death of a Lebanese peacemaker

Peacemakers, sadly, are uncommon in the Middle East.

Samir Franjieh … died in Beirut on April 11. He was 71.

He emerged from one of the country’s Maronite Christian dynasties, and was unusual in Lebanon’s parochial political arena, devoting energy to big themes and wide Arab horizons. …. He showed daring in a region where assassination is often the reward of those bold enough to be inclusive. ….

It was fitting that figures from Lebanon’s dizzying mosaic of Christian and Muslim sects flocked to his funeral mass, in concelebration of his life. ….

He believed there was a formula, tantalisingly within reach, that could reconcile broken societies. Lebanon, he thought, in light of its history of sectarian strife, as well as a state run jointly by Muslims and Christians, was uniquely placed to distil it.

David Gardner, “Samir Franjieh, Lebanese writer and politician, 1945-2017“, Financial Times, 14 April 2017 (gated paywall).

Wikipedia has a short entry on his career and personal life, spelling his family name as “Frangieh”.

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