About Michel Chiha

Family, Childhood, Career

About Chiha Foundation

From Politics to the Political

“I have not read L’Orient for a number of years but I was informed that in Friday’s edition I am the subject of two lengthy columns of slander, insults, and threats (almost certainly written by Georges Naccache). To protest against this calumny would be below contempt, however, I do find it necessary to inform your readers of the following:

– In the 1925 election campaign I was much maligned in L’Orient by Georges Naccache because, although very much against my better judgment, I committed the sin of presenting myself as a candidate in said elections and, even though under considerable personal pressure from several friends (a number of whom will swear to the veracity of this, especially Habib Trad and Alfred Naccache, now a member of the Supreme Court) it seems I compounded the sin by running and winning a seat in parliament.

In the interest of general transparency I would also like to clarify the following:

– I was asked in 1925 to join the Board of Directors of the ‘Tramways’ and the ‘Electricity of Beirut Companies. Later in 1933, I was invited to join the Board of Directors of the Banque de Syrie et du Grand- Liban. I am honored to be a member of these boards and as such, in my capacity as a member of the first of these, I receive in total around 9000 French Francs a year. As a member of the second, I receive in total around 18000 French Francs a year. Furthermore, the costs I personally incurred during a trip to Paris on behalf of the Bank de Syrie amounted to twice the sum allocated by the bank for travel expenses. I volunteer this information freely in the interest of those who might be under the false impression that my involvement has meant the squandering of a fortune on my behalf.

– I am also accused of enjoying the unfair advantage of a wide network of personal connections. The fact that I have a large family means that I inevitably have extensive family connections. I happily admit to enjoying the privilege of these connections as do all my acquaintances that enjoy a similar advantage. Indeed I don’t believe that it has ever occurred to anyone until now, to find fault with having a large family. As for all the remaining malicious remarks, they are not worthy of comment…”

A good son, a good Lebanese, an honest man, so on and so forth, M.C., Le Jour, July 4th, 1936.