15 years of earth destruction, considered a thousand years in the eyes of God Almighty. Dire years in which the Phoenix people dwelt in the corridors of bomb shelters, silent under the rule of cannons and farewell cries. Fifteen years did not end, except with the death of one hundred and twenty thousand martyrs, more than eighty thousand displaced, tens of thousands missing, and billions of material losses.
Until the founding era of the nineties appeared, on the rubble of the Berlin Wall, with a new promise to the world, as well as to the tired Cedars of its sons. A businessman whose loyalty earned him trust from the gold of the Empty Quarter desert. He succeeded in business, and decided to return to what looked like his homeland. Within Beirut’s rubble, he found his challenge, stone and human, he brought down the high barriers of Sodeco, the Ring, the Museum, Chiyah…with sandbags and the transcendent through the illusion of fear of the other… With its eastern and western parts, Beirut returned as one, capital, rebellious to partition. Rafic Hariri who grew up on Sidon’s sand and the sound of its Church bells synchronizing with the sound of its Mosque’s prayers.
He thought that people are the all same, but he did not know that politicians are not of “mankind”. He was not aware of the language of their knives that are skilled in stabbing from behind, nor of their conspiracies “that graduated with superiority” from the schools of militia checkpoints, nor of their deep-seated hatred that came from the inferiority of one’s neighbour, which undermine peoples culture.
In politics: Hariri was able to rebuild the political system in accordance with the spirit of the Taif Agreement, but under the roof of Syrian sponsorship and international consensus. This included the relationship between the three authorities, reviving state institutions and facilities and filling vacancies. He was also able to put Lebanon back on the Arab and international map, through his extensive relations with Kings and heads of state, especially the great ones
In the economy: Hariri achieved resounding success in completing the reconstruction workshop during a record period, which was the rebuilding of the airport and the port, the construction of roads and bridges within the capital, and the construction of a modern building for the Lebanese University, as well as for the governmental hospital, in addition to a network of health centers in various regions.
In this context, it is worth noting the “Paris 1” and “Paris 2” conferences, which Hariri achieved, through his extensive international relations, through which Lebanon was able to obtain international and regional support, which created an attractive investment climate for the foreign sector, working on a simplified tax structure, he provided many tax excemptions, in addition to the low-interest loans on what Lebanon was borrowing. Perhaps the most prominent of his economic policies is Horizon 2000, a renewal project through which he tried to develop the Lebanese scene after the war…
Hariri privatized Lebanese industry as part of his economic policy, and as a result, Lebanon won many contracts for large sectors such as energy, telecommunications, and tourism. Some deliberately overlook the government spending achieved by Prime Minister Hariri in rebuilding and equipping the military and security forces that were exhausted by the civil war.
The Hariri government succeeded also to a large extent, in returning the displaced in various parts of the country, including the capital, Beirut
Perhaps one of his most prominent contributions is providing educational opportunities for more than 36,000 Lebanese to study inside Lebanon and abroad. He contributed to the development of the Lycée Abdel Qader School and the Evangelical School for Boys and Girls. He established two schools in his hometown of Sidon, a school in Beirut, and a school in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. He established Hariri Canadian University in 1999.
Rafik Hariri was a believer that pen and book end the hand that holds a gun, and the hand that reaches out to ask for help.
Beirut Airport, Beirut Port, downtown Beirut, are all evidence of his achievements… Beirut knows better, it knows that since 2005 and until today, it knows nothing but lamenting, and does nothing but asks,”if only, if only Rafic Hariri eas still among us today, would we be isolated, Arab and international, were schools and institutes closing one after the other, was the airport falling into the gap of neglect, was the lira collapsing, would the port of Beirut explode… If he was still among us, the sky would have remained blue, and Lebanon would be Arab with the splendor of the Arabic language, Lebanon would have still been… Lebanon.