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  • prequel

    "Top blog/Renato Obeid's World/Today's pick: This rambling weblog is worth reading not so much for its satirical posts but more for its insight into the minutiae of life in Lebanon, including the etiquette of road accidents and how to hire a taxi.” -Jane Perrone, The Guardian

    Saturday, May 07, 2005  
    - “DeGaulle 1945, Aoun 2005”*

    Historic scenes in Beirut today as General Michel Aoun and members of his former military government arrived back in Beirut after fourteen years of exile in Paris.
    After touching down at 5.00pm, the General barnstormed through a quick reception and a short and clamorous press conference at the airport, a visit to the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier to lay and wreath, a visit to Prime Minister Hariri’s grave to also lay a wreath and, finally, addressing some twenty thousand supporters at Martyr’s Square all within just over an hour.
    Here’s one old soldier who’s challenging the “old soldier’s never die; they just fade away” convention, but whether the General’s star will burn as brightly back on Earth as it did in exile (where he assumed near legendary status to many) remains to be seen now that he’s rejoined the fray of everyday Lebanese politics.

    *Posters put up by Aoun supporters likening Aoun’s return from exile to that of De Gaulle’s.

    I particularly liked the musical component of the celebration at Martyr’s Square – those cats were jumping!
    The highlights were a thunderous drum rendition of the General’s “taratata General” and an all too brief Hendrixesque electric guitar riff of the Lebanese National Anthem that should have been a number in itself and not just the filler that it was (I’ve been waiting months for this and expecting it too ever since it became cool amongst young people to be Lebanese).

    6:00 pm

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