Al-Rahi: Lebanon was 'Switzerland of the East' during Christian influence


Maronite Patriarch Beshara al-Rahi re-iterated Friday his call for Lebanon's neutrality, during his visit to Australia.

Al-Rahi expressed his fear for Lebanon's "positive" neutrality, "which is at the core of its identity and would keep it away from regional and international conflicts."

"During the Christians' influence, Lebanon was the Switzerland of the Middle East," al-Rahi said, criticizing those who are obstructing the election of a "Maronite president."

"No force can stop them," al-Rahi said. "I don't know why (they are obstructing the vote) since there are two candidates.”

Comments 5
Thumb 22 September 2023, 16:42

I find Al Rahi's statement profoundly offensive and cannot condone his populist views. What precisely does he mean by 'Christian influence'? He's alluding to a time before our own, a period antedating the Zionist conflicts in Lebanon and its neighboring nations, a time when Palestinians in refugee camps were not armed. When you juxtapose an imitation with an authentic example, in this case, Lebanon with Switzerland, the former inevitably pales in comparison. Lastly, it is his generation that contributed to the devastation of Lebanon and bequeathed us a fractured heritage.

Thumb 22 September 2023, 20:21

I don’t believe anyone had a need for an AC back then, the traditional ottoman styled houses had very high ceilings and were fresh even during the summer. There were exodus back then as well, my dad left Lebanon to study in Paris in 1947, his younger brother to NY in the 1950s. Life wasn’t great even for the middle class bourgeoisie. However, it did improve in the 1960s though.

Thumb 22 September 2023, 22:54

(^0^)ノ lol I’ve been to Lebanon in Pennsylvania, my relative lives in small city called New Canaan, Connecticut. Americans are so creative when it comes to naming locations.

Thumb sanglierdomestique 23 September 2023, 01:42

Very well put As a Maronite I also find this kinda rhetoric as damaging, while it may be true Lebanon had a golden-age in the 60s the fact that Christians had more political influence at that time is a spurious association. Shu khass shu dinak business is business and good governance is good governance. He’s just cheaply hitting back at Mikati, Berri et al. over their own rhetorical idiocy.

Missing gabriel01 23 September 2023, 05:21

Now Lebanon is called the Iran of the Mediterranean, and wilayat El Fakir thanks to another influence.