Lebanon Mourns Mandela, Flags to Fly at Half-Mast on Tuesday

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Caretaker Prime Minister Najib Miqati declared on Saturday a day of mourning over the death of former South African president Nelson Mandela.

According to a memo issued by the premier's office, flags will fly at half-mast on Tuesday during the memorial service that will be held in the Soweto sports stadium in South Africa.

On Tuesday around 80,000 people are expected to attend a memorial service in the Soweto sports stadium that hosted the final of the 2010 World Cup.

President Michel Suleiman also tasked Miqati with representing him at the funeral of the modern South Africa's founding father, who died late Thursday aged 95, surrounded by friends and family.

Suleiman considered on Friday that Mandela “inspired the world with his life as an activist to end racism, fight poverty and achieving equality between human beings.”

Miqati also offered his condolences to the current President of South Africa Jacob Zuma in a cable.

Memorial events begin Sunday with South Africans invited to go to churches, mosques, synagogues and other places of worship, to pay their respects.

Mandela's body will lie in state for three days from Wednesday, ahead of his eventual burial on December 15 in his boyhood hometown of Qunu.

The government announced Saturday that his coffin would be taken in a cortege through the streets of Pretoria each morning, giving the millions of South Africans still coming to terms with the death of their first black leader an opportunity to say a final farewell.

Large numbers of mourners, carrying candles, flowers and messages of respect have turned up every day outside Mandela's residence in Johannesburg and in the once blacks-only township of Soweto.

Mandela spent 27 years in apartheid prisons before being elected president in 1994 and unifying his country with a message of reconciliation after the end of white minority rule. He shared the Nobel Peace Prize with South Africa's last white president, F.W. de Klerk, in 1993.

Mandela had waged a long battle against a recurring lung infection and had been receiving treatment at home since September following a lengthy hospital stay.

Comments 14
Thumb Roaring-FlameThrower 07 December 2013, 15:40

1- What a great man Madiba truly was. Alona and I once shared some rare moments with him and Sayyed Hassan at my engagement party last year in Soweto, South Africa. Madiba was just recovering from a severe bout of pneumonia when Sayyed Hassan landed his Ayoub long haul drone right in our front yard after flying non-stop from Dahiyeh to Soweto and having to refuel several times in mid-air. Sayyed insisted on attending our engagement vows since Alona held and still holds a special place in Sayyed’s heart as she was the first Russian woman who converted and became a Zainabiyeh (Thanks to Al Manar Russian website).

Thumb Roaring-FlameThrower 07 December 2013, 15:40

2- As the ceremony came to its conclusion and the celebrity crowd started to dwindle down, Madiba asked Alona and I to join him and Sayyed Hassan for some quality time away from preying eyes and the nuisance of paparazzi which the Sayyed seemed to enjoy. We retreated to the bungalow’s sunroom which overlooked the vast fields of South Africa and its rich wildlife. Sayyed was overtaken by the beauty of Soweto’s natural beauty and its upscale towering high-rises. A sight he rarely sees from his underground vantage point in Dahiyeh. I could write volumes about those special moments, but I’d rather get to the point.

Thumb Roaring-FlameThrower 07 December 2013, 15:41

3- Madiba in his usual striking and distinguished voice, turned to Sayyed and said:” Hassan, I want to speak about the resistance and its impact on future generations” at which point my Alona abruptly interrupted the great Madiba and said in a rather emotional tone: “ Please, Madiba … address him as Sayyed Hassan!!!”. I was shocked and taken back by Alona’s inappropriate and somehow rude remarks. I was staring at Alona in disbelief when Madiba quickly saved the moment and said :” Alonishka, Sayyed Hassan and I go a long way back in our common struggle against imperialism and zionism, and we have dropped all formalities and titles between us”. Sayyed Hassan nodded his head in a sign of approval and waved his finger as a matter of re-assurance.

Thumb Roaring-FlameThrower 07 December 2013, 15:41

4- Then came the great moment when the late Madiba wrapped his right arm around Sayyed Hassan and his left arm around Alona and I and uttered his ageless words: “ The Islamic Secular Resistance has the power to change the world…it has the power to inspire. It has the power to unite people in a way that little else does. It speaks to youth in a language they understand. The Islamic Secular Resistance can create hope where once there was only despair. It is more powerful than government in breaking down racial and social barriers.”

Thumb Roaring-FlameThrower 07 December 2013, 15:41

5- Sayyed gave Alona and I a ride back home on his Ayoub drone which we thoroughly enjoyed. It was a cool and memorable ride as we flew over Qusayr and Zainab tomb in Damascus. Finally on his final approach into Lebanese airspace, Sayyed gave us the thrill of our lives as he skillfully maneuvered his drone and buzzed the tower at Dahiyeh International Airport before finally dropping us off at the roof of our building in Ghazeer and disappeared into the twinkling lights of Jounieh Bay.
Madiba’s words still ring in my ears like a school bell on a Monday morning. God bless him and bless Sayyed Hassan.

Missing helicopter 07 December 2013, 16:08

May the ideals of Mandela rub off on either our politicans (causing them to resign out of shame) or on our people (causing them to revolt against the power seeking thugs we call leaders). Mandela could have been President for life if he wanted to, but he chose to step down after one term (something our PMs and Berri will never think of).

Thumb liberty 07 December 2013, 18:28

RFT is in for a treat tonite:)

Thumb ex-fpm 07 December 2013, 19:50

Excellent post RFT! many fake accounts at work though:)

Thumb cityboy 07 December 2013, 21:17

Have some respect, even though what you wrote may be funny, this topic is about a great hero that has passed away. save the humor for another forum. RIP Mandela.

Thumb profile 07 December 2013, 22:35

Now you guys have some shame. Your fake accounts are obvious. Comment instead of playing the numbers game) I am sure flamethrower and his 50 accounts deserves 15 votes so far for his wow comment. Ask the1phoenix who complains about fake accounts. LOL

Thumb profile 07 December 2013, 22:45

You want to talk about fake accounts, ok fine. Now explain to your lovely captive audience how come flamethrower has 15 votes up for that amazing comment he made at the top of this post. How can RFT get 14 votes down and all those who commented here seem to like his post except for one. Stop lecturing since you are the worst offender!

Thumb EagleDawn 07 December 2013, 23:15

I like your post roaring and thanks for a good laugh:) As to you fake posters out there, enjoy your hatred, it might kill you.

Thumb profile 08 December 2013, 07:15

Better than being one of you, a sectarian terrorist in a sectarian militia.

Missing --karim_m3-- 08 December 2013, 09:11

Calmly take off the suicide belt. Blowing yourself up is NEVER the answer.