· Hikmat Abou Zeid: The decentralized system is the backbone of the solution to Lebanon’s problems.
Lebanese political activist and entrepreneur Hikmat A. Abou Zeid signed his recently published book titled "The Institutional Revolution in Lebanon", during a ceremony at Saint Joseph University – Beirut campus. Published under Antoine Publishing house, the book showcases the author’s vision to solve the Lebanese administrative system’s problems that has suffered from successive crises since the post-Taif era.
The book signing ceremony featured a round table discussion on administrative decentralization in Lebanon moderated by journalist Albert Kostanian, with the notable participation of: Dr. Ziyad Baroud, Dr. Halimé El Kaakour and the book’s author Mr. Hikmat Abou Zeid. The event was attended by a number of political, diplomatic, social, academic, and media figures, who actively took part in the discussion and dialogue on the necessity of introducing administrative decentralization as an entry point to reformulate the administrative government in a republic on the path of disintegration compared to other projects that are not stipulated in the constitution and are not viable.
A special film prepared for the occasion was showcased, explaining in a simplified way the objectives and advantages of decentralization, and its positive impact on the daily lives of citizens. It also broke down the causes of the current collapse as a result of the quota system, favoritism and sectarianism.
The book is prefaced by former Minister of Interior and Municipalities, Dr. Ziyad Baroud, who said: “Nothing compares to a book that encourages dialogue and discussion. Hikmat Abou Zeid's book is an invitation to reflect and discuss, whether for or against... Its content is ready to pave the way for such a dialogue, as for its author, I am confident that he is also fully prepared”.
The book focuses on the idea of "extended financial administrative decentralization" as an introduction to solving daily problems, especially those resulting from a centralized system, which led to a decline in the level of services, accountability, and all forms of progress, development and growth in Lebanon.
In his introduction, author Hikmat Abou Zeid wrote: “My vision of Lebanon and its geopolitical role constitute, for me, the starting point for this “institutional revolution.” The basic principles stipulated in the Taif Agreement and approved by Lebanese deputies are nothing but a crystal clear reflection of my belonging to this country. Let this be the starting point, before we put all the other points on the table of doubts and questions.”
He added: “This book is a simple initiative to review the stages of Lebanon's institutional formation gradually, up to this day, by examining administrative practice. From this standpoint, I invite you all to transcend our identity, which is dominated by primitive and instinctive reactions, in order to rise to a rational level that stimulates deeper thinking.”
At the end of the ceremony, Hikmat Abou Zeid signed two copies in French and Arabic, hoping that the parliament would be able to approve the expanded administrative-financial decentralization project and move from a time of disappointments and frustration to a time of achievement and realization of the simplest human rights in Lebanon, which is full citizenship and living in dignity in his homeland and among its people.