Adonis Diaries

Posts Tagged ‘A stand for Liberty

A stand for Liberty: Rainbow over the Levant (fiction novel)

Part 6: Mustafa’s period (1405-1410)

Chapter 18: A stand for Liberty

A huge army coming from Turkey was preparing a devastating campaign of rampage and desolation in Mount Lebanon, because traditional chauvinism and sectarianism could not swallow the existence of a neighboring prosperous and enterprising small community. This Turkish army was composed of three tribes that recently immigrated from the Caucasus region of current Azerbaijan, Georgia, Chechnya… The tribes were fresh convert to Islam, the Sunni sect, and have settled in the Anatolia plateau, close to the sources of the Euphrates River. They could not fathom how a heretic State could be administered according to civic laws not based on the Islamic Chariaa…

News of the revolutionary spirit, unacceptable social values, and political system were very disturbing to the religious and monarchial systems surrounding the Republic.  The clerics and landlords of these kingdoms endeavored to fire up the populations in neighboring powerful countries.  President Antoun was certain that, if an armed resistance were opposed without a mass popular support to that invading force, Mount Lebanon would suffer for centuries to come.

The Lord President called for a convention of all political leaders and army officers. The regional leaders flocked to Beirut and convened for an entire week to expose the problems and share the facts of the new threats to the nation, and find consensus to differences in positions and to elect a new crisis government.   The President organized community meetings, and consistently admonished his people to make the right decision and never to consider his personal safety a factor in their decisions.

President Antoun told them in no uncertain terms that, once the enemy army was allowed to enter the Nation, it would never leave peacefully, and if the enemy was permitted to have a say in the internal political affairs, then the Nation would be in for demonic plans for fueling hatred and sectarian animosity among its citizens, leading to eventual civil wars for years to come.

During the pandemonium of war preparation, the President received an urgent message from the Mamluk’s Sultan summoning him to personally pay his respect to Cairo.  It was not a satisfactory timely summon for the President, but it was well planed by the Sultan to catch him in an anxious period with many opportunities.

The President wavered for long time into scheduling his trip, not because he was afraid of the chastisement awaiting him ,or the high possibility that he would not be permitted to come back, but because his daily routines were overpowering. The First Emir President realized that his bladder forced him to relieve himself every hour of the day, which sunk his spirit to its lowest levels.

Antoun has tried to go to bed early, but his bladder disrupted his sleep several times and ended up forming a group of late sleepers to entertain him until four in the morning.  Waking up at nine in the morning was the hardest task for the President; he felt that sleeping did not reinvigorate his energy supply, as if he failed to breath during his sleep.  After his mind woke up from its dreams, he would consciously practice forceful breathing sessions in bed to clear up his oppressed chest: He would form a fake large smile on his lips to awaken the muscles on his sunken face, and roll his closed eyes in all directions as prescribed by his personal eye doctor for his shortsightedness, and because his eyes would not open without internal will power.

He was still impressive in stature and not as bald as people of his age, but he knew that he was physically delicate and disintegrating faster than he hoped: he needed the best part of the morning for his body and mind to come alive and be ready to face people, head meetings, and the gruesome job of deciding on proposals and signing on documents.

The President of the Levant simply could not confront the young Sultan, all the formal State diplomatic lengthy schedules, procedures, and of visiting dignitaries in his precarious state, or disturb his familiar environment and daily routines.

The date of the visit was finally scheduled for him by the Sultan and the President reluctantly decided to accept the dangerous invitation of the Sultan of Egypt, hoping against all odds to negotiate a satisfactory deal for terms he knew in advance will be denied. The First Emir President figured that at least his Nation might gain a reprieve of valuable time for a possible changing political climate. In any event, he believed that popular support for costly resistance had a higher chance of success if he were detained by the Sultan.

Before leaving for Cairo, the President wrote his testimony to be read in due time and which said:  “To the people of the Levant and the legal government.  My last wish is to consider any agreement with the Sultan, while I am detained in Egypt, as null and void.  You all need to understand that an agreement signed by a non free man is necessarily made under duress and unfair cunning.  The President of this free Nation is not about to deliver any lands of the Republic of the Levant or the rights gained through years of struggle to any foreign power.  We did not invest all these energies and forbearing periods so that a Pasha from Egypt reap the prosperous sate of affair and engage in dilapidating our hard-earned struggle for self-autonomy.  If I return within 2 months, God is Great, if not, I order you to unite and prepare for hard times.  The free and independent citizen of the Republic of the Levant will shoulder their duties as they have done for 3 decades against all odds.  I have great confidence in Mustafa Baltagy, your Defense Minister, and I appoint him as my Viceroy for the duration of my absence.  Long live the Republic of the Levant and its valorous citizens”.

The President had ordered Mustafa back from Tunisia because he considered him the most able to unite the Nation in an armed conflict in his absence, and because his return might satisfy the Sultan’s wishes and helped his case.




January 2023

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