Saturday, March 25, 2006
Sorry is the only word the Lebanese should or could describe there feelings for this sad story.
A while back, the remains of Michel Seurat rejoined the soil of his homeland, France. The ceremony was simple, official but simple. In Lebanon people received this story with some sadness, but I suppose the Lebanese people simply are oblivious to the animosity and the atrocity of the deep and numerous meanings of this tragedy.
Michel Seurat had studied for years the relationship between suburbs, islam and terrorism. He was French sociologist that studied Sunni/Islamic fundamentalism in the deepest alleys of Tripoli (Lebanon) and never was he harmed. But he had started studying Shiite/Islamic fundamentalism in West-Beirut when he was kidnapped from his cab on May 22, 1985 (I must’ve been 1 month and 10 days old back then lol). He was declared dead on March 5, 1986.
Naharnet dedicated an article about it.
Michel Seurat was a real and true Orientalist, or Arabist as some might say. He loved Lebanon in particular too. His wife was Syrian and he spent most of his adult life studying Islam and the Arab world. He spent his life defending Arabs and Muslims explaining how there should be no fear, there should be tolerance and that the actual problem was not Islam but the situation surrounding it. He believed in the Arab people, he thought he understood us. When he was kidnapped he believed that his kidnappers would understand his “mission” he thought they’d understand that he comes in peace not colonisation. He believed that they will not let him die, he works “for” them.
According to his wife’s words, he was “too confident”. I suppose he has believed too much in a dream, the dream of tolerance? Of peace?
An important article was written about this before the body was found.
The Pro-Iranian group that kidnapped him and declared his death also declared that they had killed him. In fact they didn’t he died of cancer or some hepatitis maybe, either cases he was ill.
Not only they kidnapped him, not only they watched him die without doing anything, but they also denied him the right to go home after his death. They buried him like a dead leaf at some place in Beirut. They simply said to the world: “Oh yeah he’d dead, and you know what? We’re not handing him over!” They didn’t explain there action, because there action was meaningless. What were they thinking? Oh sorry I forgot that war lords don’t think, they just teach people how to die and how to avoid that terrible sin: “thinking”.
To add the final touch of lowness and hypocrisy, his body was found according to the official sources it was “accidentally found by construction workers digging at a rest stop on the road to Beirut airport”. They don’t expect anyone to buy this shit, but you know what? They say it anyway. Because they know that people won’t question them, people won’t hold them responsible for this lie. All Lebanese people know that it can never be a coincidence that his remains would be accidentally found, right now, when pressure on Hezbollah and Amal is increasingly intolerable. A few years back there were a “tip” from “someone” that indicated the location of the remains. It was declared that some digging took place but the body never found. What a fucking coincidence!
In general, Seurat’s story’s so fascinating with all its significance and all its resemblance to the modern situation.