Lebanese former Deputy Prime Minister Issam Fares deserved all the
honor he recently received in the United States, in appreciation of his
cultural and humanitarian contribution to his people in Akkar, Talal
Salman, the editor-in-chief and publisher of the leftist daily AS SAFIR,
said Friday. Fares has been one of the most important factors of the
progress of Akkar, one of the remotest and most backward provinces in
Lebanon, Salman pointed out. It is the likes of Fares who have made it
possible for some young men and women from that area to study and find
work in these hard times, Salman added. Fares almost "forced"
Lebanese authorities to pay attention to the plight of Akkar residents.
In return for his efforts, Fares never claimed to be a Lebanese zaim, or
political leader. He was happy to serve his people and ease their plight
without trying to take advantage of his high popularity among the poor,
mostly farmers living in "deprived areas." Fares has never
been ashamed of his birthplace and is proud to belong to that area,
whose people admired his efforts and were loyal to him at all levels.
Fares has always been proud to consume agricultural produce from Akkar
and to show it off to outsiders. He actually "respected his
people" and admired their courage for scratching out a living in
such a god-forsaken land, Salman said.