If Only Nasrallah Would!
26/08/2007
By: Tariq Alhomayed *


According to a report published in our newspaper a couple of days ago, Hezbollah's Secretary-General Hassan Nasrallah has moved out of his rented home to an undisclosed location in preparation for the rebuilding project slated for the Dahiya neighborhood destroyed by Israel's attack on Lebanon during last summer's thirty-six day war. The story of the Dahiya quarter, or rather the "security compound", is much greater then that of a mere "leased home", and is more complex in its composition for it to be labeled as just a "residential neighborhood", for it is a sealed security area limited to Hezbollah, a story the people of Lebanon know only too well.


But before celebrating the details of extensive renovation project, we wish Nasrallah would also restore the rest of Lebanon to its people.
What is meant here is that Lebanon, the nation, would serve the agenda of the Lebanese citizen and not that of Iran or Syria. The reconstruction of Lebanon will happen if Nasrallah chooses the unity of Lebanon, taking into account the composition of the country, which can only survive on its pluralism and the granting of others their space. Lebanon is an entangled country and the best solution for its dilemma would be not to manipulate it.


Today, the number of migrating Lebanese citizens is increasing; and this is not out of fear of escaping Israeli occupation but rather fleeing from the domestic absurdity which is tampering with the lives of Lebanese people, who are victims in this case.


Hezbollah has frequently wagered on the issues of resistance and the liberation of Lebanon. But today the party has run of credit and now must face the Lebanese people. and the should face their country's people knowing that last years war let to the deaths of ap

proximately 1200 Lebanese , not to mention the damage and loss of properties!
Today, Hezbollah wants to wrap up Lebanon in its coat, turning against the pluralistic mosaic of the country.


Lebanon wants Syria out of Lebanon and demands a Syrian return to Lebanon in the form of an Ambassador with diplomatic relations just like other nations. Lebanon also wants Iran to stick to the rules of geography and remain behind their natural borders, instead of turning Beirut into a pawn, utilizing it according to political conflicts and ambitions of the Islamic Revolution. Yet the actions of Hezbollah resemble those of a Genie in a Magic Lantern, who pops up at Syria and Iran's beck and call saying "your wish is my command". Furthermore, the news of Hezbollah's reconstruction project should not eclipse the news of them constructing their very own telephone network parallel to that of the official state. Building telephone networks is a new reality among movements and groups which work to eat away at their nations in the Arab world.

So now after accepting the fact that each group has its own flag, militia or army and television satellite channel, we now have to accept the establishment of one's own private telephone network as well. I do hope Hassan Nasrallah would restore all of Lebanon to its people and their best interests, steering clear of subordination to any party. Only then will Lebanon become a healthy state that breathes correct democracy and not the democracy of exclusion and the disruption of constitutional institutions. Restoring Lebanon to its people means reopening the doors of parliament, trying those accused of murder, respecting Lebanon's constitution and keeping Beirut free of foreign greed.

***Tariq Alhomayed
Tariq Alhomayed is the Editor-in-Chief of Asharq Al-Awsat, the youngest person to be appointed that position. Mr. Alhomayed has an acclaimed and distinguished career as a Journalist and has held many key positions in the field including; Assistant Editor-in-Chief of Asharq Al-Awsat, Managing Editor of Asharq Al-Awsat in Saudi Arabia, Head of Asharq Al-Awsat Newspaper's Bureau-Jeddah, Correspondent for Al - Madina Newspaper in Washington D.C. from 1998 to Aug 2000. Mr. Alhomyed has been a guest analyst and commentator on numerous news and current affair programs including: the BBC, German TV, Al Arabiya, Al- Hurra, LBC and the acclaimed Imad Liveís four-part series on terrorism and reformation in Saudi Arabia. He is also the first Journalist to conduct an interview with Osama Bin Ladin's Mother. Mr. Alhomayed holds a BA degree in Media studies from King Abdul Aziz University in Jeddah, and has also completed his Introductory courses towards a Masterís degree from George Washington University in Washington D.C. He is based in Londo