Nadim Gemayel, Yalli Khallaf… Meit

I grew up hearing about Bachir el Gemayel – the man of hope for many people – a hope in a country they wish they had. Many of the people I know still look upon his memory and get an undeniable feel of nostalgia on the days when they really believed in the potential of the place they call their land.

I never got the hype. I always thought it’s better to live in the “now” than in the memories of days long past that will not nor can they ever return. For many though, the hope of Bachir lived on with his son Nadim. Today, however, I have to tell those same people who look upon Nadim Gemayel and say “Yalli khallaf ma meit,” hoping he’ll be the man his father was, that on the contrary, yalli khallaf mesh bass meit… Meit w sar trab kamen.

I’m not sure if it’s Nadim turning a show of force from his bodyguards as a personal attack against his sanctity. I’m not sure if it’s Lebanon’s security forces dragging the activists with whom the altercations happened to investigation today, arresting many of them in the process. I’m not sure if it’s the absolute naivety with which he handled the event at hand and expected to get away with it with his reputation unscathed. I’m not sure if it’s his apparent need to be in some form of spotlight… And what better spotlight than a presumed “assassination” attempt by the people opposing the unjust extension of our parliament’s mandate. But Nadim Gemayel has fulfilled what I always thought he would do.

This is the son of a man who supposedly called for democracy and safety.
This is the son of a man who called for the rights of his people, for them not to live in terror, for them not to fear those who think are “higher” than them, for them not to be constantly fearful and paranoid. Yes, yalli khallaf meit.

This man who belongs to our age group, who should understand the struggles of the youth, who has lived his fair share of struggles against long-standing regimes and who was victim of such practices isn’t only doing them onto the people who look up to him but actively trying to turn them into his own brand of Hollywood fiction. But here’s a news flash to Nadim Gemayel: this isn’t a Stanley Kubrick movie.

If Nadim Gemayel were the politician he thinks he is, he wouldn’t have just called away his bodyguards but fired them as well. If he were the politician he thinks he is, he would have resigned from parliament and been there chanting with those same activists for his and their rights as Lebanese citizens, for elections that would keep democracy in this country alive and for parliament members who don’t need to hire henchmen in order to feel safe – who only need a sovereign state empty of militias in order to move around the country and have unannounced dinners here and there.

Nadim Gemayel will get elected again, there’s no denying this. Whoever say otherwise are deluding themselves. This event will only put a fixable dent in the armor of the son of Bachir el Gemayel as he basks in the glow of his father’s memory, not daring to move away from it. What Nadim el Gemayel doesn’t know is that he is killing his father’s legacy with his practices. What he doesn’t know is that his father would have wanted him to build his own legacy that is very very different from the man Nadim Gemayel has become today.

Yalli khallaf meit. It takes more than just chromosomes and a similar face to fit into the legacy of the man that made you. And there’s no person more disappointed today than the man who made Nadim.


10 thoughts on “Nadim Gemayel, Yalli Khallaf… Meit

  1. Vous n’êtes pas sans savoir qu’après les vagues d’attentats qui ont touché les députés de 14 mars, Nadim Gemayel ne se sent pas du tout en sécurité! c’est complètement irresponsable d’attaquer son convoi avec soi-disant des tomates et des pierres! qu’est-ce que vous croyez? que les body-guards vont croiser les bras ?!!


    • Si vous lisez bien les nouvelles, l’histoire n’est pas le groupe de Nasawiyya qui s’est mis a attaquer Nadim. Faudrait lire les deux cotes de l’histoire avant de passer des jugements sur ce qui s’est passe. Je vous laisse le plaisir de decouvrir les raisons pour lesquelles ce qui s’est passe est un acte irresponsable.


  2. having been absent from the scene for almost 4 decades, I am no authority to pass judgment on today’s developments and leaders. Nevertheless let’s address the fact that President Bachir El Gemayel is or was a product molded by the wisdom, direction and nourishment of the great fathers of our relatively young country, his father Sheikh Pierre El Gemayel and close allies such as President Kamil (the Nimr) Chamoun and the likes. It takes more than being a sibling, example Bachir’s brother Amin who held and holds a more toned down demeanor and let’s not forgot Dany and Dori Chamoun who really never blossomed to fill their father’s shoes. Today’s Gemayel should be given the benefit of the doubt, that unlike his dad and uncle, he did not have the fortune of receiving the life long nourishment, direction and live by example as his father was taken away prematurely. The difference being that today’s young Gemayel has not had the tight handholding the prvious generation had from the generation prior. A fact that we see in today’s hereditary leaders not just in Lebanon but globally. The kings are dead, long live the new kings, who are very green unfortunately and cannot lead. Looking at today’s world leadership, I often wonder where are the leaders, they don’t make them any more?! I am convinced Cirque de Soleil is graduating world leaders, because they sure don’t look like they came from Harvard.


  3. Hi Elie, a long time ago, I read a lot about Bachir Gemayel in an attempt to understand something of Lebanon’s history. Books, internet sources, interviews etc.
    I can see why people look back at “his time” with some sort of nostalgia. I guess every people had or needs someone like him in their history.

    Now, his son may be a very competent politician, very wise, very intelligent. I really do not know enough about this person. But I must say I find it unsuitable for a political party to work like a monarchy, like certain positions are hereditary. Even if the son or cousin doesn’t get the same position, they still get a high-ranking one. Don’t you think it’s dangerous this happens? Don’t ideological causes or, in this time, more relevant issues like good governance and working on a civil society get bypassed in favor of clientalism and favoritsm?

    I don’t think I would vote for any party or group which makes a habit of getting their own family in the highest bid for succession or party positions. Then again I have the luxury not to have such a system. Admittedly, many of our own high-ranking positions and CEOs are children of people from a similar background and they sometimes even studied together.

    Basically my point is: it’s not very logical to put any trust in someone (just) because he’s the son of someone with a great legacy. It creates wrong expectations and a great premise for corruption.


  4. Would have wanted to share this post on my facebook page like I usually do but since yesterday I’ve already gotten in fights with countless people about this specific issue so I’ll pass, but couldnt agree more!


  5. Démocratie – Gouvernement est la pire des dictatures parce qu’elle est la dictature exercée par le grand nombre sur la minorité.


  6. Ce sont les métiérs dit sales (comme éboueurs ou égoutiers…..) qui contibuent le plus à la propreté, et, paradoxalement, ce sont les professions de Prestige (comme politiques, financiers, haut responsables,…..) qu’on trouve le plus d’ordures.



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