He Rises When They Think He Fell (Marlene Sabeh)

It is quite amazing how the Lebanese culture has become immensely reliant on mockery. A trivial accident occurs and we become spectators of what resembles a long ̶ and very badly produced ̶ episode of Saturday Night Live. Yesterday, after the minor mishap that President Aoun encountered in Jordan, hundreds of disgraceful and reprehensible comments plastered the media, as though some Lebanese people have become true experts in humorous derision.  The incident opened the stage for a blatant yet shallow competition of offensive remarks that only reflected the ignorance of their writers. And they continued, relentless and amused as they always are, driven to relay juvenile-like annotations and deriding observations. When did Lebanon become a nation of superficiality and banality? How did the media transformed into being a vehicle of mockery and insults? Is this what the Lebanese culture was condemned to foster? While some individuals see no harm in such ‘funny’ remarks ̶ claiming they were conveyed in pure jest ̶ it is unequivocal that the trend mirrors an uncivilized method of exaggerating minor mishaps and ignoring core issues.

And to deride President Aoun in particular, added another level of utter irresponsibility. To disrespect his status, achievements, long history of determination, patriotism, and outstanding leadership, was purely shameful: President Aoun has already succeeded in exemplifying the true Lebanese heroism and redefining the concept of resiliency. No one and nothing can taint that. While the whole country was distracted (and disgracefully entertained) by vulgar comments, the more meaningful topic was ignored: His poignant speech. However, in retrospect, it was not President Aoun who tripped and fell, but rather some people’s ability to transcend political differences and latent grudges. It has become apparent that these people revel in seeing the president ‘trip and fall’, and not just literally…

The president has had its long and vivid journey with contempt and derision. He has consistently faced ̶ and became accustomed to ̶ harsh criticism and scrutiny throughout his political career. Yet, he continues to ‘rise’ despite all challenges, time and again. He does not seem affected by the banality of small incidents which, in the equivalent minds of some haters, might represent fertile and favorable platforms of repugnance and revulsion. He probably knows that the same disdaining platforms elevated him to where no hatred could reach and no denigration could ever subsist. He, as impervious to the trashy fleet of loathing and disrespect as he has always been, continues to shine and carry on his shoulders the admirable mission of restoring the sovereignty and independence of his dear country.

As Confucius once wrote, “Our greatest glory is not in never falling; but in rising every time we fall.” And that, President Aoun always does.


Marlene Sabeh

LACD Media Coordinator

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