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To Robert Ghanem, five years after your departure, the “wagon of Life” continues to roam the villages and cities of our beautiful country.

“There exists a power surpassing death itself: The enduring presence of the absent in the memories of the living.”

Jean D’Ormesson

Five years after your premature departure, heartfelt thoughts and unwavering memories persist, etching themselves deeply in the minds of all who stood by you, loved and respected you: your family, friends, colleagues and “your people!”

Love, friendship, dignity and patriotism were the keywords of your earthly existence! An emblematic equation you shared generously with everyone you encountered and befriended. It permeated your surroundings, leaving a perennial and indelible impression of your pursuit of sincerity, freedom, truth, justice and serenity. These profound and steadfast objectives have consistently served as the foundation of the rich tapestry you wove throughout a life filled with diverse and varied experiences, characterized by patience, discretion and determination.

Since your departure, a myriad of events, dramas, woes and divisions have continued to punctuate the path of this country you held so dear! Following your demise, many of our friends have also joined you, each having fought in their own way for the realization of national objectives akin to yours such as freedom, independence, democracy and sovereignty!

But for us, your lifelong companions who have lived your inner journey, we can never forget your concerns and the countless political letdowns that weighed heavily on you. It was these very worries that prompted your withdrawal from the 2018 legislative campaign. You had keenly apprehended the state of affairs, perceived the looming political chaos, and discerned the pervasive widespread collapse that had started impacting and sweeping away all institutions. Unfortunately, time would only serve to vindicate your apprehensions.

I won’t revisit the harsh and unbearable years that followed your departure. Today, they remain increasingly difficult to endure, and the world around us grows darker with each passing day.

The unknown and the doubt plunge our people into a long journey through the desert, with no clear horizons in sight. The country is losing its youth, leaving behind only the elderly, those unable to leave for various reasons, and those who still hold onto hope for a potential rebirth of this nation, relying on an uncertain “deal” among regional and international decision-makers.

Faced with the immense anxiety that has gripped the citizens of the Land of the Cedars for several decades, I would like to conclude this tribute by sharing with you and all your friends, a message of hope and expectancy for our children and our people: “The hope of humanity is future-oriented, thriving to keep it open and make it happy. Yet, a hope worthy of the name cannot overlook the past, because those who pretend to invent the future must first inherit a tradition; whoever is eager to forge ahead would do well to cast a glance behind. Thus, every hope is “doubled” with memory, in other words, every future hope strives first to save the past.

Yes, the boldness of the future passes through the restrictions of memory.”

Before we bid you farewell, we want to express our heartfelt affection and friendship to Viviane, your spouse, and to your sons, along with their families. We want them to know that they can always take pride in the humanist legacy you have passed down to them.

*Former minister and MP Robert Ghanem passed away on February 10, 2019, following a heart attack.