Monday, November 20, 2006

Lebanon Independence Day

[...] General elections were held, and on September 21, 1943, the new Chamber of Deputies elected Bishara al Khuri as president. He appointed Riyad as Sulh (also cited as Solh) as prime minister and asked him to form the first government of independent Lebanon. On November 8, 1943, the Chamber of Deputies amended the Constitution, abolishing the articles that referred to the Mandate and modifying those that specified the powers of the high commissioner, thus unilaterally ending the Mandate. The French authorities responded by arresting a number of prominent Lebanese politicians, including the president, the prime minister, and other cabinet members, and exiling them to the Castle of Rashayya (located about sixty-five kilometers east of Sidon). This action united the Christian and Muslim leaders in their determination to get rid of the French. France, finally yielding to mounting internal pressure and to the influence of Britain, the United States, and the Arab countries, released the prisoners at Rashayya on November 22, 1943; since then, this day has been celebrated as Independence Day.

To read more, there is a small summary of how Lebanon got its independence day.


Unlike the 4th of July and the variety of fireworks in the United States, independence day in Lebanon is celebrated with the Head of State, the Prime Minister, the head of the Parliament and other political figures, watching soldiers and members from the military, army, fire department, etc... showcasing in a parade of tanks and ambulance vehicles and helicopters and other military equipment, which is broadcasted live on TV.

I can assure you that we have more helicopters than last year, and other 4 small ones which I couldn't identify clearly as they were high up in the skies today. (They start practicing 3 or 4 days before the actual parade).


To read about how the Lebanese Flag was formed, you can visit this link.

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