Christmas & the Birth of a Free Lebanon
By: Elias Bejjani

December 25/2004

We wish everyone of you, in occupied Lebanon, and in the Diaspora, a holy and glorious Christmas, and a very Happy New year. Our great happiness as patriotic Lebanese will reach its prime when, and only when, our beloved Lebanon, home and land of our great fathers and ancestors reclaims its confiscated independence, redeems its marginalized sovereignty, restores its oppressed freedoms, and regains its hijacked free decision-making process.

Our joy and happiness will be at their peak the day:

When hundreds of our country's arbitrarily held detainees are released from the fascist Syrian jails and horrible detention centers, where they have been deprived for more then 25 years of all their basic human rights.

When Lebanon's exiled patriotic leaders and citizens are free to return back to their Land of the Cedars with the dignity, honor, respect and glory they actually deserve for the sacrifices they made, and their national role.

When our detained comrades, individuals, leaders and dignitaries are no longer prisoners of conscience inside Lebanon, held in the Syrianized jails of their own country without any due legal process.

When our exiled people from South Lebanon are welcomed back in Lebanon, officially and publicly with open arms.
Our struggle will know no rest until all these bothers and sisters redeem all their civil rights which the Syrian occupation and its puppet Lebanese regime unlawfully confiscated.

When Lebanon's fertile fields are again green, plowed, sowed, guarded and harvested by our men and women.

When our factories are re-opened, productive, and run only by Lebanese hands.

When our borders are patrolled solely by the Lebanese army and security forces, and when all militias, Lebanese and non-Lebanese, are disarmed and dismantled, and when the law of the land and the legitimate authority of a sovereign Lebanese people are fully and independently applied and enforced on all Lebanon's soil.

When conscientious and patriotic Members of Parliament (MPs) are elected freely by the people who deserve MPs who, in turn, understand that they have the obligation and the privilege to represent the people's hopes, aspirations and wishes.

When Lebanon's markets are open for the country's products with no foreign hegemony or unfair and arbitrary competition.

When Lebanon's judiciary is fair, unbiased and non-politicized. A judiciary and judges who respect the constitution and abide by the law of the land and the Charter of Human Rights.

When Lebanese identity is honored and hailed by all the Lebanese communities, and is placed above all other political, regional, ethnic and religious affiliations.

Then, and only then, we can rest our case for the struggle.

It has always been the norm, with never an exception , that for the last 7,000 years our people have always been courageous and determined and never willingly accepted subjugation and domination. They lived and still live with the hope of resurrection. They never doubted or questioned their right to be free in a free and independent country. They fought every tyrant and occupying force that invaded their country, and were able time and again, to force every single one of them out in defeat and humiliation.

Today, the Lebanese people remain as tall as their mighty cedars in spite of all hardships, the hurt, and the suffering of the past three decades.

For the first Christmas in twenty-eight years, our people can look up to the skies and be grateful that the Syrian Baathist era is coming to an end.

Lebanon is on its way again to freedom, liberty and peace. Thanks to the resilience and toughness of the people of Lebanon who endured the hardships of war and the humiliation of a foreign occupation, and thanks to the lobbyists and activists of the Diaspora scattered across the countries of the Free World who, through UN Resolution 1559 and :the Syria Accountability and Lebanon Sovereignty Restoration Act of 2003", have made the re-birth of a free Lebanon a reality.

Let us all pray that the birth of Our Lord Jesus will coincide this year with the re-birth of a new Lebanon that is free, independent and sovereign.

By God's will, all the Lebanese will be able next year to celebrate Christmas and the New Year in a liberated Lebanon that is run by the Lebanese and only by them.

Best wishes for our people for A Merry Christmas & A Happy New Year.

***Elias Bejjani
*Human Rights activist, journalist & political commentator.
*Spokesman for the Canadian Lebanese Human Rights Federation (CLHRF)
*Media Chairman for the Canadian Lebanese Coordinating Council (LCCC)