Beirut – Head of the Lebanese Progressive Socialist Party MP Walid Jumblat passed over to his son, Taymour, the “Jumblat leadership” during an event to commemorate the 40th anniversary of the assassination of his father, Kamal.
During the rally held in Mokhtara in the Chouf region on Sunday, the MP handed his son the traditional “koufieh” scarf in a symbolic gesture of passing the mantle to his successor.
Publicly confirming his son as his political heir, Jumblat told Taymour “to walk forward with his head held high” and carry the legacy of his grandfather, Kamal, who was assassinated in Lebanon on March 16, 1977.
“Forty years ago, I was destined to keep on my shoulders an abaya stained with blood, the blood of our master, Kamal Jumblat,” he said, addressing his son.
In the presence of Prime Minister Saad Hariri, Saudi chargé d’affaires in Lebanon Walid al-Bukhari and an array of political figures and thousands of supporters from the Mount Lebanon, the PSP leader took off his Palestinian “koufieh” scarf and placed it on the shoulders of his son.
“I am handing him the scarf of Arab occupied Palestine, the progressive Lebanon, the scarf of those who resisted Israel, the scarf of reconciliation and dialogue, and the scarf of Mokhtara,” he said.
He then added: “When the hour comes, bury your dead and rise, then march forward.”
Over the past two years, Taymour, 35, had started to receive on a weekly basis, popular delegations in Mokhtara to hear their demands in what was seen as a transition of power to him from his father. He also attended a large number of political events and meetings in the country.
Taymour is Jumblat’s son from his first wife. He studied political science at the American University of Beirut and continued his higher education in Paris, France. He is married to a Shi’ite lady from al-Zoaiter family and has two kids.
Speaking during Sunday’s ceremony, Jumblat also cited the historic Mount Lebanon reconciliation that took place 16 years ago in Mokhtara between the Druze and Christian communities.
“In August 2001, here in Mokhtara, we held the reconciliation ceremony with Maronite Patriarch [Nasrallah] Sfeir,” Jumblat said.