Rafik Hariri Memorial Day is a Lebanese national holiday that honours the memory of their late prime minister, Rafik Hariri, who was assassinated by terrorists on February 14th, 2005. The holiday is observed on the date of Hariri’s death.
|2019||14 Feb||Thu||Rafik Hariri Memorial Day|
|2020||14 Feb||Fri||Rafik Hariri Memorial Day|
Hariri was born in Lebanon and began a construction company there, but he later moved to Saudi Arabia to work on projects for the Saudi king. This made him his fortune, and he returned to Lebanon in the 80’s to commence a career in politics.
Rafik Hariri took part in negotiating an end to the Lebanese Civil War in 1989, and in 1992 he was elected prime minister. He then focused on helping Lebanon recover from the ravages of the war. He served two terms as prime minister, but ultimately retired in 2004.
In 2005, Hariri, along with 22 others, was murdered by means of a bomb that exploded as he drove down a street in Beirut. Most believe Hezbollah was responsible, though they deny it. In the wake of the assassination, mass protests broke out that finally led to Syrian armed forces leaving Lebanon.
The main events commemorating this sombre event are wreath-laying ceremonies, prayers for peace, and a memorial service at Rafik Hariri’s grave site located at Martyrs’ Square in Lebanon’s capital city of Beirut.