Following are excerpts from an interview with Lebanese performer Karol Saqr, the daughter of exiled right-wing politician Etienne Saqr, a.k.a. "Abu Arz." The interview aired on MTV on November 26, 2010.
Karol Saqr: If I wasn't a performer, I would definitely have entered politics – not as a minister or an MP, but as the president. Easily. If you want to change something, you need to change it from the root, not just on the surface.
Interviewer: What would you change, if you were president of the republic?
Karol Saqr: I have a plan.
Interviewer: What is your plan? Tell me the three main things.
Karol Saqr: The first thing I would do is to restore the authorities of the president, because a three-headed monster cannot survive. Once you restore the authorities of the president, the presidency will become open to all religious groups. That's the first thing.
Secondly, I would impose secularism on the state. I would separate religion and state. The clerics should deal with religion, and the politician with politics. Take Turkey, for example. Before Ataturk, Turkey was called "the Sick Man [of Europe]." Atuturk imposed a secular regime, changed all the religious manifestations, imposed the Latin script, and within five or six years, the country had become Turkey Al-Fatat ["Young"].
Interviewer: What is the third thing you would do?
Karol Saqr: The third thing would be to declare the country's neutrality. Switzerland declared its neutrality, and established the strongest defense army in the world. If Lebanon had a great president, he would bring along only great ministers and MPs. If I sat down with them and we talked, we would agree to make Lebanon a neutral country.
Interviewer: Do you think this would this so simple?
Karol Saqr: Do you think I am dreaming?
Interviewer: Yes. If it were so simple, others would have done it.
Karol Saqr: Let me tell you something. There is bad, and there is good. Everybody is focusing on the bad these days. Why? Because it is entertaining. Bad involves wars, the selling of arms, funerals, death. It is entertaining. There's action. If peace ever comes, it will be boring. Everybody is drawn to evil, to money. You say I am dreaming. Why am I dreaming? They say that the dream is...
Interviewer: First of all, Lebanon cannot be neutral. It is at the heart of the conflict.
Karol Saqr: So let us make peace. The south is in the hands of Israel and the north in the hands of Syria, right? I don't want to fight them. We Arabs have a complex about war. We wield the sword, and want to fight. Why do we want to fight? We have had enough of wars and death. I am thinking about my son and my daughter.