Saturday, November 11, 2017

Hariri's absence unifies Lebanon - when his presence did not.

Artwork by Tarek Chemaly
My former bank director friend is convinced Saad is "free to go in Saudi". My other friend is convinced he is "being held at the Ritz". My third friend is convinced that "he is not that close in running the business, he has nothing to fear". Notice everyone is "convinced" of his theory and no one has a proof to whatever.
Interestingly, people from all over the world are reaching out to me with the question "what is happening to your Prime Minister?" - it is difficult to answer such a question so I always reply "my theory is...." since truth be told, no one seems to know anything, no one seems to be basing their assessment on hard facts. I have personally heard, and read no less than half a dozen versions as to the wherabouts of Saad Hariri - our current Prime Minister (apparently he is still so, because one cannot resign from such a post just from TV, it is unconstitutional).
But here's the oddity, in his absence Hariri managed to do what he never did in his absence: Unify the political factions demanding his safe return - I guess "safe" is the issue here, after all, no one wants anyone to harm him but themselves (where's the fun in that?).
Seriously though, for a figure that never achieved the charisma or had the unifying factor that comes with their aura, for everyone to be so "concerned" about him is nothing short of miraculous. It is the same guy that ended up where he is because he is "son of" and who during two tenures could not solve (unsolvable) problems, who was part of the local political machinations (not accusing him, everyone else in Lebanese politics is!), and who basically was - well - a politician with shifting alliances a la 1984 (again not accusing him of anything, now everyone wants him back).
I got this joke via whatsapp this morning, from someone who is not exactly a Hariri fan but who seems concerned about his whereabouts anyhow.
This probably sums up the situation. Note that Christmas is still some 45 days away....That's a lot of time for Santa Claus to get him back - or manufacture a new one.