Unknown Pages from the History of Ukrainian-Lebanese Relations

  • Post Category:Issue XIX

Ihor Ostash
Candidate of Philological Sciences, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Ukraine to the Lebanese Republic

DOI https://doi.org/10.37837/2707-7683-2018-23

Abstract. The article describes the period of diplomatic relations between Ukraine and Lebanon at the time of the Mount Lebanon Mutasarrifate in the light of the ruling of Governor Muzaffer Pasha, or Władysław Czajkowski (1902–7), a representative of the Ottoman Empire of Ukrainian origin. By examining historical and information sources, the author proves Ukrainian descent of the Governor of Lebanon, while also presenting riveting facts from the life of his father, Michał Czajka-Czajkowski. The article offers an insight into the political activities of the Mount Lebanon Mutasarrifate in the realms of land, economic, tax, law and election relations along with their consequences for the development of Lebanon in general. At the beginning of his tenure, Muzaffer made a number of decisions, which he further tried to implement. He was sure that the lack of arable land was an obstacle for the well-being of the Lebanese nation and the primary reason for its migration abroad in search of greener pastures. He thus stood for the accession of lands to Mount Lebanon and supported Lebanese businessmen in the establishment of an independent organisation responsible for imports and exports regulation and spread of hookahs and tobacco in Mount Lebanon. Muzaffer vigorously supported the aspiration of some Lebanese to create an international seaport. He also initiated an increase of indirect taxes that caused loud public outcry. Muzaffer attempted to introduce special identification documents for citizens of Lebanon. He was the first to offer elections by secret ballot and unbiased control at all stages of the electoral process.
The author stresses it is a thankless task to evaluate activities of any politician. However, it is worth mentioning Muzaffer Pasha went down in political history and became the common link between Ukraine and Lebanon due to his origin and activities.
Keywords: Mount Lebanon, Mutasarrifate, rule, Governor, political history of Ukraine and Lebanon.

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