Three new stamps commemorating the assumption of President Michel Aoun to the office of President of the Lebanese Republic were revealed by LibanPost on Wednesday, December 6, 2017, during a ceremony at the Presidential Palace in Baabda.
In addition to the president himself, the unveiling was attended by Minister of Telecommunications Jamal Jarrah, General Director of Post in Lebanon Dr. Mohammed Youssef, and from LibanPost Chairman Khalil Daoud, senior marketing manager Ronnie Richa, and counselor Roni Alpha.
Chairman Khalil Daoud expressed to Aoun LibanPost’s pride in producing the stamps that “tell the story of a nation, the dignity of a state, living amid challenges and dangers, and uphold the right to exist, free and independent,” adding that his election after more than two years of vacuum “has restored hope to the citizens and renewed their dreams of a state of institutions and a reformist approach at all levels.”
The new stamp releases follow the tradition by which the Council of Ministers commissions LibanPost, Lebanon’s postal operator, to create a stamp celebrating the election of a new president of the republic.
Speaking at Baabda Palace, Minister of Telecommunications Jarrah told President Aoun during the ceremony that stamps are “token gifts from the Ministry of Telecommunications, LibanPost and the Post Office of Lebanon, which is the least we can offer to your Excellency in recognition of your achievements.”
Aoun, who was elected to office in October 2016, requested that in addition to a stamp bearing his likeness, two additional stamps be created to mark the occasion.
The first of two stamps honors “The Return of the People’s Flag to the People’s Home”. In December 1989, a group of young people staging a sit-in at Baabda Presidential Palace in support of then-General Aoun undertook an initiative in which it asked citizens to add their signatures to a giant specially-created Lebanese flag. Under the slogan “Sign for your identity, sign your flag,” the initiative garnered 126,549 signatures in total. The flag was later presented by demonstrators to General Aoun, who promised that “the national flag will continue to fly over all of Lebanon.”
Following the renewed violence in the country in 1989-90, the flag was smuggled out of the Presidential Palace by a female activist for safekeeping. On November 20, 2016, the first national Flag Day under the presidency of Aoun, the flag was returned to the palace. Upon being presented with the flag for the second time, President Aoun described the artifact as a representation of “the unity of Lebanon, the land of Lebanon, and the people of Lebanon who were imprisoned with us for 15 years. Today, we celebrate its return to its real home, the people’s home.”
The second stamp depicts the “People’s Day of Presidential Congratulations”, during which Baabda Palace opened its doors to Lebanese citizens on November 6, 2016, a week following the election of President Aoun, to congratulate the new president in person. During the event, which saw Lebanese flock to Baabda from all over the country, Aoun reiterated his promise to “build a strong country and a strong state.”
The "Return of the People’s Flag to the People’s Home” and the “People’s Day of Presidential Congratulations” stamps, along with the LibanPost stamp bearing of the image of the president, were presented in a commemorative plaque to His Excellency during the meeting at Baabda Palace, along with a jacket detailing a timeline of major events in his political life in Lebanon and descriptions of the three presidential stamps.
While expressing his gratitude for the stamps honoring three important occasions in his past and in the history of Lebanon, Aoun stressed the stamps carry a special significance for him, since they “came in the name of the Lebanese people and under the symbol of Lebanon, the Lebanese flag, which I hope will always fly over all Lebanese territory.”
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