"Amid Al Jumhuria" (The Pillar of the Republic) - November 2009
Raymond Edde was one of the greatest Lebanese politicians, massively nationalistic and constantly calling for the withdrawal of all foreign troops from Lebanon. A man who was stuck to his principles and never wavered, earning the nickname of 'Lebanon's Conscience.'
Raymond was born on March 15, 1913 in Alexandria. His father, Emile Edde, whose family hailed from Edde, a village in the Jbeil district, was known for his francophile views and his opposition to Ottoman rule. In 1913, having been sentenced to death by the Turkish authorities, he took refuge in Egypt with his wife, Laudi, née Sursock. Returning to Beirut with his family in 1920, after the establishment of the French mandate, Raymond received his school and university education in Jesuit institutions, obtaining a degree in law. Two years later, his father was elected president of Lebanon under the mandate, remaining in office until 1941. On Emile Edde's death in 1949, Raymond succeeded him as head of the party he founded, the National Bloc, taking the title of "Amid" (Dean).
He was elected MP for Jbeil for the first time in 1953, after which he was returned at every election until 1992 except that of 1964, Raymond Edde was responsible for the enactment of two important laws; one concerning rents (1954), the other establishing banking confidentiality (1956).
He marked himself strongly from other Maronite leaders when the Lebanese war began in April 1975, representing a moderate Christian view in favor of coexistence with Moslems and with Palestinians.
Following three attempts on his life, Edde left Lebanon on December 22, 1976 and settled in Paris in self imposed exile vowing not to return to Lebanon until both Israeli and Syrian troops leave the country. It was to be a definitive departure.
Raymond died Wednesday, May 10, 2000 in Paris, at the age 87.
His last words were: "I'm thinking. I'm thinking of Lebanon."
Ricardo Karam compiled the abundant journey of Raymond Edde in a three hours documentary entitled “Amid al Jumhuria”.