Franklin Lamb's Tribute to Ayatollah Fadlullah
Mohamad Hussein Fadlullah
"Throughout my life, I have always supported the human being in his humanism and I have supported the oppressed. I think it is the person's right to live his freedom and it is her and his right to face the injustice imposed on each by revolting against it, using his practical, realistic and available means to end the oppressor's injustice toward him, whether it is an individual, a community, a nation, or a state; whether male or female."
-- Mohammad Hussein Fadlallah, perhaps sensing his imminent death, during his last dialogue with the Washington DC based, Council for the National Interest at his home on June 2, 2010
Franklin Lamb exchanging books with Sayeed Fadallah ( photo: Al Marrarat Foundation)
Today, his family and hundreds of thousands in his community buried Lebanon's senior Shia cleric, Mohammad Hussein Fadlallah in South Beirut.
May he forever rest in peace.
Tens of thousands of people swarmed the coffin of Lebanon's top Shiite cleric Grand Ayatollah Fadallah as it made its way through the streets of south Beirut. His passing shocked and saddened the region and the loss of his advocacy of dialogue, respect and unity among all religions is incalculable. The loss of his support for the current campaign to obtain civil rights for Lebanon's Palestinian refugees will make that struggle more difficult. Justice for Palestine and ending the Zionist occupation was part of his unwavering lifelong work. Some media outlets, reported that shortly before he died, and upon being asked by a medical attendant a few days ago if he needed anything, he replied, " Only the end of the Zionist occupation of Palestine."
On the morning of 4th of July, Zeinab, the nurse on duty at the blood donor's clinic at Bahman Hospital, a block from my former home in Haret Hreik, had just instructed this observer to remain sitting for five minutes and to drink the juice she gave me before I returned to south Beirut's blazing sun.
A companion and I had each just donated a pint of blood in response to an appeal from friends who worked in the Translation Office of Lebanon's much loved senior Shia cleric, Sayeed Mohammad Hussein Fadlallah. He had been hospitalized for the past 12 days but on Friday his stomach bleeding had increased dramatically, related to complications from a liver problem he had been treated for over the past several years. Sayeed Fadallah also suffered from diabetes and high blood pressure.
As we waited, Zeinab returned, tears in her eyes, and simply said, "The Sayeed has passed away." And she disappeared. So did my Shia hijabed companion, and as it seemed, everyone from the floor.