I seek refuge in Allah from the accursed Satan. In the name of Allah the Most Gracious, the Merciful. Praise be to Allah, Lord of the Worlds, and prayers and peace be upon our Master and Prophet, the Seal of the Prophets Abi Al-Qasim Muhammad Bin Abdullah, his good and pure family, all his good and chosen companions and all the prophets and messengers.
Peace and God's mercy and blessings be upon you.
To begin with, I turn to the father of the three martyrs, Hajj Sami Muslimani, and thank him for his position. As we always say, the families of the martyrs are the jewel in our crown, the people of loyalty, the people of honesty, and the people of allegiance. With you, we have emerged victorious. With you, we will remain victorious. And with you, we will achieve victory, God willing.
God bless you, your family and loved ones and all the families of the martyrs.
I welcome all of you to this rally and this meeting. To start with, I congratulate all of you for the arrival of the month of Sha'ban. The Messenger of Allah (PBUH) described it as his month. Due to its temporal and spiritual blessings, it allows us to be worthy of being the guests of The Merciful in Allah's month, Ramadan. It allows us to be guests worthy of this great and merciful Lord.
I also congratulate you on these great occasions: the birth anniversary of Abi Abdullah, the Master of martyr, Imam Hussein (Peace Be Upon Him), the birth anniversary of his son Imam al-Sajjad Ali bin al-Hussein (peace be upon him), and the birth anniversary of the hero of Karbala and the bearer of the flag and the one who insisted on the path of martyrdom, Abi al-Fadl al-Abbas (Peace Be Upon Him). I also extend the most special congratulations to all the wounded. Usually, the birthday of Abu al-Fadl al-Abbas (Peace Be Upon Him) marks the day of the resistance's wounded.
Brothers and sisters, this celebration has a clear goal. It is to express popular and political support for the "Hope and Loyalty" List in the Governorates of Tyre and al-Zahrani.
My address is divided into three sections: one regarding the resistance, one regarding the concerns of the country, and lastly one regarding the list, voting and brother, His Eminence Nabih Berri.
We meet here in the city of Tyre, the city of Sayyid Abdul Hussain Sharaf al-Din. It was the arena of his Jihad and the end of his honorable life. It is the city of Imam Sayyed Musa Sadr. May God bring back him and his brothers safely. It was his great stepping-stone to all of Lebanon and the world.
It is this city that embraced our mentor, leader and Secretary General Sayyed Abbas al-Moussawi during his youth as a student at the Institute of Islamic Studies in Tyre. The institute is a religious seminary founded by Imam al-Sadr. Tyre is where Sayyed Abbas loved to spend the most precious and most beautiful years of his life within the resistance before becoming the secretary general and up until his martyrdom.
When we meet in Tyre, it means the city of Muslim-Christian coexistence, the city of coexistence between Muslims and Christians and between the Shiites and the Sunnis. It has always been free of sedition despite the fact that strife struck all parts of the country.
It is the city that has been the setting for the Arab-"Israeli" conflict since its early days with Imam Sharaf al-Din and his historic positions. It embraced and opened its homes and doors to the Palestinians displaced from their land in 1948 - especially from the north of occupied Palestine, who are still living in and around the city in refugee camps. There is brotherhood, cohesion and harmony.
The city resisted the occupation in 1982. It was the launching ground for martyrdom operations. Its field was an arena for the martyrdom of Imam Sadr's and Imam Sharaf al-Din's young men as well as that of the Amal movement and Hezbollah, including Ahmed Qasir, who launched the era of martyrdom operations. He destroyed the headquarters of the "Israeli" military governor in Tyre, humiliated "Israel", and broke the prestige of the army. He forced it to declare public mourning. He formed the foundations of every victory that came later, culminating in the heroic and qualitative martyrdom operation of Hassan Qassir and the martyrdom operation in the al-Shajara School. Tyre and its surrounding areas as well as the whole of the South resisted and forced the occupation forces to leave and withdraw humiliated and without any restrictions and conditions in 1985 to the occupied border line.
We meet here today with the resistance fighters, the Mujahideen, the families of the martyrs and the wounded, the liberated prisoners, the steadfast people in their land, the hard workers who provide for their families, including the farmers, the fishermen and the laborers who make their livelihood with their blood and sweat, thanking God for all his blessings. We gather here today to talk a little bit about the worries of the resistance and the homeland.
We begin with the first point, which is the subject of the resistance. We meet on the memory of the April 1996 aggression, which the "Israelis" called the ‘Grapes of Wrath'. This aggression began on April 11 - to recall those great days.
On April 11, 1996, the aggression went on for 16 days and ended on April 27.
The aggression began with the bombing of the headquarters of the military leadership of Hezbollah in Haret Hreik. The military commander of the resistance living there at that time was martyred leader Mustafa Badr al-Din. The missile missed him. The enemy premeditatedly planned to kill the resistance's military commander in the early hours of the aggression. But God willed that he survive. He was, thus, able to lead that battle with competence, efficiency and aptness with his brothers from the leaders in the resistance operations room and with all the Mujahideen who took part in confronting the aggression at that time. Hezbollah, the Amal movement, and many national and Islamic forces still had a presence, weapons and fighters. Some of those forces participated at the time.
Due to their ineffectiveness on the battlefield, the enemy resorted as usual to bombing civilians. But the developing capabilities which allowed the resistance to target settlements and Zionist occupiers in the north of occupied Palestine forced the enemy to stop the aggression. The so-called "April Understanding" came following an international intervention and negotiations. It was a great achievement for the resistance, why? Because the April Understanding established an equation to put aside civilians and civilian installations. When the resistance launched operations in the South or in the western Bekaa, the "Israelis" were quick to bomb villages, towns, schools, fields, civilians and people - in an effort to put pressure on the resistance. The most important achievement in the April Understanding was putting aside Lebanese civilians in return for putting aside settlements -in effect expanding the margin for military operations. At that time, the chief of staff of the "Israeli" army said that ‘we had turned the April Understanding into a punching bag for the fists of the fighters in southern Lebanon'.
The "Israelis" had no response but to attack civilians. The April Understanding put civilians aside. If the civilians were bombed, the resistance would bomb the "Israeli" settlements. The April Understanding was highly beneficial for the resistance and laid the foundations for the great victory in 2000.
We are talking about this resistance. This resistance was the dream of Imam Abdul-Hussein Sharaf al-Din. It was the project Imam Musa al-Sadr founded. Later, his sons in the Amal movement and Hezbollah developed this project and turned it into a real force.
Let us go back a little in history, not only to talk about it but also to take lessons for the present and know where to walk and on what basis we walk. I always wish for all the elites, scholars, politicians, intellectuals and people to tell their children and grandchildren about that stage, especially this generation: its difficulties, pain, oppression, grief, sacrifice, displacement, blood and the martyrs. This reminder is always important.
In 1949, one year after the establishment of the usurping entity in Palestine, Zionist gangs attacked the south. Some people are confused about the "Israeli" attacks only taking place when the Palestinian factions came to Lebanon. But those attacks date back to 1949 when there were no Palestinian factions or Palestinian fighters in Lebanon. There were displaced Palestinian people trying to figure out where to live. The attacks were on Lebanese towns, whether they were Muslim or Christian.
The South was attacked. A number of villages in the south were attacked. A horrible massacre in the town of Houla (a known historical massacre) that resulted in dozens of martyrs and wounded was committed. Residents of the border area had no possibility of defense. There were modest capabilities like a gun or a sword from the old days. But there was no potential for real defense or real resistance. The state was absent. (Listen to me carefully. I would like to start from here.) Imam Sharaf al-Din sends a message to the President of the Republic. At that time, it was President Bechara al-Khoury. Imam Sharaf al-Din sent him a long letter in which he spoke about the issue of security, deprivation, the abuses by the ministries and the rights of the South, etc. ... I will take the part concerning security and protection. With his famous and well-known eloquence in the message, Imam Sharaf al-Din tells the president, ‘We have now calculated the catastrophe of Jabal Amel in its borders, its permissible blood, and its villages. Its villages are being looted. Its children are terrified.' This means the children were living in terror and fear in the border villages and in the South. ‘It has been riddled with lethality and the loss of plants and agriculture. This mountain, Jabal Amel, is paying the price with blood.' This means that this ancient mountain is being humiliated and is paying the price because of the Zionists who were rejected and brought from all over the world to Palestine. This is how Sayyed Sharaf al-Din described the situation in the South, its people and border villages.
What was Sayyed [Sharaf al-Din] asking for? [He asked] ‘the state to come.' The project of the people of the South was always for the ‘state to come, the Lebanese army to come, and the security forces to come. We do not want to be the substitute.' (When these words were said) I was not born yet. Most of the people present in this place were not born yet. When Sayyed Sharaf al-Din wrote this letter to the president of the Lebanese Republic, he was calling on the state ‘to protect us, send the army to the border. Let the army protect Bent Jbeil, Marjayoun, Rmeish, Hasbaya, and Khiam. Please come, we are demanding that you come.'
But it all fell on deaf ears. There was neither protection nor - as Sayyed Sharaf al-Din called - care. There was neglect and deprivation. In case they wanted to build a school, they had to wait ten years to get a permit to build a school. The South meant nothing to the state. Same was the case for the Bekaa and the North. These parts of the country were deprived. They were incorporated into Greater Lebanon in 1920.
Later, Imam Sayyed Musa al-Safer came to our country. He continued the same path as Imam Sharaf al-Din. He advanced it further. He added more creativity to it. He set up the goals, strategies, and the popular movement in all regions - from Tyre through the entire South and all of Lebanon.
Since the beginning of the sixties until 1975, during those 15 years, there were always "Israeli" attacks, massacres, bombardments, and people being displaced from the border villages. Starting from the 1960s, Imam Musa al-Sadr asked the Lebanese government to send the Lebanese army to protect and defend the South. He always asked them to come. This is found in the speeches. You can go through them all - from the sixties to 1975. Why do I say 1975? I will tell you why. He used to call on the Lebanese army to come and train young men belonging to all sects in the south so they would be able to defend their villages, towns, women, and children. His pleas, however, went unanswered as authorities did not take any action.
He called on the government to arm people especially those in the border villages. He used to call on it to train them, organize them, lead them and use them to fight. He used to tell the government that even though he was old, he would be the first to join the training camps. He would be the first to bear arms and the first to fight in defense of the South. But all that fell on deaf ears.
He also asked the government to build shelters. The north of occupied Palestine is full of shelters and safe rooms. No safe rooms were built in the South. ‘Build us safe rooms, give us the components to resist so we can stay in our lands.' His demands fell on deaf ears. True or not? This is documented history. Everyone today who discusses the project of resistance and its background, I tell them that especially the people of the South - because they were the ones most affected by to aggression - have been waiting on the government to come since 1948. But it did not come. They waited for the army to defend the entire South. A modest number of troops was sent. It proved valiant and heroic and gave martyrs. But they were modest groups. In 1975, Imam Sadr was forced to resort to an alternative. What was the alternative? The alternative was the armed popular resistance that depended on its youth, its capabilities and its weapons. It did not depend on the state because the state did not want to send the army. It did not want to train them, arm them, and take responsibility.
Imam al-Sadr founded the Lebanese Resistance Regiments. The name was later shortened to Amal. At the time, I was 15 or 16 years old. I remember that our entire generation including the youth joined and went to the training camps in secret. It began collecting money from here and there to arm the resistance so that it can fight the aggression and not to be part of any internal fighting.
I want to give you a small example for our people in the South and our people in Lebanon to know the grace, power and situation we are in now which Imam Musa al-Sadr aspired for. Keeping in mind that we are talking in the Tyre-Zahrani constituency, I'll talk about my village. In 1975 or 1976, I was in the village, Bazouriya. The number of young people who joined the Amal movement reached 80. But we needed weapons in case we wanted to go to the front lines, in case of an aggression.
What were the weapon capabilities in 1976? In a town with 80 members, there were one Kalashnikov, two Semenovs and ammunition good enough for an hour and a half. An hour and a half was an exaggeration, meaning there was no ammunition. There was no ammunition box in these stores. The young people remember the time when the weapons were requested from Imam Sadr. He used to say that he had no money and no weapons. He used to say that he did not have money to buy the weapons. We used to try to buy them or bring them from Syria. But do you remember the "Kalashnikovs that were bought in two payments"? A young man used to pay from his own pocket. Who do we mean by the young man? When we speak about the young man, we do not mean the sons of the rich. We are talking about the poor and the deprived. They had to save half of the weapon's price from their own pocket, and the movement would pay for the second half.
These were the capabilities in 1975 and 1976. Then this resistance started. The 1982 invasion took place. This resistance developed and achieved the 2000 victory. The state is still absent. There was no government to speak with. In 2006, the resistance brought the Lebanese army to the border. The government was not ready to send the army to the border. There were always discussions. There was confusion about the situation of the army. There has always been discussion on how to deal with this issue. After the 2006 war, the army's presence along the border became an international demand.
At that time, the Lebanese government approved the May 17 agreement. They agreed to the presence of a limited number of army personnel in the south, the number of officers and soldiers, the number of battalions, the quality of the weapons, and the quality of the cannons. But after the July war, the international community wanted 15,000 officers and soldiers and asked them to bring their tanks and weapons, and anything they can bring with them. The resistance is the one who brought the army to the South.
What am I getting at? I want to say the following. Since the very beginning, the project of our leaders from Imam Sharaf al-Din to Imam al-Sadr to all those who took responsibility after them, our scholars and our people has always been for the government to take responsibility for defending the land, people and riches in the South of Lebanon. But it was the state that was stalling. It turned its back. It did not take responsibility. It should be the one to blame and not those who bought weapons despite the poverty and deprivation to defend their land, family, children and women.
It turns out that resisting in Lebanon is a crime! Our people, and our loved ones, to some Lebanese, some Arab countries, and some in the so-called international community, we turned out to be criminals committing crimes. What will history say about us? This is the problem with history in our region. If you ask the attendees, and if I asked myself: was Adham Khanjar a thief or a resistance fighter? Was Sadeq Hamza a thief or a resistance fighter? You will hear two opinions. We are talking about people 50 or 60 years ago.
Our crime is that we have taken up arms to defend our homeland, our land, our country, our people and the sovereignty of our country when the State abandoned its land, its sovereignty, its resources and its people. There was no alternative. Our people's alternative to resistance was death. It meant displacement. It meant handing over the land to the Zionists. It meant the establishment of the Israeli settlements on the lands of the South, the Western Bekaa and Rashaya. It meant permanent and continuous occupation.
This resistance, which Imam Sharaf al-Din and Imam al-Sadr dreamt of, has become a real force today that the enemy greatly fears. Put aside the threats and intimidations. It fully knows the resistance in light of the experience from the Grapes of Wrath, the 1996 aggression, the 1993 aggression and the July War. It knows from the experiences of the long path of the resistance.
Today from the city of Tyre, I tell Imam Sharaf al-Din: O our Imam and our master, no humiliation and misery will ever hit Jabal Amel. There will never be a day where humiliation and misery will hit Jabal Amel because the blood and weapons of the resistance all acclaim ‘Disgrace, How remote'.
To Imam Musa al-Sadr, my Imam and master, I tell him that the resistance he founded, launched and armed from your pocket and from the pockets of the poor to fight the invincible army now possesses the power, strength, men, mind, technology, experience, and missiles that can strike any target in the "Israeli" entity.
Brothers and sisters, these victories and this resistance are achieved because of your sacrifices, the sacrifices of your martyrs, and your wounded. They are the result of your determination to stay on your land, your steadfastness in your land, you endurance to the bombardment, aggression, massacres, difficulties and tragedies, and your sincerity and loyalty. Let the whole world understand, the Lebanese and non-Lebanese, that these achievements, this guarantee, and this resistance did not come for free or from speeches. They came as a result of the great sacrifices. We will not abandon them. The people will not abandon them. They will not turn their backs on them. Let the whole world know this.
To those who engage us in debates or bargain with us, our resistance is not for sale. Our resistance is not for exchange. Our resistance means our life and our survival. It means our existence, our dignity and our pride. It is your responsibility to protect it. This is what you did in the past and this is what you will do on May 6, God willing. Who will the people coming from all the southern villages, towns, neighborhoods and sects vote for when the come to the ballot boxes? They will vote for hope and loyalty. They will vote for hope for the future, hope for freedom and preservation of dignity, loyalty to the martyrs, the wounded, the sacrifices, to Sayyed Abdul Hussein and Imam al-Sadr and all those who passed and preceded us and gave us this great result. We await you on May 6th. Your vote at the ballot boxes is a message to the Lebanese people and to the whole world that us in Tyre and Zahrani constituencies as well as the South will not leave the resistance. We will not abandon it. We will not break its back.
The second point [I will talk about] are the concerns of the homeland. During the two decades, that is during the nineties and onwards, from 1992 there was already a kind of peace in the country. There are forces concerned with the liberation, resistance and defense of Lebanon file. They fight and become martyrs. And there are forces, at the forefront of which was the Future Movement, which was concerned with the economic and financial file. ‘You are knowledgeable in the matters of fighting, so go and fight.' They said that they understood the economy and money. So, they will take responsibility for the country. They will fortify it financially and will develop it, etc. I repeat and say that this was not an agreement. At the very least, we were not a party in this agreement. But in practice this kind of peace took form and things moved this way because there were people whose priority was resistance. So, they joined the resistance.
The forces who joined the resistance can now, in 2018, say that this is my achievement. So show me your achievement. The forces of resistance can say this is my achievement. We liberated our land. We regained control of the Western Bekaa, Jazine and Rashaya, and entire the south. We still have the hills of Kafrshouba and the Shebaa farms. We got back our prisoners and protected our country. We also established the deterrent equation with the enemy. You can clearly see the achievement of liberation as well as security and safety in all of Lebanon and the South.
From 2000 to 2006, apart from the war section, but since the end of the 2006 war until today, there are 12 years of security, safety, peace and life, and coexistence. People go out with each other and go out at night. They move from one border village to another. They build, plant, plough and do whatever they want. There has never been a period in the history of Jabal Amel, which was later called the South of Lebanon in 1920, similar to the 12 years of safety, security, peace, tranquility, internal peace, pride, dignity, strength, morale, and a surplus of power. This is the resistance's achievement. This achievement was fulfilled despite the backstabbing and what I spoke about in Nabatieh. No need for me to repeat.
The economic file was your responsibility. What have you achieved, Future Movement? They are attacking us and do not engage with us politically. They are using a different language. I want to speak scientifically and objectively and ask. Where is the economic file? Let us see the achievements? Everyone today recognizes that Lebanon has grave problems economically and financially. We have 80 billion dollars worth of debt. The agricultural sector is worst. The industrial sector is worst. The agricultural and industrial sectors have almost collapsed.
These problems concerning livelihood and financial issues have a beginning but no end. Billions of dollars have been spent on the infrastructure. It is still in a very difficult position. Where is the achievement? Show us. We are ready to acknowledge the achievement if we can sense it.
When I talk about the resistance's achievements, I do not speak of slogans. When I say this is the achievement of resistance, I am talking about how people in Tyre are sitting safely and reassured. They do not fear the hovering of jets, bombardment, or anything. This was not possible in the past. This is the resistance's achievement. Go to the border areas. You will see how people are living there. You will see how houses are being built along the barbed wires. People are not scared. Show us your achievements in the economic dossier. I am not stressing on this point to invoke debate. I am speaking of it to hold people responsible. When I announced the electoral program, some people that the resistance, Hezbollah in particular, is monopolizing the decision of war and peace and now wants to interfere with the economic decision. I do not want to interfere with the economic decision. But I want to say the following: Experience proved that the team who took responsibility of the economic and financial dossier for decades has failed and has not achieved anything. This reality is proof. In front of this difficult situation, we call on the upcoming government to approach the economic and financial file differently. Place a complete economic vision. Do not work on pieces and individuals. Do not embark on projects. Work with us to reach this point. Then, we will think about where we will head and how to move forward. That is why we demanded a Ministry of Planning.
What you hear in the country everyday is that ‘we want to discuss with you the weapons of the resistance'. ‘We want to discuss the defense strategy.' The first to call for a defense strategy discussion is the Parliament Speaker His Eminence, Nabih Berri. Meaning, the people of the resistance. They called for a defense strategy discussion. We never evaded any defense strategy discussions. And now I tell you, after the elections, we are ready to discuss the defense strategy. But why don't you accept to discuss an economic strategy? Why don't you accept that a clear vision be put forward? A complete plan to bring Lebanon out of the economic and financial impasse. If this is not done, the country is heading into an abyss. This is the first point.
The second point also concerns the national issue. It is the issue of corruption: a corruption eroding state institutions. When I talk about economy or corruption, there are people who evade the real problems in the country. They come up with titles such as ‘confronting the Persian project' for the electoral battle. Where is the Persian project? The preservation of Beirut's Arabic identity, Lebanon's Arabic identity. What identity? What are you talking about? Where are you living? A few days ago, the Arab League met. No one cared, nor the Arabs nor the world nor the countries. Why do you resort to slogans. Let us face facts. We are talking about a strong state, capable of taking responsibilities. A corrupt state cannot survive. It will quickly collapse. Fighting corruption does not need planning. Its plan is clear. Its titles are clear. All the discussions that took place in the government's Finance and Budget Committee as well as the MPs' speeches last year all presented practical ideas and suggestions. Firmness, honesty and decisiveness are needed. Greed and looting public money should be put to an end. So along with the new government, we also call on all the political forces that say they want to fight corruption, to take a firm decision in the fight against corruption. The steps are clear. Stop wasting public money. Its steps are clear. Implement them. We do not need to set up a dialogue table to fight corruption. The means are clear, easy and obvious. But you need men who act, will, and a decision. The Lebanese people cannot remain silent after today because if the country continues on this path, it will collapse.
I will talk about the third point in the national concerns. Then, I move to talk about the list. The third and final point is the sectarian issue. Our system in Lebanon is sectarian. We do not want to enter the game of abolishing political sectarianism, which is opposite to complete secularization. This issue is clear. Let us put it aside even though it is a legitimate Lebanese aspiration. But the Lebanese people are facing a problem that is becoming more deeply rooted and embedded and very dangerous. I am calling for a debate and discussion between all Lebanese political forces to find a solution to this issue. What issue? Everything in the country is becoming sectarian. In the past, the Taif Agreement stated that presidencies, the government, the Parliament, senior posts as well as the rest of the posts should not be subjected to sectarian distribution. But it is not just the issue of posts. Our people from all the sects, what have we come to? What is our situation? In the case of water, it has become sectarian. This river belongs to the Shiites. This is for the Sunnis. This river is for the Christians. This lake is for the Druze. This is for the Maronites. This is for the Orthodox. So on. Water has become sectarian. Thus, when you say ‘there is a national river called the Litani River. It springs from the Bekaa and pours in the Mediterranean Sea. All the Lebanese of all sects benefit from it.' You are told, no, this river belongs to the Shiites. We deal with it as a river that belongs to the Shiites. The same approach will be applied when it comes to the oil. All the Lebanese people are waiting for the day when oil and gas will be extracted because this is the only hope to cover the country's debt and improve its economic and living conditions. Tomorrow we will also have ‘this block is for the Shiites. This block is for the Christians. This block is for the Sunnis'. Right or wrong? There is a big question raised at one stage. I do not adopt this questioning because it is unclear to me. But it is said that even with regards to oil and the search for oil - in land and not in the sea -some areas were overlooked for sectarian reasons because ‘this oil well will come out from a certain sect and not from that sect.'
By God, can a country be built like this? You only see the resistance's weapons as the problem in the country. Put this issue aside. You say ‘we want to solve the situation and the problem in the country'. This is not the real problem today! Water has become a sectarian issue. Fuel has become a sectarian issue. Worst of all, the waste issue. One or two years ago, discussions took place in the Cabinet as well as the ministerial committee. Do you know what language was used? Even some media outlets stated that the waste belonged to a certain sect. Let this sect solve this problem. There is no national attachment any more.
If we want to approach the issue of waste, we must approach it with a sectarian background. The landfills must be distributed on a sectarian basis. Water, oil, and productive sectors as well must be distributed on a sectarian basis. When we come to the agriculture sector, for example, it is questioned whether this sector is Shiite, Sunni, Muslim, Christian, who are the majority of farmers benefitting if we support this sector. The industrial sector, what about it? Are the majority of the industrialists or company or factories owners Christians, Muslims, what sect are they from? Can a country be built on this basis? Can an economy be handled this way? Agriculture has become sectarian, and the industry is also sectarian. Everything is becoming sectarian. Who is dragging the country to this point? Is this imposed on us by America? No. Are Arab countries imposing this on us? No. Let us not blame others. Is this imposed on us by "Israel"? No. Our leaders and parties make this. It is made by leaders who do not have a national project. It is made by leaders who care about being in the leadership and whose leadership can only be built on the basis of sectarianism and sectarian fanaticism.
When we find a minister in his ministry, who does he serve? The people of his sect only, and the areas in which the people from his sect live. Is this a minister for the country? He declares this openly. There is no problem and no one questions him. Not the president, nor minister, nor deputies, nor judiciary, not anyone. It's normal and witty as well.
This is a big problem we are heading towards today.
I would like to give an example and just say that this needs discussion. It needs a solution. It needs to be addressed. It needs a quiet session because we will say we do not want sectarianism with these projects. The issue of balanced development must be taken into consideration. The issue of national accord and national fears must also be taken into consideration. But the path in which the country is on is not right. It is dangerous. It does not only lead to no result, but also leads to a disaster.
I will give a last example, the Lebanese University, the public university, the university of the poor - as we call it. When you look at the political forces' program, you find that all of them agree on strengthening and supporting the Lebanese University. The university needs professors. There are employment standards for professors. Hiring any professor with no qualifications is striking a blow to the university and its academic level. We are not only talking about the university in Beirut but all the branches of the university in Lebanon. This issue concerns all Lebanese youth. During examinations, there is a certain number of professors that belong to a certain sect. What would be the solution? ‘Bring professors so that there is a sectarian balance. Let them go easy on the standards to have a sectarian balance, etc. What would happen to the university? The education level will be low. It will not give results. The students will be failures. The professors don't posses the required efficiency. All of this is because of the sectarian problem. I am not saying it should be solved in any way. I am pointing out that this issue might threaten the Lebanese University. The solution is not by turning our backs and issuing slogans. People should sit and talk with each other.
For a person to get in to some institutions in the country and succeed, he must get a score of 18 out of 20. In other institutions, a person should get at least 7 out of 20 to get in. Is this how institutions are built? It is true we are solving a problem, but what do we do with the institutions, especially when it comes to academic institutions, institutions that need efficiency and qualifications? I am not mentioning a certain formula. I am just saying that this is a real problem that exists in the country and needs to be solved. Otherwise tomorrow, even the forests, woods and fields will also become sectarian.
This is also one of the country's basic concerns that we cannot turn our backs on. We have to find solutions. Yes, we have to find formulas. Yes, Lebanon is one of the countries that knows how to round corners. It knows how to make internal compromises. If its political forces and leaders decide to deal with this kind of issues, they can reach a result. But if we continue like this: with no institutions, no efficient institutions, no institutions capable of serving the people and protecting them and the country.
So, regarding national concerns, we call for more dialogue and communication. I have a last recommendation for "those raising the bar in their speeches". Pay attention, there is May 7. On May 7 when the elections are over, all the political forces regardless of the election results will find themselves facing the Lebanese reality that needs everyone. Lebanon needs a government of national unity. No one can be cancelled. No one can be abolished. No one can be bypassed. Everyone needs a logical and objective dialogue. So, let us all in our political speeches leave space for the moral and the psychological. Let us fix ourselves. Let us sit with each other after May 6.
Before beginning with the Hope and Loyalty List, I would like to start with words I said in the Western Bekaa, a special address to the brothers and sisters in Hezbollah in the Zahrani governorate. As I said in the Western Bekaa, any party or movement usually prefers to have a candidate from their party or organization. This is a legitimate and natural matter. This is a natural sentiment. It is not frowned upon. It is natural that brothers or sisters [in Hezbollah] would propose that we have candidates. But in the matter of candidacy in Lebanon, we have been through an ideal and typical experience. This experience was understanding and alliance between the Amal Movement and Hezbollah. We sit together and agree on every essential thing. We might disagree on some details, but in the end we are not one party. Yet we have one line, one soul. In one body, the hand might want to do something while the eye wants to do something else. So is the ear. Every part of the body might head to a different direction. We agree on the basic issues. Concerning the candidates, we sit and agree. Therefore, some places would have candidate from Hezbollah and others would have candidates from the Amal Movement. So we agreed that if one party has no candidate in a constituency, then the candidate of the other party is the candidate of both parties. Thus, the candidate in Western Bekaa who is from the Amal Movement is also a candidate of Hezbollah. And Hezbollah's candidate in Zahle is the Amal Movement's candidate. Hezbollah's candidate in Jbeil is the Amal Movement's candidate. In the Zahrani governorate, the Amal Movement's candidates are Hezbollha's candidates as well. If the Amal Movement's candidate in Zahrani is His Eminence and big brother Parliament Speaker Nabih Berri, his description will be the candidate for the Amal Movement and the candidate for Hezbollah. He does not only represent us in the Zahrani constituency but in resistance too. He represents us on the national level. He represents us in the great challenges. As we trusted him in the resistance's battle in 2006 - everyone knows - we entrust him today with the sea and the land borders. We entrust him in this battle without hesitation. So yes, we are represented.
I thank the brothers and sisters in the Zahrani constituency for their cooperation, dedication and devotion. I hope that they will continue to work with this level of commitment. They have done this before and today they will do it again.
Brothers and sisters present in the ‘Loyalty to the People of Loyalty' rally, you are the people of loyalty. You are the ones whose loyalty is expected. You will prove your loyalty, God willing, on the sixth of May. Do not say in this constituency that the battle is settled. Regardless of the nature of the confrontation or the electoral competition in this district, the Hope and Loyalty List in this constituency needs all your votes and the greatest turnout you can provide on May 6 to send a message of reassurance to the friends, a message of confirmation of one living, of Christian-Muslim coexistence, of Islamic unity, confirming the path of the resistance, the national choices, the position with the Palestinian people, and confirming the confrontation of the enemy. To send a message to the enemy that we remain loyal and strong in our land. We are able to confront your threats and aggression. We will not allow you to touch our dignity, one grain of sand from our land, one glass of water from our sea, and our sovereignty. We belong to this land. We are the people of the resistance. Our message on May 6 is that we will remain the people of this land, the people of resistance and the people of loyalty.
Good luck and thank you. May you all be blessed. Peace and God's mercy and blessings be upon you.
Source: Hezbollah Media Relations, Translated by website team