Fouad Chehab was commander of the Lebanese army after the country gained independence from France.
When Lebanon stood on the brink of civil war in 1958, a group of politicians asked him to take over the presidency. He accepted but never intended to see out his term in office.
In the end, he stayed on – and by aiming to rise above Lebanon’s sectarian divisions, he managed to build many of the institutions that took the country into the 21st century.
This is the story of a soldier who may not have set out to lead his country, but who effectively founded the modern Lebanese state.
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