The Maronite Patriarch, Cardinal Mar Beshara Boutros Al-Rahi, presided over the funeral prayer for the repose of the former minister, Sajaan Azzi, in the Church of Our Lady of Lourdes in Adma, and was assisted by the bishops: Samir Mazloum, Nabil Andari, and Paul Matar, with the participation of the Abbot General of the Lebanese Maronite Order, Hadi Mahfouz, and a group of priests.
The funeral was attended by the representative of Parliament Speaker Nabih Berri, MP Farid Al-Khazen, representative of the caretaker prime minister, Najib Mikati, caretaker minister of communications, Johnny Al-Qarm, presidents Amin Gemayel and Michel Suleiman, president Tammam Salam, representative of the head of the Free Patriotic Movement, MP Gebran Bassil, deputy Nada. Bustani, representative of the head of the “Lebanese Forces” party, Samir Geagea, MP Shawky Daccache, representative of the army commander, General Joseph Aoun, Brigadier General Tony Ibrahim, current and former ministers and deputies, head of the Economic and Social Council Charles Arbeed, political, judicial and media figures, and the family of the deceased.
After the Holy Bible, the Patriarch Al-Rahi recited the patriarchal inscription, in which he talked about the merits of the late and said: “We used to search spontaneously every Thursday morning on the front page for the distinguished editorial of Sajaan Azzi, the former minister, from all newspaper editorials, with its richness in internal and external political analysis.” And in the breadth of knowledge and culture, and in the ability to link historical events and conclusions.But this last Thursday, there was one painful word that we feared and prayed not to reach: Sajaan Qazi died! Isaiah the Prophet: “Here I am, send me” (Isaiah 6: 8). He was in a constant state of sending. Once he finished his foundational studies at the Apostles’ Institute in Jounieh, he obtained a degree in Philosophy from the University of the Holy Spirit – Kaslik, and a degree in political and administrative sciences from the University of St. Joseph – Beirut, until he embarked on the sectors of the message thanks to the knowledge, intelligence, logic and analysis that God endowed him with. His message was distributed between journalism, university education, consulting, political work and analysis, and authorship and writing, with special attention to his family, whom he loved very much and who loved him.
He added: “We cry for him with tears of eye and heart with his wife, Mrs. Dania Halim Baroud, his two daughters Aude and Joy, his son-in-law, his two brothers, his sister, his mother-in-law, her children and their families, his family and relatives, and thousands of his acquaintances and friends. He loved them all, starting with his dear wife, and they lived a happy married life thirty-four years together. Without being disturbed by a word or deed, and the love between them grew with the two treasured daughters who provided them with education, high knowledge and a guarantee for the future.
And he continued: “With his death, one of the most fertile political, historical, media, scientific and literary pens has dried up. And if he did not write his editorial this time in Al-Nahar newspaper, the newspapers were filled with their editorials, internal pages, and written, audio and visual social media with words about him.
This saw in him: a man of word, thought, dialogue, logic, openness and decency; another: an exceptional politician, partisan, journalist, and thinker; and another: an outspoken and bold political stature; another: a staunch fighter in the ranks of the Lebanese resistance for the sake of Lebanon’s sovereignty and identity; another: a fighter who thinks for the sake of Lebanon; another: a sane, friendly political intellectual; and another: a summit of political vitality and intellectual and cultural brilliance; and another: an authentic Lebanese who carried on his shoulders, they are a hole in his conscience, he is the concern of Lebanon; and another: a man of dialogue and a deep and elegant word; another: a believer in moderation and a fighter for neutrality; and another: the blatant voice keen on Lebanon’s formula and national cohesion; another: an active minister committed to his moral and ethical convictions; and another: a fighter who devoted his life to defending the Lebanese cause, and a writer who carried the issues of the country in his pen; and another: the spearhead in his sovereign struggle with his wisdom, firmness, and rich political and media experience; and another: an essential pillar of the world of politics in Lebanon; And the last, not the last: the political writer with patriotic affiliation, committed to the Lebanese cause, broad-minded, quick-witted, and hierarchical.
And he added: “His life’s permanent rule: ‘Here I am’ with complete readiness to give for the love of giving. This is the spirit that revived his journalistic message in the editorial office and editorials of newspapers such as the Phalangist ‘Amal’, ‘Al-Jarida’, ‘An-Nahar’, ‘Magazine’ and ‘Al-Jadid’; And in the presidency of the news in the “Voice of Lebanon Radio”, and the establishment and management of “Radio Free Lebanon”, as well as in the message of education as a lecturer at Saint Joseph University in Beirut, and at the Bashir Gemayel Academy at the Holy Spirit University of Kaslik.
In this same spirit, he provided his consultations through his institution, which he established in Paris, for studies and consultations in the field of political and economic risks, and in his publication on political strategy in the Middle East. He provided consulting services to more than eight international foreign institutions.
With this complete readiness, a young man joined the Lebanese Kataeb Party, following in the footsteps of his late father, who founded the Kataeb in the Futouh region. Thanks to this readiness, he became the deputy head of the party, and a political advisor to the martyred president, Bashir Gemayel, and to the president, Sheikh Amin Gemayel. At the beginning of the Lebanese war, he headed the media department in the Lebanese resistance. As for us, we enjoyed his advice, opinions, and depth of thinking in the committees of the Patriarchal Center for Documentation and Research, in coordinating the Neutrality Committee and the International Conference, and in what we personally asked him for national and regional opinions and studies. His absence creates a great void for us that is rarely replaced.”
He added: “And he found plenty of time to write: he left generations a precious legacy and reference in the fields of politics, history and strategy with his five books in Arabic, his editorials in An-Nahar newspaper, and his twenty-eight studies in French, in addition to dozens of lectures in the universities of Lebanon, Europe and America. What makes him alive among us with his thought and knowledge.” Renewing our memories, refreshing the love of our hearts.
Al-Rahi concluded: “Sajaan Azzi really made the difference. With the power of his word stemming from his distinguished personality, knowledge, politics, courage, morality, elegance, and readiness to serve and give without anything in return.”
Yes, one word: “Here I am, send me” (Isaiah 6:8). And he said it for the last time on Thursday morning, after he had prepared himself spiritually with my personal prayers near his bed and granted him the forgiveness of his sins, humanly and familially, he said it with the sound of a beating heart and a silent tongue: “Here I am, my Lord, so send me to you!” Just as Christ the Lord shared with him the sufferings of redemption, He also shares with him the glory of the Resurrection, so that his family, small and large, may have the best intercessor.
With this hope we bid farewell to him together and express our deepest condolences to his wife, Mrs. Dania, his two daughters and son-in-law, to his two brothers and sister, to the families of his late uncles, aunts, uncles and aunts, to his mother-in-law, Mrs. Samia and her children and their families, and to all their beloved relatives and relatives in Lebanon and the diaspora.
May God accept him in his heavenly glory, pour a balm of consolation on your hearts, and reward us with his likes.
Christ is risen.”
In conclusion, the body of the deceased was transferred to the family cemetery in his hometown in the town of Al-Aqiba, and the family accepted condolences in the church hall.