A Diamond’s Eye View of the World

a multi-faceted look at the middle east, and the middle west

joining the party

Posted by adiamondinsunlight on May 17, 2008

Last night H and I joined several friends at a nearby restaurant for what my friend T called a “welcome back, Hamra” dinner. The restaurant was packed full – and so was the intersection across from us, where six SSNP guys stood guard around one of their flags. “Return to the status quo of May 5, 2008” my foot.

As we drove to Hamra, H paused so I could take a photograph of another new graffiti that we noticed the night before:

Yes – that’s right. In the midst of last week’s shoot-out between the major militias of Lebanon, Charles Chidiac’s peaceful Republican Reform Party has claimed its own little corner of Beirut.

I like the Republican Reform Party – it has a carefully thought out political program, which is rare among Lebanon’s “parties”. But the idea that it now controls a wall (and maybe the parking lot behind it?) in my neighborhood is just silly.

(For more on the Republican Reform Party/Hizb al-Islah al-Jumhuri, visit its website.)

This is how Chidiac’s party describes itself:

The principal goal of the Republican Reform Party is to create a western style democracy in Lebanon. The RRP will bring new vigor and reform to the country we love.

It will practice democracy, in accordance with the principles established in the West by America, Europe and Russia, and work to create a new generation of citizens who believe that the welfare of the country as a whole is greater than the agenda of any single religious or ethnic group.

Loyalty to the country and the common good will replace the narrow allegiances currently accorded to extended family, religion, or district. The new government of the RRP will clearly separate the practice of religion in mosques and churches from the secular affairs of states.

A political party based on Lebanon’s grass roots, and representing All of Lebanon/s diverse religious and ethnic factions, cannot help but earn enormous respect and universal support.

The founding members of RRP, especially those with positions in the party’s Upper Council and the Political Bureau, represent a brotherhood of Christians and Muslims bound together by common ideals, by the need to separate Church and Mosque from the workings of the State, and by a commitment to help spread democracy throughout the Middle East.

Our call to brotherhood has already been answered by thousands of Christians and Muslims who have bonded together to bring a new birth of law and democracy to the country all of us love.

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