« FROM « INVISIBILITY » TO « IN VISIBILITY » By Tracy Chamoun.
Paper Submission proposal February 2, 2015.
A Lebanese woman’s survival in a country of man-made war and violence.
The paper will discuss the concept of “invisibility” that characterizes the silent role of women in times of war when faced with events, which are out of their control. It will draw on Tracy Chamoun’s personal experience of growing up in a leading male dominated patriarchal society in the context of the civil war, and her survival of some of the worst expressions of male violence and horror.
It will discuss the prevalent understanding of power as a masculine projection of supremacy and “the warrior identity” as well as the inevitable results of that archetype leading to alienation, separation, and the disassociation between actions and consequences, which create the prerequisites for the justification of genocide.
In this harsh world of masculine dominance how does an Arab woman transition from invisibility to being visible? How does she count in the overall equation for peace?
Tracy Chamoun will talk about the process of inner transformation which led her to a deeper understanding of the true meaning of power not as something external but as a connection to own ‘s strength and capacity to give to other’s.
It will chart her journey and her return to Lebanon to form a political party, and how she began insert to herself into the male dominated preserve of the “Old Boy’s Network” of the Lebanese political system.
It will highlight the advantages and obstacles of being a woman in politics in Lebanon and give insights about how to improve women’s access to the echelons of power within that framework. It will describe how a woman’s influence can affect change at many levels, including the basic forms of interaction, the relationship to power, and the exercising of influence, not based on traditional forms of dominance but of acceptance that draw on the female qualities of protection, strength, patience and resilience.
Tracy Chamoun -Lebanese Politician
Tracy Chamoun is the granddaughter of the former president of Lebanon, Camille Chamoun. She is also the daughter of Dany Chamoun, Camile Chamoun’s son, who was a Lebanese politician assassinated in 1990 with his wife and Tracy’s two brothers, who were aged 5 and 7 at the time. It was one of the most brutal crimes associated with the Lebanese Civil War.
Tracy is the President of Lebanon’s Liberal Democrats Party (LDP). The Party was licensed in 2012, and Tracy is the first woman founder in history of an Arab political party. She is a peace activist and supports dialogue and the principles of non-violent resolution to conflict. The LDP seeks to support and protect the multi-religious diversity that characterizes the fabric of Lebanese society.
Tracy describes the party’s purpose in this manner: “The creation of this political party at this time is a means to reorient the political discourse for Lebanon, to affect change, to hold onto a vision of a modern nation, to plan for a better future for all citizens equally, and to give the new generation an operational platform for their ideas and suggestions.
Unlike other political parties in Lebanon, the LDP seeks to support and protect the multi-religious diversity that characterizes the fabric of Lebanese society.
Tracy recently presented herself as a candidate for the Lebanese Parliament in the district of Baabda, the seat of Lebanese government. She presented herself in 2013 and 2014 but both elections were cancelled due to the security situation in Lebanon. She is planning to run again when elections will be held. In 2014, she announced her candidacy for the Presidency of Lebanon against Samir Geagea, who was found guilty in the assassination of her family and other numerous other victims. She is presently actively involved in fighting for democratic principles and fair representation in Lebanon.
She is the author of four books:
Au Nom du Père 1991 – Edition Latters
Amare 1993 – Edition Lattes
Le sang de la Paix 2013 – Edition Lattes
Thaman el Silm (Arabic) 2013 – Edition Hachette Antoine Lebanon
Au Nom du Père was a bestseller and was awarded the “Prix Verité” for the best non-fiction.
Tracy has a joint degree in Communication and Sociology from the University of London, Goldsmith’s College, and in her private career has worked as a consultant for such prestigious companies as British Aerospace, Hughes Aircraft Company, Hambros Bank, The Discovery Channel among others, advising on new technology and communication policy.
Tracy is fluent in Arabic, French, and English.