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Issam FARES Is Back Home
17 Apr 2017

The relationship between the former Deputy Prime Minister, Issam FARES, and Lebanon is stronger than the carefree and recreational time he spends in his New York building or his beautiful location in Monte Carlo. It is about spiritual and historical bonds that make his native village, Beino in Akkar, his main interest and his first and last resort. Returning to Beino is like being born again.

Due to the bad economic and political situation Lebanon has gone through, Issam FARES, who, after all, is one of the people, could not allow himself once again not to serve his home country, Lebanon, from a short distance; he chose to do it from afar, acting as a non-designated Lebanese Minister of Foreign Affairs. He would communicate with foreign parties of influence on the Middle East policy, with Lebanon always being a top priority. Two months ago, by visiting Baabda Palace to congratulate his friend, Michel AOUN, on his election as President of the Republic, he wanted to further promote the ties of friendship with the man who was not in power.

Reports from Europe say that the return of Issam FARES to Lebanon, where he intends to rebuild bridges from his native village Beino with the entire Lebanon and the region, is contingent on the enactment of a new Lebanese electoral law. Here, Issam FARES acts more like the Parliament Speaker Nabih BERRI who embraces the “lifebelt” logic or like the leader Walid JUMBLATT in his role as a “balance point”, as said in Egypt.

No political or electoral movement can make their way in Akkar without referring to Issam FARES (80 years). No government can have stability and mass support if he has no role in it or does not intervene in some way. If he has chosen to return to Lebanon and open his house again for the Lebanese during Easter, this is because the holidays are a good opportunity to meet up, make consultations, take opinions and shy away from what drives the Lebanese to sectarianism or division. If Issam FARES was asked what he thought of the letter issued by the ex-Presidents, Amine GEMAYEL, Michel SLEIMAN, Fouad SINIORA, Najib MIKATI and Tammam SALAM, he would have said that it was no magic solution, yet it implied that the Lebanese were divided over many issues, whereas the election of General Michel AOUN as President created in the country a state of national harmony.

If he ever decides to come back to Lebanon, Issam FARES seeks neither glory nor a position that would have him earn a place at the heart of the government, but not in the people’s hearts first: his son Nijad FARES can act on his behalf and represent his father in the realm of power.

Issam FARES personality is worth examining. He does not come from nowhere; he was engaged in a bitter struggle in KSA and in Europe and USA as well. Issam FARES has extended relations all over the world thanks to his honesty in dealing with people and events. Issam FARES speaks nothing but the truth, and only good words come out of his mouth.

He is also a man of dialogue and culture, the eponymous center he set up in Sin El Fil under the direction of our former Ambassador to Washington, Abdallah ABOU HABIB, is what proves his intention to keep in touch with others on political and cultural levels although the center’s owner lives in another far geographic area. When President Michel AOUN has recently appointed, Abdallah ABOU HABIB, member of his consulting team, he chose not only someone who has the same vision as Issam FARES, but also a political expert in USA who knows how to deal with the latest developments in such a way as to keep the United States closely in touch with people’s concerns in the region, instead of overlooking them for the benefit of personal interests, like some politicians do.

For three days, the Lebanese MPs have been uncovering corruption issues and suspicious deals, but none of them talked about mistakes committed by Issam FARES, and if one MP had to speak about this man, he would have explained how he provided, at his own cost, the bureaus of the Deputy Prime Minister in Centre Sofil to save costs of establishing such building for the government. The return of Issam FARES to Lebanon in order to witness the next elections would be the return of a bird to its nest and of a pigeon to its flock and the Issam FARES era will start again.