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Zahle Lebanon Lost its Son Elias Joseph Skaff But Gains an Angel of Integrity and Hope
Elie Skaff Beik, the late Lebanese politician and leader of the popular bloc was pronounced dead on October 10, 2015, one day before celebrating his 67th birthday. A shock wave of sadness and pain shot its way across the country and the world.
Elias Skaff's Political Career
As a beloved politician he had one agenda, to lead with the people, for the people. Everyone called him a friend, his home which carries the family’s respected name and history was always open to kings and commons just the same, and his arms were always open to comfort everyone’s pain.
Skaff was elected to the Lebanese parliament in 1992 as head of the Popular Bloc list as well as in 1996, 2000 and 2005. He was appointed minister of industry in 2003 in the government of Rafik Hariri. Then he served as the minister of agriculture in 2004 and 2005 in the Omar Karami government.
He also participated in the sessions of National Dialogue in his capacity as head of the parliamentary Popular Bloc in 2006. In July 2008, Skaff was appointed agriculture minister to the cabinet of then prime minister Fouad Siniora. Skaff might have lost his parliamentary seat in 2009 elections, but never lost the love and respect of his people.
Elie Skaff Beik, A Man With Rare Qualities
How does someone say goodbye to such a rare man, how does someone go on knowing that the ultimate example of integrity has fled Lebanon, where corruption is common business, and the good die young. Where does everyone turn to for that honesty, purity, and commitment?
He would probably smile if asked this question, that smile which glowed with honest emotions, that smile that had enough power to make an enemy bow in respect and say:
Just as you were united to say goodbye to me, stay united in memory of me, and take care of the country I dedicated my life to, stay united for Zahle.
People from all over the country, and the world gathered to give their final respect to his family, and you can’t help but wonder who’s comforting who. While his family lost a husband, a father, a son, and a brother, everyone felt the loss of purity, a rare commodity.
The grounds were filled with people, while the skies lit up with shots and fireworks that reached the heavens. He carried everyone's grief, pain, and stress for years. His coffin was carried on the back of his loyal countrymen to his final resting place. A celebration of life, and a mourning of lost hope is the only way to describe it. Rumbles that were heartfelt all over the world.
The Immortal Hope and Icon of Zahle
It is said "What we do for ourselves dies with us, what we do for others will remain immortal" Albert Pines
As everyone chanted “God Bless the Honest Man’s Soul” you cannot help but wonder where the deep ingrained love for such a human being comes from.
The underlying tone of my personal mourning is anger. Like most I am angry for the loss of a good rare man that is humble, honest, kind and an Icon that represented the City of Zahle. I am angry because we did not deserve him, angry because he deserved so much more. The angel that walked among us is now home, and it’s too late to show our gratitude.
The sadness and pain is also tainted with fear among the community, the fear of losing that comfort of knowing that this man they cherished, this fair man they relied on for justice, and a better tomorrow is no longer there. Honesty is a rare commodity, and the last of it is now gone.
Like a dream blinding us with a hope lost, the man everyone called friend departs leaving his two handsome young sons raised under the wings of integrity, and his pillar of a wife Myriam Skaff who stood by his side every step of the way.
Zahle is in safe hands
Fear not people of Zahle because he who gives birth does not die and behind every great man is a great woman.
Elias Joseph Skaff, son of Zahle, a man like no other, Rest In Peace Angel of Integrity.
One of a thousand messages written about Elias Skaff by people from all over the world
From Halım Rabay:
The Icon of Zahle
Get Well Soon The everlasting Icon سلامة قلبك
You are the Icon that never fades
The Icon of clean hands, clean pocket, clean mind...
The Icon of clear conscious
The Icon of Integrity
The Icon of Dignity
The Icon of generosity
The Icon of Honor
The Icon of a Man who lived among Wolves
The Icon of a man who refused to be a Wolf, and yet the smile on your face never Dim. They fought you inside out, and yet, you stood in guard with love and patience. They deceived you , they blocked your ways, built bricks and walls, they tried to eliminate you instead of building bridges with you. Yet, you are still the Icon that never fades. You and corruption were enemies. You are The Icon that history will hold forever in its clean corner of script. Yes. and 1000 yes, you have never belonged to this pack of wolves.
Zahle the Beautiful
© 2015 Pascale Skaf Saliba