A few weeks back, jeweler Hala Tayah designed a collection of jewelry dedicated to the celebration of the 100th anniversary of the establishment of Greater Lebanon, on September 1st.
Included in this collection was a lapel pin shaped as the map of Lebanon.
While this pin was already symbolic enough when it was created, due to its patriotic nature, its symbolism grew much, much more powerful more recently.
In the devastating August 4th explosion, Hala Tayah became among the 190 lives that were tragically lost and mourned by the entire Lebanese nation.
But none mourned her like Tamara, her 10-year-old daughter, did.
In addition to the memories that will never leave her, Tamara Tayah held on to the lapel pin depicting the map of her country, at least as it was before that fateful day punched a hole in the middle of that map.
And in a scene that warmed the hearts of the Lebanese, Tamara presented her mother’s creation to French President Emmanuel Macron and attached it to his suit when he was in Jaj to plant a cedar sapling.
Moved by the girl’s gesture, Macron embraced her, drawing a round of applause from the similarly-moved crowd around them.
Expectedly, the pictures and the video showing the compassionate encounter caught fire on social media in Lebanon.
Later on Tuesday, more pictures went viral showing the pin that Macron had kept on his suit throughout the remainder of his stay in Lebanon.
The French President had several similar encounters during his first and this second visit to blast-stricken Beirut.
On Tuesday night, he was photographed embracing the iconic Lebanese singer Majida El-Roumi, whom he had requested to meet in the Pine Residence, a day after visiting another Lebanese icon: Fairouz.