Fassouh disaster far from “Camelot” Kingdom

Photo Credit: NOW Lebanon Website


This is Lebanon, a country constantly bleeding with almost similarities between the load of grief and the innocent victim. But the form of death is not the same.

As mourners return home, they write the name of mercy on their wall and beg that death gives life to their beloved country. Enough coffins in Beirut! Let our people live and our city celebrate in joy and peace of mind. We have mourned thousands of friends, family members and innocent people for over 3 decades. Dying for silly reasons is the peak of madness.

Do you allow us to choose the “Camelot”, Kingdom of happiness and life, where people love and laugh and sing (equally) and rise above the wickedness of swearing? Not.

On July 20th of 1969, the day Neil Armstrong descended to the moon and spent 2½ hours exploring, six thousand people had already passed away as result of a football game between Honduras and El Salvador which finished: one – zero. The Football War (La guerra del fútbol, in Spanish), also known as the Soccer War or 100 hour War, was a four-day war .It was caused by political conflicts between Hondurans and Salvadorans, namely issues concerning immigration from El Salvador to Honduras. These existing tensions between the two countries coincided with the inflamed rioting during the second North American qualifying round of the 1970 FIFA World Cup. After the Salvadoran army launched an attack against Honduras, a cease-fire took effect on July 20th, with the Salvadoran troops withdrawn in early August.

Who could believe that rational thinking which brought man to the moon also brought six thousand ignorant to death in a game, “amicable and friendly”?

Similarly, who could believe that a seven-story building, located in Fassouh, in the Ashrafieh neighborhood of Beirut, crashed to the ground on January 15, claiming the lives of 27 people and trapping a dozen others under the wreckage. In addition to Lebanese, citizens of Sudan, the Philippines, Egypt and other nations were killed when the building collapsed. A memorial service was held “to remember those who died because of negligence, and those who have been discriminated against by our racist community, even at desperate moments like these and after their horrifying deaths”, I read as I was away.

There is one truth in this climate, the corrupt and disturbing and frightening, is that our young people leave because they are infected with color-blind. Freedom shades its people. I have once read that, in Lebanon the fault is always on the dead man. Why? Because he is well known and the only unknown is always the killer.

In American contexts, the word “Camelot” is sometimes used to refer admiringly to the presidency of John F. Kennedy, as his term was said to have potential and promise for the future, and many were inspired by Kennedy’s speeches, vision, and policies.

At the time, Kennedy’s assassination had been compared to the fall of King Arthur. The lines “Don’t let it be forgot, that once there was a spot, for one brief shining moment, that was known as Camelot,” from the musical Camelot, were quoted by his widow Jacqueline as being from his favorite song in the score. “There’ll be great Presidents again,” she added, “but there’ll never be another Camelot again … it will never be that way again.”

Indeed, in Lebanon, it will never be that way again.

There will always be broken mothers, abandoned children and a bloody story to tell.


15 Thoughts on “Fassouh disaster far from “Camelot” Kingdom

  1. Fawzi Melhem on January 25, 2012 at 1:45 pm said:

    Thanks Ricardo for sharing this article. A great approach as always from yourside. I hope we learn from this unfortunate and sad incident and start for once to plan how to be proative in a country or rather a region…where we do nothing more than react…

  2. nouha tarazi alhegelan on January 25, 2012 at 9:21 pm said:

    Through your article dear Ricardo I could feel the anger touching on despair but you did leave a ray of hope by introducing “Camelot” because by being far from it means that it is not out of reach!!
    Thanks for sharing your thoughts that are proof of life “Je pense donc je suis”

  3. In deed “Enough coffins in Beirut!”, enough young minds leaving the country. We dream of a better tomorrow for our children….we dream of the Beirut that once was a dream land… Thank you for sharing such important issues…very touching article.

  4. Thanks for sharing…
    lovvvved it…

  5. In Lebanon, we still lack the “small steps” done by great people, in order to create “bigger steps” for humanity. There is quote that says: “We haven’t inherited this Earth from our parents, we are simply borrowing it from our children”, if we only think this way, we will never accept to pass on an environmentally polluted, politically corrupted and sectarian state to our children.

    Thank you Ricardo for shedding light on the incident of Fassouh and all the other stories you provided in this peace: all as evidences to come out from the boxes we all live within.

  6. maya barbir on January 26, 2012 at 1:41 pm said:

    Dear Ricardo

    First, let me congratulate you on this blog !I personally always liked what u wrote and what u said;yes, unfortunately and sadly we are far from being camelot and I am not seeing any light at the end of the tunnel.People are becoming more and more anchored in their beliefs and don’t want to progress and arrive to the 21st century …very sad indeed; what happened in Fassouh can happen anytime in lot of places and our politicians have no time nor the will to do anything about these less fortunate people striving for survival….they don’t even have any vision for the future .May God help us….

  7. Fadi Nahas on January 26, 2012 at 2:19 pm said:

    Did the Soudanese or the Lebanese of Fassouh decide to be “poor in Lebanon” rather than being “poor in Norway”??? did we decide to be born on this eternal Lebanese volcano rather than being born assisted and pampered in Denmark ??? Hayda hazzo w hayda hazzna w nahnoo moussayyarin mish moukhayyarin. “Fassouh tragedy” is only the tip of the iceberg of the one million reasons why we should “run away”. But we can’t,Lebanon is like a drug , we will keep on opening champagne on that volcano,living our present moment, while waiting for that much needed “Lebanese Ataturk” to come and fix it. Meantime we have one choice only : Hoping against hope.

  8. Dear Ricardo,
    I love your blog! You always find intricate similar situations and compare them to reality…I love it! I am sending your blog to all my contacts in Switzerland and world!
    Looking forward to our meeting – hopefully soon.
    Irma & Carla

  9. You should not be reluctant at all to share your thoughts. I love the way you compared Lebanon to the JFK Camelot story, and I have to agree with you that Lebanon will never be the same again. It is very sad. Your blog is very informative and exciting to read, well done.

  10. I like:) Keep on sharing with us articles and blogs that will shake human conscience.Merci Ricardo.

  11. Net, classy et bien construit. Il faut du courage et beaucoup de don de soi pour alimenter, régulièrement, un engagement pareil; surtout quand tu meubles déjà l’audiovisuel …
    Pourquoi courage? l’écrit engage et pèse bien plus que les autres supports; il n’y a pas de distorsions sonores et visuelles (timbre de voix, attitude, look etc…) et le mot est dépourvu de tout artifice.

  12. Nicely thought off and written.

    It is indeed a great article written with lot of emotions and sincerity. These emotions are those of hope,love, distress maybe and extreme cry for an end of this madness session that refuses to end.

    I agree with Mr. Karam in the context of the need to re create the country. All hasnot been lost, but it is a certainty that the Fassouh incident have taekn the country to further decay and decline.

    I am an eternal optimist and from my little conversations with Mr. Karam, the intellectual and dream makers will neve be short in our country.These two catgories comprise the remainig threads of hope and beauty.

  13. Bravo Ricardo, j’aime l’idee et le Blog. C’est important de nous lier a travers tes mots et tes écrits. all the best.

  14. Thanks a lot for sharing this with all folks you really realize what you are talking about! Bookmarked. Please additionally discuss with my website =). We can have a link trade contract between us!

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