Elias Bejjani: Commemoration Of The Zahle City siege: Heroism and Martyrdom


Commemoration Of The Zahle City siege: Heroism and Martyrdom
Elias Bejjani/April 02/2023

Click Here To Read & Watch the Video Of This Piece In Arabic

Any country whose people are not always ready to offer themselves as sacrifices on its altar will lose its sovereignty, and they will turn into humiliated slaves.

In this context of heroism and resistance, and under the leadership of Sheikh Bashir Gemayel, the great people of Zahle city, supported by all the free people of Lebanon, uttered a loud blatant and resounding NO to the Syrian occupation Army.

On April 02/1981, the Lebanese resistance stood tall like their country’s Holy Cedars and challenged the Syrian occupier’s terror, criminality, and barbarism. The Lebanese resistance did not succumb, but courageously defended Zahle City and defeated the occupier’s criminal siege.

The people of Zahle stood firm and defended their city, and its besieged residents with ferocity, pride and faith, while offering hundreds of martyrs. They heroically sad NO, to the barbaric Syrian Baathist armed attack, and because of their devotion and sacrifices Zahle City remained and is still remains free and proud.

About Christ’s salvation and crucifixion, Saint Paul wrote in his letter to the Hebrews/02/09: “But we see him who has been made a little lower than the angels, Jesus, because of the suffering of death crowned with glory and honor, that by the grace of God he should taste of death for everyone”.

As Jesus has tasted death for everyone, the Zahle City martyrs offered themselves on Lebanon’s alter to keep it a free, independent and sovereign holy country.

In this same realm of faith and sacrifice, and as the seeds parable teaches us in the holy Bible, John 12/24/: “Very truly I tell you, unless a kernel of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only a single seed. But if it dies, it produces many seeds.”, the Zahle City martyrs died so the people of Lebanon will multiply and live in deeply rooted faith values, love pride and dignity.

In contemplating the death of Christ and its holy Godly messages, we can accept death and transcend its unjust causes, hoping for its sublime purpose. Meanwhile it enables us to understand and accept the death of our martyrs in the city of Zahle, and in all of our dear and beloved Lebanon so we can overcome its unjust causes in order to reach its honorable goal, which is maintaining a free, holy and independent Lebanon.
The martyrs of Zahle, like Christ, had to taste death, and they did so for the good of all of us, the Lebanese loving peace and freedom people. They were martyred in order for us to remain as free Lebanese, and the city of Zahle to remain, free.

On the evening of April 2, 1981, Sheikh Bashir Gemayel addressed the resistance fighters in Zahle via the phone and delegated to them the sole decision to continue the resistance or to leave the city, and he said: “Because the road is still open for only a few hours, if you leave, you will save your lives, and the fall of the city becomes an inevitable reality, and this constitutes the end of the resistance epic.” and if you stay, you will find yourselves without water, without medicine, without food, without ammunition, and your task will be to organize the internal resistance and preserve the identity of the Lebanese Bekaa, and give meaning to our six years of war. And he added: “If you decide to stay, then know one thing, which is that heroes die and do not surrender.” Everyone replied, “We will stay,” and the slogan was born, and Zahle remained free, and Lebanon remained.

In conclusion, faith, heroism and martyrdom defeated the Zahle City Syrian siege, and Lebanon remained a free country.

Elias Bejjani
Canadian-Lebanese Human Rights activist, journalist and political commentator
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