Basseil Fleihan, former economy and trade minister (The Daily Star/Ahmad Azakir)
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I would take 33 years to return, but nothing was ever going to keep Basil from Lebanon for that long.Basil was a powerful optimist. It was a rare moment of doubt for Basil, and for just a moment, he hesitated and thought about it.When Basil was fatally wounded in the assassination that targeted and killed Rafik Hariri, I flew to France for one last visit with my severely burned friend. My presence there was a painful reminder for me, and for Basil's mother in particular, of two close friends, three days apart in age, who had shared an even deeper friendship than our two fathers, but whose fates had now diverged so cruelly.I recognize today that Basil's enduring qualities have survived him.I am secure that Basil's good work, his idealism, and his love and loyalty for his friends, fellow citizens, and country will ensure that his memory will long endure in the generations that will keep his poignant example alive, at AUB and beyond.
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