Glory to the Martyrs of September 1993

Mohammad Nazzal

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“Hezbollah marks the anniversary of the September 13 massacre.”
For more than a decade, it has ceased to do so. This was a day when the country almost exploded in a sectarian conflict. That demonstration, which ended in a massacre, had nothing to do with sectarian differences, but it is Lebanon where everything is turned into sectarianism, even the air. It was “to defend the land, sovereignty, nation, and the fate of generations.”
Martyrs of September 13

This was how Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah spoke that day. He barely completed his second year as the party’s Secretary General. The party barely completed its second month devoted to the principle of “A Katyusha for a civilian”. He emerged as the resistance, with his head raised up before “Israel’s” “reckoning operation” (the seven-day aggression).

This happened in 1993. Yitzhak Rabin, like his predecessor, Shamir, understood that he was facing “Arabs of another kind”. The other Arabs had a different opinion. The Lebanese government, for example, has decided to reward the resistance. The Lebanese army opened fire on a popular demonstration organized by Hezbollah in [Beirut’s] al-Ghubairi area – just like that “without a reason”. It was a political decision par excellence. It was not an armed demonstration. They were all civilians. It resulted in nine martyrs and dozens of wounded.

Women and men took to the streets to protest the Oslo Accords. They were just chanting. They were a rare group that was still raising its voice, at the time, against the “‘Israeli’ entity”. They wanted Palestine, all of Palestine. They were strangers in an area whose rulers had decided to adopt the “Madrid decisions” (for peace). Their land was occupied – southern Lebanon was occupied – and they resisted but out of sight. There was something about this group that always made them look ahead.

The shooting was not a warning. Fire was directed towards heads and chests, meant to kill. It was a ‘harvest-style’ shooting. Hezbollah did not know a wound deeper than that massacre. In the ensuing years, songs were composed about it:

“We Shall Not Forget September”.
Annual commemorations took place for more than ten years. Its vocabulary entered into the memory of the people of that environment. Those who lived in the [Beirut] suburb remember the annual signs along with the eternal pictures of the martyrs. Fate wanted Nasrallah’s son, Hadi, be martyred one day before the fourth anniversary of the massacre. The party had already made the necessary preparations the for the commemoration in the center of the “Shura Square” in Haret Hreik. Then, the second event came. That night, Sayyed began his speech with the massacre before talking about his son’s martyrdom:
“Shooting unarmed people at the airport road was aimed at igniting an internal war. They know how it begins but do not know how it ends.”

The massacre was engraved deep in the consciousness of the party to the extent that it was placed first in the address, before the second event – the martyrdom of the son of the resistance commander. It was not just any sign. Sayyed Nasrallah continued, “It was an attempt to create an internal rift and we have overcome it with wisdom and patience. We took the most courageous positions in the history of the party, because the easiest thing was to give orders to respond, but we declined and instead agreed to bear the wounds.” The day of the massacre came no more than three years since the end of Lebanon’s civil war. The anger that swept through the skies of the suburb that day – within the party specifically – was enough to serve as the initial fuel to turn the table on everyone. It was an adventure. The party understood that if that happened, the bate would have been swallowed and liberation would not have taken place seven years later. It would not have been a “rock” in 2006. It would not be creating new equations in the region today. It was a pivotal moment in the whole sense of history. On the night of the massacre, the masses chanted to Nasrallah with words that would be repeated for years to come:
“O Shura, O the best, we want to fight”.

It was later reported that the Coca-Cola company in Lebanon expelled some of its employees because they participated in the funeral of the martyrs. It was also said that the late Sayyed Mohamed Hussein Fadlallah issued a fatwa to boycott that company. Fadlullah prayed on the bodies of the martyrs in Al-Rida Mosque in Bir Al-Abed and behind him was Nasrallah as well as a lot of angry people.

Twenty-four years have passed since that massacre, which left nine martyrs. These are their names: Sokna Shams al-Din, Hassan Bazzi, Samir Wahab, Abboud Abboud, Sabah Ali Haider, Ali Tawil, Mohammed Abdul Karim, Mustapha Shamas and Nizar Qansouh. There are those who witnessed one of them running towards a lady who was hit in the head, wanting to help her. She was killed instantly. His concern was to cover parts of her body that were revealed. So he was hit. A martyr laying next to a martyr. That massacre has not yet been made into a movie. Nasrallah said that day, angrily: “This happens in a country that is said to be a country of freedoms!”

Generations grew up to the song “Glory to the Martyrs of September”.

It is the song that Imad Mughniyah was said to have participated in with his voice. It was a hymn for the departed, to the broken pride, to the sorrow of those who do not accept oppression. “Glory to the martyrs of September, they rejected Zionism. They chanted: we will fight Zionism. Glory to the martyrs of September, with their blood and without humiliation, they washed the shame of the Arab peace.”

Source: Al-Akhbar Newspaper, Translated by website team

15-09-2017 | 08:00

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