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Part 4
The fourth part of a series of books entitled ‘Issam Fares, the Deputy Former Prime Minister of Lebanon’ has been issued. The 578-page book includes a series of stances adopted by and activities undertaken by Mr. Issam Fares in his capacity as Deputy Prime Minister of Lebanon from October 5, 2003 till November 12, 2004.

The book includes an introduction and the six following chapters: The Stances; The Ministerial Committees; The Political, Social, &Developmental Meetings; the Foreign Trips; the Diplomatic Reunions; and Lebanon’s Official Visitors, in addition to a supplement covering, in details, the below four key points of major importance:
  • The Fares Foundation activities during 2004
  • Samples of the achievements realized by the Fares Foundation in Akkar
  • Akkar's Municipal Elections
  • Excerpts… for History


This is the idea drawn through the series of stances adopted by H.E. Deputy Prime Minister of Lebanon Mr. Issam Fares through its distinguished role in the Cabinet, his chairmanship of the Ministerial Committees, his political, social, and developmental activities, his diplomatic contacts, his meetings with Lebanon's official visitors, as well as in his foreign trips, and Akkar.

This is the general idea that prevailed about His Excellency through his daily local and international activities, mainly through his leadership of Lebanon's delegation to the United Nations General Assembly.

Throughout this year, Fares insisted upon an approach and a performance that aim at building a powerful and productive State, consolidating national unity, promoting democracy, and activating all potentialities and chances to develop economic recovery, and finally to promote Lebanon's stature and its Arab and international relations.

Fares saved no effort to underscore the necessity of achieving the reforming of the State, urging for the necessity to establish a modern State that keeps abreast with the century and focuses on planning and programming, a State which meets all challenges, adopts mechanization to fulfill the people's services, and implements administrative decentralization to activate the citizens' participation in a developmental workshop.

He strongly turned down attempts to sink the country in controversies that have disappointed people, and pointed out the finger at corruption, the squandering of public money, favoritism, and the deterioration of the behavioral competencies.
He acknowledged that the social and economic situation in not in the best position. However, he affirmed that a remedy is still possible since Lebanon is worth every effort. Emphasizing the distinction between resistance and terrorism, he asserted that the resistance of the occupation is a legitimate right.

Moreover, Fares considered that the Lebanese officials should serve as an example to their citizens, calling for the adoption of the principle of accountability.

Throughout this year, the number of the Ministerial Committees Fares chaired reached 67, 51 of which have achieved their mission. These Committees have played the role of 'mini-Cabinets' and assumed the responsibility of touching upon delicate and intricate issues that the Cabinet itself is unable to settle down. Thanks to the efforts of Fares, and with the cooperation of the Ministers, these Committees have proved to be 'a factory' for solutions and not 'a cemetery' for files. By chairing these Committees, Fares fully assumed his responsibilities and made sure that these serve an example about how to study the files and crystallize the practical solutions.

In addition to the Ministerial Committees, Fares held a huge number of daily meetings and reunions, unturning no effort that serves Lebanon’s interests. During his meetings, he highlighted his keenness to build up a State that meets the aspirations of the Lebanese and that plays Lebanon's pivotal role in the region and the international community.

It was not easy to dissociate Fares' diplomatic meetings from his local activities or international contacts which all aimed at supporting recovery and development, and at enhancing cooperation and exchange between Lebanon and the sister nations. On the Arab level, his meetings included the Ambassadors of Egypt, Saudi Arabia, the Hashemite Jordanian Kingdom, Tunis, Morocco, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates, and Yemen.

Also on the local level, Fares devoted particular attention to Akkar. In the municipal elections, he insisted upon keeping a distance from the electoral races and conflicts, calling upon all parties to reach a consensus and take part in the building of their areas.

Numerous and numerous are the examples that can be cited about the municipal buildings His Excellency built up, at his own expenses, which were inaugurated in West Tel Abbas, Rahbe, Talbire, Bayno, Qubayyat…and remained un-inaugurated in Halba, Birkazla& Gebrael.

Fares' frantic efforts for the construction of the Governorate of Akkar should not be forgotten. He constantly endeavored to enact practical and regulatory decrees, in his firm belief that the compatriots who co-share, along with the State, the responsibility to help eradicate deprivation. The attention Fares devoted to Akkar did not only concern his personal attention, but also extended to his institutional services provided through the Fares Foundation.
Among the Fares Foundation's major activities for this year, we mainly cite:
  • The health program provided by Michel Issam Fares Dispensary in Bayno and Michel Gerges Fares Dispensary in West Tel Abbas, in addition to many other mobile initiatives aimed at providing free health services to thousands of people in need
  • The educational program by providing scholarships to hundreds of beneficiaries in Lebanon's schools, institutions, and public and private universities, honoring retired teachers, and the Directors of the superior schools in Akkar. On this level, it is worth noting the donation made by His Excellency Mr. Fares to the Bar Association in the North for the establishment for a Center for Informatics through the world via Internet and satellite.
  • The developmental program embodies the orientations of Issam Fares according to which the noble meaning of politics lies in realizing development and developing both the human being and the land. The program's key activities are activating social development in Akkar to eradicate poverty and unemployment, renovating the historic Bazrcan Souq in Tripoli, establishing the Issam Fares Social& Sports Center in Tripoli, and building a special section for children with special needs.
  • The cultural and sports program: It is to note here Issam Fares Annual Sports Festival held in Akkar which encompasses tens of clubs and associations.

It is to mention that the developmental, cultural, and social attention devoted by Issam Fares to Akkar aims at mobilizing them, promoting their liaison with their land and heritage. This explains why Issam Fares spares no effort to realize achievements and incites the Fares Foundation to cooperate with international organizations such as the UNESCO and the UNDP, and local bodies such as municipalities…, to help Akkar make a transition from deprivation to development and prosperity.

On the international level, he met the Ambassadors of the USA, Great Britain, Italy, Russia, France, Germany, Greece, Austria, Hungary, Bulgaria, Armenia, the Czech Republic, Belorussia, Brazil, Mexico, Colombia, China, Japan, Malaysia, Pakistan, South Korea, Indonesia, Philippines, Sri Lanka, and Nigeria.

In the context of his foreign trips, Fares devoted great time and precious time to his foreign trips, in a bid to garner the international community's support for Lebanon and the promotion of Lebanon's developmental process. During this year, his foreign activities took three directions:
  • Accompanying the President of the Lebanese Republic Mr. Emile Lahoud in his foreign trips and in the Arab Summit
  • Fares' personal initiatives
  • Representing Lebanon at the 59th UN General Assembly
In the details, Fares accompanied President Lahoud in his trip to Brazil (February 18-23, 2004) and in the first Lebanese visit to Poland& Belorussia (July 6&9, 2004). In this frame, Fares took part in the official reunions, signed agreements on behalf of Lebanon, met the accredited Ambassadors and the Lebanese community, and visited the educational and religious centers. In Brazil for instance, he concluded two agreements in the areas of cooperation and energy. In Belorussia for example, he signed three cooperation agreements: An educational and artistic agreement, an agreement in the pedagogic area, and a scientific and technical cooperation agreement between the National College of Science in Belorussia and the National Council for Scientific Research in Lebanon.

On a different development, Fares accompanied the Lebanese President to the celebrations of the canonization of 'The Blessed Hardini' in the Vatican (May 14-19, 2004) before moving to Tunis to take part in the Arab Summit (May 22- 24).

In the frame of his personal initiatives, Issam Fares moved to Washington on March 31, 2004, upon the invitation of the American Task Force for Lebanon. During the ceremony thrown in his honor, His Excellency pronounced a speech in which he underlined that the international attention devoted to the Middle East reforming should not be on the detriment of devoting attention to a just and fair peace. During the occasion, Fares was bestowed the 'Life Achievement Award', in appreciation of his political achievements and his contributions as a successful and dynamic businessman whose institutions realize remarkable success in Lebanon, the Middle East, America, and Europe, and in recognition of his continuous charitable works.

Later, he moved to London on October 27, 2004, to attend the twentieth commemorative ceremony for the establishment of the Lebanese Center for Studies.

In Tufts University, Boston, and in the presence of more than 5000 attendees, Issam Fares hosted on November 11 prominent US Senator Mrs. Hillary Rodham Clinton. In his allocution, he stressed that Lebanon is committed to working for good relations between the United States and the Arabs, deeming that it is Lebanon's mission to conciliate conflicts and to bridge the widening gap between the US and the Arab World.

Fares' most important and remarkable international activity for this year was representing Lebanon in the 59th UN General Assembly (September 21-23, 2004). During this event, Fares managed to lift the siege under which Lebanon was reeling and proved he is 'THE MAN OF HARD DECISIONS'.

Fares indeed moved in every direction, holding reunions with high-level officials such as UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan, Prince Albert of Monaco, Iraqi Prime Minister Yad Allawi, Sheikh Mohammad Khalifah, Bahrain’s Deputy Prime Minister& Minister of Foreign Affairs. Fares also met President Bush and attended with his wife Mrs. Hala Fares the dinner banquet thrown by French Ambassador Mr. Jean David.

His famous speech before the UN General Assembly threw light on the good position Lebanon has reached, saying 'we have moved from destruction to construction, from rule by the militias to the rule of law, from anarchy to stability, from division to unity'. He also remarked that in the 1970s and 1980s of the past century, 'Lebanonization' became a bad word that stood for anarchy, infighting, and total conflict. However now, he considered, 'Lebanonization' has regained its pure, original meaning as a term standing for democracy, freedom, pluralism, consensus, and the acceptance of other.