Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Ghassan Salamah

I love reading him and listening to him.  He truly has a great mind: he also has an excellent education and knowledge.  He wrote at the Lebanese University a dissertation on Lebanese theater.  He knows a lot about various topics and has excellent command of Arabic literature and heritage.  Politically, it is a different matter.  I last saw him when I visited him in his office when he was Minister of Culture.  I was trying to argue against the Lebanese obsession with Francophone matters and congress.  He made it clear that he did not care about such matters himself.  I then bluntly asked him whether he is "for Lahhud or for Hariri".  He told me that he does not belong to either of them.  Of course, I did not believe that because no minister is brought in as the representative of his/her person.  I felt naive when I later learned that he had been a close adviser to the Hariri family and that he has been close to one of the dirtiest figures in Lebanese potlics, Johny `Abdu.  I watched him on MTV yesterday: he was interesting and I agree with his refutation of the notion of Israeli/US control of the Arab uprisings. But I noticed that he never ever said one critical word about GCC countries and that he was careful to not utter a word about Hariri camp in Lebanon (he is March 14, but pretends falsely that he is independent).   I was not surprised: I noticed on twitter that he flits with the foreign ministers of Bahrain and of UAE.  So I guess we can state it officially: Ghassan Salamah wants democracy in Syria but finds the regimes of GCC to be fine and dandy.  OK.