Madameek: A Struggle for Peace in a Zone Of War
By: Elias Bejjani*
"Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends". (John: 15:13)
Crystal clear patriotic stances are extremely hazardous and challenging when against all odds an individual dearly and stubbornly embraces them and holds on to the triangle code of faith, self respect and gratitude. The Holy Bible stressed the crucial importance of stances in many verses: "So, because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of my mouth." (Revelation 3:16). "The person who isn't with me is against me, and the person who isn't gathering with me is scattering." (Matthew 12:30).
Colonel Charbel R. Barakat deeply loves his mother country, Lebanon, and her people. He sturdily honors the sacrifices of its martyrs throughout their land’s tumultuous history and genuinely endeavors to show his overt gratitude to their heroism. He also respects himself and never compromises on his faith or patriotic stance. He is a benevolent Lebanese Christian intellectual who has willingly devoted all his life to loudly and staunchly advocating for and defending the cause of freedom of our beloved Lebanon.
Colonel Barakat's main focus since he was a teenager living in
his ancestors' ancient Christian village "Ain Eibel", (South Lebanon), was and
still is the dignity, culture, education, prosperity, safety, history,
traditions and faith of his people. As an officer in the Lebanese army, leader
of the South Lebanese Army (SLA), teacher, human rights advocate, writer, and
specialist on terrorism he never deviated from these moral paths.
In spite of all the hardships, actual threats from and wars with terrorists, and all kinds of losses and sacrifices, Barakat has never allowed fear, the temptation of earthly riches or authority and positions to stand in his way. He deeply trusted in Almighty God and decided to "strive to enter by the narrow door" (Luke 13:24), unlike so many others.
The salvation of his country and people was and remains his prime goal regardless what sacrifices he had to tangibly pay: “I tell you, my friends, don’t be afraid of those who kill the body, and after that have no more that they can do. But I will warn you whom you should fear. Fear him, who after he has killed, has power to cast into Gehenna. Yes, I tell you, fear him." (Luke12:4-5).
All Colonel Barakat's values, knowledge, honesty, experience, and love for Lebanon and her people are portrayed in his extremely informative book, "The Madameek"
With great interest and self gratification I read Barakat's original Arabic version of "The Madameek" in 2000 and was overwhelmed by the depth and richness of the information it contained about the Middle East, a region that was and remains a puzzle for many Western researchers, politicians, academics and think tanks. Based on his extensive firsthand experience, the author has genuinely portrayed the dire hardships of his people, the Southern Lebanese citizens, who despite their anguish, sacrifices and losses remained tall as the cedars of their country and held dearly to their land, identity, faith and history. They never gave up the hope and dream of freedom, democracy and peace.
I am extremely joyful because last month "The Madameek" appeared in its English translated version. I genuinely believe that this precious book will be extremely informative to all those interested in the Middle East's deeply rooted history of wars, conflicts, terrorism, and diverse cultures. Barakat approaches and addresses all these subjects in an unprecedented informative and unbiased way.
Dr. Walid Phares, the well known Lebanese American writer and scholar in global conflicts based in Washington DC, read the book and wrote: "The building blocks of a nation… I have read Charbel Barakat's powerful story, Madameek, in its original version in Arabic. It is a narrative expressing lived moments and historical stages by a brave population in the most dangerous places on the Planet. Barakat, a retired officer, a historian and a prolific writer, acts as a witness on behalf of a community thrown into the arena of violence and freedom deprivation. The story of the villages and towns of the southern border of Lebanon, of their ordinary people of those who suffered from terror and suppression, was still hidden under the rubbles of the exodus that dispersed thousands of them around the world. Barakat's book reassembles these building blocks and makes the case for them, particularly the suppression of their cause and their rights as citizens of a nation, bleeding and aching still. It is a must read for those who seek the truth, behind the smallest stone".
Much gratitude is due to Colonel Barakat, for his tireless efforts to accomplish this difficult work in making his valuable and informative book available in English. He also deserves our thanks, we the Lebanese activists, for being a role model and witness for the sake of truth that many other intellectuals, leaders and politicians in our Lebanese Christian communities in both Lebanon and the Diaspora did not have the faith, patriotism and courage to do.
It is true that our people in Lebanon are oppressed and persecuted by the Axis of Evil, Syria, Iran and Hezbollah, but what is true too is that they will never, ever under any circumstances accept the status of slavery, or forsake their freedom and faith. Khalil Gibran who was a Lebanese Christian intellectual knew this reality: "Not everyone in chains is subdued; at times, a chain is greater than a necklace."
Those interested in obtaining a copy of Madameek Courses, should click on this link and follow the instructions,
*Canadian-Lebanese Human Rights activist, journalist and political commentator
*Web sites http://www.10452lccc.com & http://www.clhrf.com
*Mailing phoenicia group http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Phoenicia/.