"Later, when I have departed and entered the kingdom of heaven, if I have completed my task well, and if something remains of all my daily writings, some keen ‘schoolboy’ or hardworking historian will discover it. And some future publication will reveal these forgotten words like a secret. The ideas, hopes, passions and dreams that occupy me, the flood that inundates my thoughts according to the phases of the moon, the vigour which rises in my soul, everything that I record in the fires of ‘cogitation’, and that I bear as a testimony—this whole explosion will one day be nothing more than the flimsy fabric of memories.
But my hope and expectation is that the few who have the opportunity to escape the night and ‘land in far away eras’ will testify to an unwavering faith. Faith is like a seed which encourages me to work in both the present and the hereafter, if God wills it. The task now, however, is to construct a land on earth where people, minds and love can grow."
MICHEL CHIHA An Introductory Note "Domestic Politics".
« Plus tard, quand nous serons partis pour le royaume des ombres, si nous avons bien rempli notre tâche, si quelque chose doit demeurer de tant de pages quotidiennes, quelque « écolier » attentif, quelque historien aux veilles studieuses le découvrira. Et quelque publication de l’avenir livrera comme une confidence des paroles oubliées. Les idées qui nous travaillent, les espoirs, les passions, les rêves, toute cette marée qui nous envahit, tel le phénomène lunaire, cette sève qui monte de notre âme même, tout ce que nous écrivons dans le feu de la « cogitation : et que nous livrons comme un témoignage, tout ce déchainement ne fera plus tard que la matière transparente d’un souvenir.
Mais notre espoir, notre attente c’est que le peu qui a chance d’échapper à la nuit, « d’aborder aux époques lointaines », apporte l’évidence d’une foi qui ne féchit point. Cette foi est en nous comme un levain pour les travaux du temps et pour après, s’il plaît à Dieu. Maintenant le devoir est de construire la cité charnelle, celle où les hommes, les intelligences et les amours se multiplient. »
MICHEL CHIHA Propos liminaire « Politique Intérieure ».
In 1919, after a three-year exile in Egypt, Michel Chiha returned to Beirut at the end of the Great War.
He took over the running of the Pharaon and Chiha Bank (Michel’s father Antoine passed away in 1903 having co-founded the Pharaon and Chiha Bank in 1876) at one of the most difficult times in his country’s history. A nation-wide famine had decimated a quarter of the population and one-fourth of the country’s homes were in ruins.
After his death in December 1954, his friends, his companions and his colleagues founded the Michel Chiha Foundation in 1955 to promote the patriotic principles by which he lived and for which he fought his entire life. President Charles Helou was elected head of the foundation. In 2001 the former minister Fouad Boutros succeeded him.
In order to acquaint younger Lebanese with his philosophy and his thoughts on Lebanon, the foundation instigated an inter-school essay writing competition whereby an extract of his work is set as the topic and prizes are awarded to the best dissertations. After...
In 1937 he bought the Le Jour newspaper originally founded in 1934 by Charles Ammoun and Mohammad Aboud Abd el-Razzak. His express intention was to create a platform for the open discussion of daily issues faced by the Lebanese as well as providing the French political milieu with an enlightened version of Lebanese politics. <br />