Myriam Achkar’s Murder: What It is, What It Isn’t And The Need for Foreign Workers Regulation in Lebanon

R.I.P Myriam

Myriam Achkar’s murder earlier this week was truly a horrific crime, the tragedy of which can only be grasped by her family and those who knew her. Earlier in the week, she was a regular 27 year old woman, going about her life normally. She prayed, she partied, she lived her life abundantly.

And then her life was taken away from her by a racist psychopath who happened to be working at the Convent she went to pray at. Very few people can understand losing someone so young so suddenly. But perhaps I can shed a light on that. After losing my uncle to a murder as horrific as this back in 1999, I’ve seen how hard it is for your family to come to grasp with the reality of their loved ones finding this horrible untimely ending, for them to see their body maimed and mutilated almost beyond recognition. Sometimes with death, you find closure in seeing a person’s body be serene and somehow smiling as they pass on. But to know that your daughter’s body has been violated and that her death was not peaceful is something that will haunt Myriam Achkar’s mother and family until the day they join her. And at the end of the day, no condolences can ever be enough.

No, this is not a post to only mourn a person we didn’t know. This is a post by a Christian, who was at times called an angry Christian blogger, to say that Myriam Achkar’s murder was not an act by an anti-Christian Syrian against a Lebanese Christian. Myriam was not killed because she was carrying a rosary and a bible and going to pray. She was murdered because she happened to be at the wrong place at the wrong time, falling to the hands of a sick predator.

I’ve seen Lebanese media go on and on again about how Myriam Achkar is a new martyr on the altars of Christianity. And while the idea does seem pleasing for many, it will only spring up hate and more sectarian divisions in the lines of a country that has as fragile a unity as it can be. Myriam’s death was that of a woman who fell to the pangs of a rapist. Our media tends to overblow things out of proportion by looking at the background baggage that everyone has.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not trying to lessen her murder. If there’s anything we can take out of this death, it’s not that of a Christian martyr, it’s that of a girl whose life must be a lesson to everyone that our borders, our regulations, our laws cannot be as “open” as they are.

First, why is it that this particular convent in Sahel Alma chose to hire a Syrian to be its keeper of the grounds. Couldn’t they have found a needy Lebanese family that would have gladly taken the job? To say that many Lebanese find it beneath them is, based on many observations, a myth. I’m from small-town Lebanon. I’ve seen small-town Lebanon and it is not as high-class as people think all of the Lebanese are. There are Lebanese women who want to work in houses to clean. There are Lebanese men whom you can hire to work in your land. The difference between those Lebanese and the Syrians? We tend to overlook the Lebanese because they are ask for more expensive fees and because the Syrians are more numerous. But should a Maronite convent even care about finances? I, as a Maronite, would be appalled by my Church if it didn’t help out needy Lebanese families, at the very least, to get a job. Couldn’t they have found someone in the neighboring villages of Keserwein to work as the janitor in the Monastery?

Second, why is it that Syrian workers can come to the country as they please, do what they please and then leave? Why is it that many working visas are rejected for so many applicants from so many different countries and yet Syrians can come to Lebanon, unchecked and start working? Why is it that many foreign friends of mine have to struggle to get their work papers in order while Syrians have to do nothing while Lebanese workers who go to Syria have to go through as much red tape as other foreign workers?

Third, why is it that parts of our government are more readily willing to kill off CIA members than to seek out Syrian intelligence filth that are spread all around our nation, causing us more harm by killing our women and men that the CIA has ever caused?
Why is it that the value of Lebanese youth’s life is so lessend by certain political parties in Lebanon that they’d rather smuggle the Syrian who killed Myriam out of Lebanon than to get him to face his crime?

I do not approve of what the people in Ketermaya did to the Egyptian who killed off a whole family last year, by killing him in front of the whole town to see. I do not approve of civilians taking justice in their own hands, as many are asking regarding Myriam Achkar’s murder. But it’s so hard not to ask for that and say they do have a point when the Syrian Intelligence killer was attempted to be smuggled out of the country. It is very difficult to think that this murderer will get preferential treatment, that the life of Myriam Achkar is useless, that her murderer will never face justice – just because you have people INSIDE Lebanon who care more about the feelings of Bashar Assad’s men than about the lives of their fellow countrymen.

Myriam Achkar is a martyr for Lebanon. She is not just a martyr for women around the region. She is a martyr for every Lebanese and a cautionary tale that we really need to stop giving preferential treatment for certain nationalities just because we are neighboring countries while nationals of that country have caused us so much harm. No, it’s not racism. I’m not calling to ban all foreign workers from coming to the country and taking them out of their houses like the municipalities of Burj Hammoud did. I’m calling for limitations, for reservations and for regulations.

Until then, rest in peace Myriam Achkar. That is all we can say to her. As for everyone else, hopefully some new dawn for Lebanon will be one where the struggles of everyone are seen equally. 

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26 thoughts on “Myriam Achkar’s Murder: What It is, What It Isn’t And The Need for Foreign Workers Regulation in Lebanon

  1. You do know that the rapist didn’t do this just because “he’s syrian” right?
    Rape was done by a man, regardless of his nationality OR religion..
    A Lebanese Man could’ve done this if he’s just as sick..
    It could’ve been a christian, a musilim, a jew..whatever.. It also happens in America, Canada, Eurpore…
    We can’t categorize a rapist by his nationality, just because we have a point of view against the chaotic almost-non-existing laws of syrian workers in Lebanon.
    Ok the Syrian workers may be a conflict here, but this is not the reason behind the rape.
    Do you wanna tell me that this could not happen if a man is a “reputable” Lebanese CEO of a company?
    A murder is a murder, no need to discriminate… And what makes a man to commit rape ANYWHERE is not his religion, not his nationality, not his career/social post, it is his twisted patriarchal mind, which stand on solid grounds of our twisted patriarchal culture

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    • No, he didn’t rape her because he was Syrian. He raped her because he’s a sick person as I said.
      But he is Syrian intelligence and he was attempted be smuggled out of the country. And that is unacceptable.
      What is unacceptable is for people like him to come here, work, kill and then be able to flee.
      If a Lebanese man had done this. I would have been as adamant in being against the act an in wanting him to be trialled.

      And as you can see, I did say the murder didn’t have a Sectarian aspect. And I said that the civilians of Sahel
      alma have no right to kill him.

      My uncle was murdered in 1999 by a Lebanese man. His murder was on the news as we. And I’m glad his murderer
      Was killed.

      Justice needs be served. And our laws regarding Syrians should be more strict.

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    • Khass enno 3am bijarrbo yharrbou. Law kein 7ayalla jensiye teniye, kein n7abas. Khass enno 3amil moukhabarat. Khass enno fi 3alam bi7oukoumtak bifaddlo ma yet7akam l soure 3ala bent baladon yalli daba7a heida l soure.

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  2. A powerful piece that had to be written, while it may seem to some as too candid it nevertheless carries a powerful message that we can no longer afford to ignore.
    These sick murderers rapists and kidnapers all have one thing in common.
    The five SYRIAN brother who murdered ELEVEN! people in bourj hammoud!
    The SYRIAN sick rapist who just happens to be an ex(?) intelligence officer and just happened to murder the beautiful angel who was going to pray.
    The Iraqi who tried to kidnap a child almost literally from the arms of his mother!
    ALL this in the past month alone!! All these people are sleeper Syrian cells unleashed by the terrorist dying syrian regime to spread violence in Lebanon. All this, while our hezbo government is catering like ****** to bashar and while the orange terrorist monkeys are busy robbing the lebanese people blind and buying jets!

    My deepest to condolences to all victims of bashar al sheep whether in Syria or Lebanon.

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    • Thanks for reading.
      And precisely. We’re not being racist. But when you accept everyone in your country, these people bring in their problems with them.
      You’re not supposed to have an open arms country. Things are supposed to be regulated.

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  3. I am glad you wrote this article. May this young woman rest in peace and may the laws in Lebanon change for the better. And for God’s sake, may Syrians NOT be granted free access to our country anymore.

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    • Thank you for reading. May she rest in peace.
      For clarification, I didn’t mean for all Syrians to have their non-visa status revoked. If they want to visit, then why not. But if they want to work in Lebanon, then more demands and rules need to be applied.

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  4. Thank you for writing this article Elie. Deepest condolences to Myriams’ family and freinds. May she rest in peace in the Lords’ hands.
    As for the killer, he should be trialed and given the maximum GUILTY verdict, and thrown in prison for the rest of his life or even better be hung.But as our politicians are Syrias’ DOGS , most likely he will not get what he deserves.
    I pray for Myriams’ family, may God give them strength in this hard time.

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  5. Pingback: Dear Patriarch Raï, Enough… from a Lebanese Maronite. « A Separate State of Mind

  6. the murderer should not be executed. he should be jailed. l3en bel 3en wel sen bel sen mech chari3tak ya elie. u r based on forgiveness. akid mit marra alla yer7ama w she does not deserve this, no one does. but u forgive, that sets you free. hate generates hate, you are christian, u don’t kill when someone kills. the challenge is to forgive, not for the person but for you. god forbid im saying it is easy to forgive him bas your religion is not based on revenge. remember that.

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    • I know my religion is not based on revenge. But it’s not my place to forgive him or not. I’m not the one hurt. But the death penalty is not there in vain.
      It all goes back to what the court decides and what the family sees fit. My problem is that if he’s jailed, somehow he will “escape” which means justice was not brought for Myriam Achkar.
      If our judiciary system had been honest, my ultimate choice of verdict would have been several life sentences with labor.

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