A memorial service for Lokman Slim was held on Thursday in Haret Hreik, Dahyeh, where several ambassadors from European countries as well as the US and Canada joined the family to mourn the esteemed public figure and pay their respect.
Several Lebanese politicians also attended the memorial, including former MP Michel Mouawad and a delegation from the Kataeb party.
Lebanese security forces were heavily deployed around the area of the memorial in the southern suburb of Beirut, considered a Hezbollah-dominated district.
The funeral gathered relatives and friends, as well as the ambassadors of Germany, Britain, and Switzerland, and it included Muslim and Christian prayers for the slain activist.
Slim‘s mother, Salma Merchak, gave a powerful statement, calling for people, in particular the youth, to walk on the steps of his son and endorse his legacy.
“I ask you, the young [people], if you really want a nation to continue with the principles that he fought for and was convinced of, to only use your logic and reason. Weapons don’t benefit the country. They didn’t benefit me. I lost my son,” the bereaved yet strong mother said.
US Ambassador Dorothy Shea gave a short speech at the memorial service, during which she called the assassination of anti-Hezbollah activist Lokman Slim an unforgivable “barbaric act”.
“This was a barbaric act, unforgivable and unacceptable,” she said. “Today, I mourn with you and our Embassy which I represent.”
“But let us also celebrate some of the characteristics that made Lokman who he was: he was tireless and relentless in his pursuit to reconcile Lebanon’s people and to promote freedom and inclusion,” Ambassador Shea added.
German Ambassador Andreas Kindl described Slim‘s death as a “personal loss.”
“We remember Lokman today. Memory and remembrance were at the core of his work,” Ambassador Kindl said, adding, “His legacy is that we are not allowed to forget what happened last week.”
Swiss Ambassador Monica Kirgoz declared that “Switzerland has lost a friend.”
“He who does not know the history of Lokman Slim will not understand the present and will not know how to plan for the future,” she said about the esteemed intellectual and philanthropist who had closely worked with the Swiss Embassy.
The vocal Hezbollah opponent was respected by many due to his extensive work in developing research centers and producing profound literary pieces, adding to his unstoppable efforts for unity and freedom.
However, Hezbollah partisans were never so keen on Lokman Slim whom they deem a traitor and a spy for having his own opinion and opposing their party’s sectarian politics.
Remarkably, after the memorial service, a pro-Hezbollah cleric who read parts of the Quran during Slim’s funeral prompted to issue a video-statement, publicly apologizing for taking part in the funeral’s prayers, claiming he didn’t know who the funeral was for.
Up until now, there has been no clear answer as to who was behind the gruesome murder of Lokman Slim. However, the family and friends of Slim suspect Hezbollah, citing previous threats against him from the Iran-backed group.