By: Elie Franji

Imagine this:
The sounds of laughter, the sounds of cheering, The sounds of children in the villages playing. The sites of laughter and smiles on the faces, The site of the old man playing cards, and holding all the aces. No sense of fear, nor intimidation, Only the sense of freedom, freedom of a Nation. The image of a Lebanon we are striving for. A Lebanon, which all-true Lebanese will fulfill.
Three key aspects to the freedom of a nation:
Freedom – Allows us, as human beings, to be who we are.
Sovereignty – The universal right of the Nation.
Independence – To be self ruled and lead our own destiny.

The cry for freedom is getting louder from Lebanon and its people. As the time comes near, the real Lebanese, the Lebanese that denounce the Syrian occupation of this nation, will once again be able to be free. 27 years of Syrian occupation, control and terrorism has changed the image of Lebanon. An image of the “Paris of the Middle East” no longer exists. Lebanon, too many unfortunately is now viewed as a terrorist and fundamentalist breeding ground, particularly in the South of Lebanon – in Palestinian camps and in the fertile Bekka Valley.

As we are now in the 21st Century, we as Lebanese must learn from our mistakes, and in my opinion, the new wave of Lebanese – our students, our future leaders will lead by example. A strong sense of unity and co-existence is ever present in the universities. With this being the current trend, Lebanon will only grow stronger. It is through co-existence and unity that our Freedom, Sovereignty and Independence will flourish!

What has the war and the past taught us? It is from the past we can learn and move forward. We will learn that being sectarian will lead us to eternal conflict and to separation. A Lebanon that is separate and lives in fear will not move forward. With this in mind, if we are to live in fear, divide and separate Lebanon, a nation of great diversity, I believe we, as Lebanese would be digging our own grave, as this great nation will recline back to the era of the Stone Age, which in turn, in my opinion will work in favor of the occupiers.

Lebanon will return to its previous glory, a nation that is democratic. Our nation will rise from the fires of hell and its current political and economical status. Once the freedom of our nation is established, like the Cedars that are the inspiration to all patriots, the real Lebanon will emerge. A Lebanon that is full of wisdom and pride. A Lebanon where freedoms and human rights are respected. A Lebanon that will be the forefront of democracy and trade in its region.
For claiming the Freedom of our nation is not a crime! Change within the region is coming, as is the end to the Syrian Occupation and their terrorist tactics towards Lebanon.