that?


I'm surprised because you only focused on that sentence where I describe Saad's "features" and you miss out on the important issues discussed in the post. In one of the rare times do I meet a Lebanese political figure in person...that's why I wanted to convey to the readers my observations of the event, through a personal lens and not one that is similar to a news article. When you look at him, he captures your attention, but when he talks, it's not the case. That's all I meant to say. And by saying that I have a crush on Jumblatt, you should realize that physical attributes don't mean to me anything :)

Anonymous said...

hummbumm is into older men, i think he likes the features of Aoun and the long beard of Nasrallah, the southern Lebanese version of Santa Clause.