Lebanon Patriarch calls for a Maestro president

Baabda presidential chair awaits the new occupant of the palace after president Michel Aoun’s term expired on October 31 , 2022 .

Lebanon’s Maronite Patriarch Beshara al-Rai said during a musical performance in Bkirki by the Lebanese Philharmonic Orchestra for the election of a “maestro” president for the country.

“We call for the election of a president who would perform the role of a maestro and who would manage Lebanese diversity and lead it to unity and harmony,” al-Rai said

A maestro politician may not even appreciate music but the patriarch is calling for a highly skilled and effective political leader who is able to inspire and mobilize people towards a common goal or vision. A maestro politician is typically characterized by their charisma, strategic thinking, strong communication skills, and the ability to make tough decisions in complex and challenging situations.

Maestro politicians are often able to create a sense of unity and collaboration among different groups of people, and are able to navigate political obstacles and challenges with ease. They are also skilled at building coalitions and alliances, and are able to work with others to achieve positive outcomes for their constituents.

In short the Patriarch is calling for a maestro politician who is able to effectively lead the country and bring about positive change .

Hezbollah and its ally the Amal Movement has proposed Marada Movement chief Suleiman Franjieh as President of the Republic .

He was invited to Paris and quizzed by the French officials and was asked to provide certain guarantees but failed to convince them he could lead the country effectively

According to observers Franjieh will not be his own man and like president Aoun before him and any guarantee he will offer is worthless , since the last decision will be Hezbollah’s

The French decided to invite other candidates   , no list has ben provided so far .

Progressive Socialist Party leader Walid Jumblatt who has been mediating between the various political blocs the election of a consensual candidate headed to Paris before Franjieh .

Jumblatt proposed a host of “consensual” presidential candidates one of whom might enjoy consensus among the various parties or most of them, Asharq al-Awsat newspaper reported.

In addition to Joseph Aoun, Jihad Azour and Salah Honein, Jumblatt had recently proposed Chebli Mallat and May Rihani.

Jumblatt’s initiative has so far been rejected by the so called Shiite Duo ( Hezbollah and Amal ) , which “is reportedly insisting on Franjieh.”

“Franjieh of course is no Maestro” , Sami Haddad a Lebanese political observer told Ya Libnan. ” He is the exact opposite, since can’t lead as long as he is controlled by Hezbollah. Like Aoun he will be a rubber stamp for Hezbollah chief Hassan Nasrallah “

The problem for Franjieh is twofold: Until now he doesn’t have a majority in parliament that would allow him to win an election, and he is opposed by the three main Maronite Christian parties, which would deny him any communal legitimacy, since presidents come from the Maronite community. 

File : Hezbollah chief Hassan Nasrallah is shown during meeting with Marada Movement leader Suleimna Franjieh . Hezbollah has taken the decision to push for the election of Franjieh as its preferred presidential candidate in Lebanon . Franjieh is the weakest Christian leader .He only just managed to get his son elected to parliament in the May 2022 elections. Like former president Michel Aoun Franjieh is expected to be a rubber stamp for Nasrallah , if he ever gets elected

This rules him out as the maestro Rai is looking for

For the first time in decades, winds of hope are blowing across the Middle East . In other words there is a “new Middle East “

The Beijing-backed Saudi-Iran peace deal is a very important development . Upon implementation, not only will we see a restoration of diplomatic ties, resumption of flights, and issuing of visas, but also an agreement to non-aggression and respecting sovereignty which might resolve several long-standing regional disputes.

Should Tehran play ball, the Saudi-Iran agreement could enable both regional powers to discuss how to help Arab countries which have long suffered due to the presence of Iranian militias. Essentially, this could mean better lives for people in Syria, Lebanon , Iraq and Iran

What we have been witnessing for the past 3 years is a Saudi-led “Tsunami of Peace,” If this momentum continues, many observers believe we will be seeing the manifestation of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s vision that the Middle East can become the “new Europe,” something he alluded to as his hope for the region during a panel at the 2018 Future Investment Initiative conference in Riyadh.

We need a president in Lebanon who is able to effectively lead the country and bring about positive change and be part of this new Middle East .

While Lebanon has been messing around , a new generation of leaders in the Arabian Gulf has been revitalizing the Middle East . No country in the whole world benefited from its natural resource like the Arab Gulf States and this is because of the new generation of leaders who are forward looking visionaries .

While Lebanon has been in a mess and continues to live in the past , The Arabian Gulf leaders turned their countries into ultra modern states .

Saudi Arabia the country that in the past did not accept tourists is now planning to have one hundred million by 2030 , while Lebanon which prided itself in the past as being the most visited country in the Middle East is now out of the tourism business. Its only visitors are the Lebanese expatriates.

In 2019, Dubai alone attracted a total of 16.73 million tourists

Lebanon has a choice

1- Stay in the mess we have been in and be declared officially as a failed state

2- or join this new leadership that is reinventing the entire Middle East .

The time is now for a visionary leader who will join the New Middle East or we will miss the boat .

There is no shortage in Lebanon of truly visionary leaders , the challenge of course is to find the consensual leader who will be able to lead the country in that direction.