An Open Letter to Gaby Layoun

Dear Minister,

I wanted to express my sincerest sadness over your failure to protect our 2,500 year-old monument. It is a sad day for our culture, our history and our nation. I do not want to send you an angry letter for I am completely demoralized by your act. You have succeeded in murdering many men and women’s hopes of a real Lebanon. A Lebanon that transcends mere superficiality and can once again boast about its intellectual heritage. A Lebanon that would not make Gibran Khalil Gibran lower his head in utter shame. A Lebanon that you (plural) are trying so hard to destroy.

Our youth would gladly leave this country, and indeed it has, is and will. Our intellectuals, artists and poets are not here. They are somewhere else. Being here is too hard, too unappreciated. What shall we tell them now Mr. Layoun? What shall we tell them to encourage them into staying when the main governmental body that is supposed to adore them has betrayed them? What shall we say to all those who want a Lebanon with a substance? A substance that is perhaps deeper than the nightclubs and glitters. These men and women were hoping that this uncontrolled ‘development’ will occur without the destruction of our collective memory and our heritage.

Is that it? Is that all we want to make of this country?

I once heard that Beirut is often compared to a phoenix who, upon death, rises back from its ashes. Perhaps it is time we let that happen Mr. Minister, perhaps it is time we stop butchering the bird.

I have a great love for history and for our global heritage. I’m really sorry that we never got the chance to meet and talk of how to really preserve our culture which, incidentally, is supposed to be your only job.

I do not know what else to tell you but to ask you to resign if you have any honor left in you.

Best regards,
Joey Ayoub

8 thoughts on “An Open Letter to Gaby Layoun

  1. Great letter Joey!!! I completly agree with yiu that what was done is unfirgivable! That man needs to step down for betraying our trust as a person whos job is to protect our culture and not be bought by the highest bidder! After all the country has been through these ruins survived only to be destroyed by a signature?!…. If there is anything i can do to help you let me know

  2. People need to stop blowing things out of proportion.

    Life goes on,things change.Stopping at anything romania,pheonician or whatever is just stupid,where are you going to live if you want to keep everything monumental ?

    1. Are you living in the streets waiting for a tower to be built? Are the expensive towers going to be the answer to the homeless problem? If we answer with the obvious answer, which is no, you might understand that the towers that are being built have nothing to do with ‘finding someplace to live’.
      We don’t have Romanian ruins being destroyed, we have Roman ruins and if you don’t want to appreciate the importance of preserving Lebanon’s heritage, then please let us do it. No one is saying stop the ‘development’. What we’re doing is asking our rich corrupted politicians to stop destroying 2,000 year-old monuments and ruins. A compromise between the two does not seem to complicated to grasp.

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