There was a time in the mid-1990s and early 2000s in Boston, Massachusetts, when Issam Fares gave millions to Tufts University to open a Research Center on "Lebanese and Eastern Mediterranean Studies". Just like Hariri gave money to Boston University so they name buildings after him, instead of putting this money into improving the decrepit national Lebanese University. Fares is one of those Hariri dinosaurs who make their billions, like Donald Dumb, in low-IQ businesses like building buildings and selling Tabbouli. For they typically are illiterate men who then use their money to shore up their reputation in compensation for their ignorance, and buy access to the very things they were themselves unable to achieve, namely smarts, intellect, education, etc. For example, they build churches and mosques in the old country, as if Lebanon needs more religious backwardness and bigotry. And of course, they like each other, as members of the same club. Fares was deputy Prime Minister, not because of any merit, but for two reasons: he is of the Greek Orthodox persuasion (the deputy prime ministership being assigned to mongrels from this religion according to the Lebanese constitution); and he was a fellow buddy billionaire of the Prime Minister himself, Rafik Hariri,
There was a time when Issam Fares had no problem whatsoever when his Lebanese and Eastern Mediterranean Studies Center at Tufts University became infested with Israeli researchers (after all, Israelis belong to the Eastern Mediterranean too, and in the US you cannot discriminate against them). But Mr. Fares, at the time and most likely to this date, believed that any Lebanese who speaks to a Jewish person or to an Israeli should be put in jail for the crime of "dealing with the enemy". In the Lebanon of Mr. Fares, discrimination was rampant. Which is why, for example, some time in the mid-1990s, Miss Lebanon was arrested and questioned by Mr. Fares's "liberation" government on her return from a Miss World pageant because, God forbid, alphabetical order placed her right next to Miss Israel in front of the cameras. That was, according to Messrs. Fares and Hariri, a crime.
There was a time in Boston, Massachusetts, when Issam Fares, floating like plastic junk on the ocean of salon politics because of his money and nothing else, invited at his own expense illustrious speakers to deliver lectures at Tufts University. I had the utter displeasure of being invited and attending some of these lectures by traitors to Lebanon and avowed Aoun enemies like former US Secretary of State James Baker who engineered the Syrian takeover of Lebanon in 1988-1990 and the eviction of Aoun from Baabda, and others. At one of those lectures, given by former French President Giscard D'Estaing in the mid-1990s, and prodded by his host, the Syrian occupation collaborator Deputy Prime Minister Fares, to not say a word about the bad things the Syrian occupation was doing to Lebanon, Giscard launched into an epic lecture from which ignorant Americans could only conclude that Lebanon was paradise, that Hariri had rebuilt the country, that there was no reason for suicidal entrepreneurs not to invest in the shiny Syrian-occupied cesspool called Beirut, and that basically all was spiffy under the boot of the Assad regime, even as people were being kidnapped and assassinated, the Syrians had infiltrated the body politic, the administrations, the army and every corner of Lebanon, running rampant corrupt businesses with people like Fares and his buddies. Just like Gary Johnson, the ignorant US presidential candidate, even academic Americans cannot tell Lebanon from their assholes if you ask them. So, they lapped up Giscard's drivel, delivered in his sexy French accent. But then the Q & A came up, and I was the first to ask Mr. D'Estaing: "How come you did not mention the Syrian occupation and Hezbollah and all the harm they were doing to Lebanon, Mr. President?" Like a bat out of hell, Giscard (a Frenchman, who unlike dumb Americans, was quite aware of the Syrian occupation of Lebanon) swiveled towards Fares, seated next to him on the stage, and hastily replied: "Well, I did mention this to Mr. Fares, but....." I do not remember the exact wording of the rest of his answer, but it was clear that Issam Fares had instructed Mr. Giscard that any mention of Syria and Hezbollah would void the fat check Mr. Giscard would be receiving at the end of his talk.
When Tufts University faculty, students, organizations and departments were informed later of Mr. Fares's double agent posturing between Lebanon and the US and his close association with the Syrian occupation, I was never invited again to the Fares Center lectures, thankfully.
It is moot to even mention that Mr. Fares, just like feu Rafik Hariri, spent millions and decades praising and defending Hezbollah's "liberation" activities in the Lebanese south and in the Lebanese government as the Assad regime's police within the Lebanese State, and a horde of terror attacks around the world.
Of course, Mr. Fares never tired either of criticizing Aoun for his outspoken resistance to the Syrian takeover of Lebanon. But now that Aoun is supposedly becoming President of this tormented country, Fares is rushing in his own private jet to Beirut to congratulate Aoun. You know the reason, I am sure. Ass-kissing goes hand in hand with treason, especially when there is money to buy access and ministerial seats for Mr. Fares himself or his sons, who naturally have inherited their father's proclivities to base politics. If I were a Tufts University PhD student with a grain of decency, I'd run my dissertation on the likes of Mr. Fares and show the American academy the filth that people like Fares bring to Lebanese politics.
Welcome back, Mr. Fares. I hope it is Dr. Jekyll Aoun who greets you, not Mr. Hyde Aoun.