Rafik Hariri philanthropic and developmental contributions are countless. The most remarkable being the multifaceted support to educate more than 36,000 Lebanese university students within Lebanon, and beyond.
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Speech of Mrs. Nazek Rafik Hariri - 14 February 2010
Mrs. Nazek Rafik Hariri's Speech
on the Fifth Anniversary of the
Martyrdom of Martyr Prime Minister Rafik Hariri
In the name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful
On February 14 the sun rose again, promising another day of remembrance that never fades away from the hearts.
My dearly loved Rafik,
Five years have passed; an endless journey of solitude, with eternal tears of sorrow that you left behind.
The number of gloomy days is growing without you by my side. In the eloquent silence of grief I remember you, my life’s companion. But I also remember you in the sound of emptiness and pain.
I wish that time would freeze and travel back to those years when you were among us for a glimpse of your eyes. But time flies away like a dazzling dream that carries us with our sorrows and joys, and with the memories and lessons of yesterday.
I still remember that day, a year before your life was taken away. During a conference that sought means to develop Lebanon you said, ‘In Lebanon, despite all difficulties and the effects of the war that tore the country for over 15 years, the Lebanese rebuilt their homeland.’
Since your assassination, the Lebanese are facing great challenges that hinder their efforts to rebuild the nation. However, the people of Lebanon remain committed to eliminating all barriers and achieving the goals of the development and reconstruction process that you had launched together. We promise to pursue your legacy and fulfill your dream, under the leadership of our son, Saad, and his unifying national role. We will follow your steps.
Dear Martyr of Lebanon, despite political tensions, the Lebanese rallied behind the state and the national unity government to defend the values and principles they stand for.
And the wish we made while commemorating your fourth birthday last year has come true today, with the rebirth of the bonds of brotherhood and national solidarity. The parallel paths of the recent past years have finally converged into one that leads to unity, stability, and civil peace. Discordant slogans of supporters and opponents have all merged into a solemn harmony; the voice of the people who stood together, five years ago, to claim national unity and truth for Lebanon, and the establishment of the international tribunal to try the assassins of Martyr Prime Minister Rafik Hariri and the martyrs of Lebanon’s Second Independence.
Dear Rafik, Lebanon has remained unchanged. Your beloved country still stands firm against all attempts to saw discord. Dark pages of past conflicts and wars gave way to a brighter future that is painted with strong ties of brotherhood and unity.
The people of Lebanon can never disappoint you. They will always stand up for law and justice, freedom and sovereignty, sparing no effort to attain their goals. Rest assured, dear Rafik, that the United Nations Habitat Award that you won for ‘your outstanding leadership in rebuilding post-war Lebanon’ and that you offered to all Lebanese, in tribute to their sacrifices, was well deserved by your beloved fellow citizens.
Six years ago, Martyr Prime Minister of Lebanon Rafik Hariri addressed the world community and said, ‘I feel very proud and honored today to stand before this respectable audience that represents the United Nations, this organization that symbolizes the world’s aspirations for peace, security and cooperation.’
He said he was pleased to receive the award that ‘belongs to the People of Lebanon and to all its officials, but most importantly, that recognizes the sacrifices and determination of the Lebanese people, who dared to dream of rebuilding their country and realizing their dream against all odds.’
Today, the United Nations decided to honor the memory of Martyr Prime Minister Rafik Hariri with a prize that bears his name: the Rafik Hariri UN-Habitat Memorial Award.
I would like to seize this opportunity to thank the United Nations for their generous initiative and the invaluable efforts they have exerted to establish the Special Tribunal for Lebanon, in tribute to a statesman who had always been a great champion of the human values of the world nations.
Our great Martyr believed that the importance of Lebanon lies in its message of tolerance and conviviality and in its role in protecting the oldest democracy in the Arab world not only in the region, but also worldwide.
Martyr Prime Minister Rafik Hariri left a legacy of hope, laying the foundations of a modern state that respects human dignity by preserving the freedom of speech and opinion and the right of people to decide their own future in a context of security and peace.
For this we will remain indebted to him and committed to his national work. We will remain committed to a free, sovereign and united Lebanon, and to the values of truth and justice. We will keep his memory alive in the glorious future of generations who knew Martyr Prime Minister Rafik Hariri during his lifetime and others who discovered his accomplishments after the assassination. These generations will carry out his endless mission over history.
My much loved Rafik,
In this very moment I remember a conversation we held on your decision to enter political arena. I tried to convince you to pursue the national work that was your main goal, apart from politics, as I believed that was the best approach to serve the country. You explained that politics was the means required to take the appropriate decisions.
Your vision was right, as national work indeed requires political power to reduce obstacles, accelerate the country’s recovery process and help attain the goals of security and stability.
Now I understand how difficult the mission of Martyr Prime Minister Rafik Hariri was to serve his country and his people, and how many bold decisions he had to take in order to reach the ultimate objective of preserving Lebanon’s sovereignty, freedom and democracy, and to maintain stability and security in our beloved country. Today we are all invited to combine efforts in order to heal the wounds of our nation and to stop the bloodshed of our dear ones.
May the soul of Martyr Prime Minister Rafik Hariri and all innocent people who sacrificed their lives for their nation rest in peace in heaven. I sincerely hope and look forward to meeting our beloved friends soon in Lebanon.