Key Speeches

Introduction > Conference on the Displaced – June 19, 1992

The return of the displaced stipulates that Lebanon has regained its normal state
Dear Conferees,
You are not here today to lament the past or affirm a holy right.  You are here to organize the start of your return.
Dear Friends,
Like the homeland, you are victims of the war that has ravaged our land.  War has stricken the state and destroyed its administration and resources.  War has also attacked our very society of openness and convergence, and almost made it a victim of introversion and selfishness.
War left the citizens with despair and suicide after having attacked our citizen, killed a relative, or deprives him of property, and dreams.
A joint Lebanese will has chosen to end the tragedies, rebuild, spread peace and raise our nation’s flag above all others.  We moved forward baring in mind the long history of forgiveness, pride and commitment to creating a better life.  This heritage remains stronger than our difficulties and calamities.
You are among those who have suffered most in our homeland.  So lead this new reality and the walk the road towards achieving the nation’s primary goals in the era ravaged wars.
Emotions have cost us.  In the era of peace, logic will ensure our victory.  Disasters are quick to destroy, but rebuilding takes effort and faith only found in honorable and loyal citizens who believe in justice.
We cannot erase crises and rebuild our homeland with arguments and disaccord.  There has been too much arguing about the issue of the displaced.  The return of the displaced is not an issue.
It is a right.
The true issue of the displaced peopple is the departure of ethics, skills, effective administration and the national interest in the face of narrow sectarian, religious and party whims.  I say, “Enough, because history will not be kind. Great men build a great nation.”
We know there are economic burdens, housing needs, social repercussions and emotional sensitivities associated with the return of refugees.  But surrender does not solve the problem.  And, step-by-step solutions do not mean postponing their return.  The National Accord Document approved by Parliament commits to implement the following:
“Resolving the issue of the displaced Lebanese people, affirming the right of each Lebanese citizen displaced since 1975 to return to the location from which they have been displaced, and creating legislation that guarantees their rights and ensuring sufficient means for rebuilding.”       
The return of displaced is a reality because it signifies Lebanon’s return to normalcy.  We must work in unity.  We are all citizens of the homeland.  It is part of us and we honor its heritage.  Let us be role models for other nations.  Despite external influences that have led to migration, let’s prove, by our internal strength and national awareness, that we have always been and continue to be worthy of Lebanon.
The displaced are not looking for a hero to follow back to their villages.  Through their patience and faith in their homeland, they are the heroes.  They have a sacred right to their land and property.  They have erased the last black page in Lebanon’s heritage, a heritage of united living.
The return of the displaced is a final and decisive affirmation that the Lebanese people are no longer pawns in the game of denominational whims and flawed priorities.  They are seeking the national interest and the building of a secure future.
In the name of Lebanon, I tell you that you are not the only ones who were displaced.  Our people in the South and Western Bekaa are displaced within their own homes and villages.  They are innocent and yet being punished with death daily.  We owe them liberation and will spare no effort to do so because Lebanon has the right to rule all of its land.
Refugees have been scattered throughout the world because of war in search of livelihood and safety.  We owe them peace and promotion of faith in the homeland and the future so they can return and contribute to the reconstruction effort. 
In the name of Lebanon I tell you that we want you back as much as you want to return. 
The residents of your hometowns await your return as you want to go back, the stages miss your traditional ‘dabke’ dances and songs.
I will not repeat the political reasons leading to displacement.  They pain us.  Wars have hurt us deeply.
During wartime, we were all displaced.  But peacetime means, above all else, a return to Lebanon.  When the displaced return, so will Lebanon.
From this day forward, we should all rally behind a strong, just nation capable of rebuilding and overcoming those who stand in its path to rebuilding Lebanon.  Unite for the sake of our homeland and turn your struggle into a competition for Lebanon. Because when competition ends, we all die.
The Lebanese people are the only ones capable of rebuilding our society, land and homeland.  The state cannot import your Lebanon for you, but it can provide you with the opportunity to return, contribute and develop.  The state will leave no stone unturned and will ask for the support of brother and friendly states in order to launch the reconstruction process.
We see the upcoming period as a fruitful one.
Dear Conferees,
I will leave detailed discussion to you, with your government’s initiatives to establish a schedule for your return in light of a well-studied and national plan.  Your return will be protected by a united Lebanese army and other security agencies.  We will be supported on our path to security and peace by our brethren, and foremost among them, Syria.
I assure you that Lebanese intentions are good and reassuring.  The only path to return is communal cooperation.  I have faith in all leaderships for they are truly patriotic and working for the return of a democratic, open and peaceful Lebanon.  What is the meaning of peace if citizens are not able to practice their holy rights in their own homes, find their heritage honored and be secure in their children’s happiness and safety?
Fellow Lebanese,
I am working to ensure a united Lebanon for generations to come.  I hope to visit you in your own regions so our land can flourish with our communal family traditions.  A homeland is too small if it has no place for all of its children.

© Copyright 2012 - All Rights Reserved.
Contact Us   |  Site Map   |  Gallery