He was succeeded by his grandson Kabalan Frangieh, who held the job until 1913. During this period, his son Suleiman Kabalan Frangieh was born on 15 June 1910.
Suleiman Frangieh studied at the Freir School in Tripoli and in Aintoura (Keserwan district). He began his career in the import-export business before venturing into politics via his brother Hamid, a respected nationalist and one of the founding fathers of Lebanon's independence from the French Mandate.
He walked in Hamid's shadow for years and only debuted in politics after his early withdrawal, succeeding him as MP for Zhgarta in 1960.
Suleiman learned plenty from Hamid, who had first entered parliament in 1934 and later joined the government of Riad al-Solh in 1944. He was a four-time foreign minister as well, but more importantly, he nominated himself for president in 1952 but lost to Camille Chamoun.
The Miziara Church Massacre of 1957
On 16 June 1957, a massacre was committed at the Miziara church in Zgharta, where 22 people were shot, 11 from the Doueihi family. This was just two weeks before parliamentary elections in Zghorta and fingers pointed to Suleiman Frangieh, who was forced to flee to Syria.
There he would meet a young air force pilot named Hafez al-Assad and they would establish a friendship that would last a lifetime.
Frangieh was amnestied in 1960 and returned to Lebanon.
That August he was named minister of telecommunications in the cabinet of Prime Minister Saeb Salam during the presidency of Fouad Chehab, an iron-willed general-turned-politician who introduced sweeping reforms at home and shifted his country toward Egypt and its president, Gamal Abdel Nasser.
Both steps won Chehab popularity with Lebanese Muslims but created resentment within his native Maronite Christian community.
Many of its leaders argued that Arab affairs did not concern them, opting to distance themselves from the burning issue of the day: the Palestinian resistance, led at the time by Yasser Arafat, commander of the recently established Fateh Movement who would soon become chairman of the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO).
Fouad Chehab's successor Charles Helou was a mild-mannered man of letters, not given to extremes, under whom Frangieh served in different capacities.
This was under the government of Prime Minister Abdullah al-Yafi, an old-school Beiruti notable famed for his financial integrity and political impartiality. Yafi would appoint Frangieh to his next cabinet in October 1968, where he was named minister of public works, transportation, and education.
Yafi's successor Rashid Karami, who hailed from one of the old families of Tripoli, appointed Frangieh as minister of economy in November 1969.
A country on the verge of explosion
Lebanon at the time was on the verge of explosion, despite a solid decade of economic growth and prosperity.
As military regimes sprung up throughout the Middle East, Lebanon was the only country in the region with freedom of speech, a healthy banking sector, a vibrant press, and much sought-after prestigious institutions of higher education like the American University of Beirut (AUB).
Major capital had found its way to Lebanon after nationalisation laws were issued in Syria, first under Gamal Abdel Nasser and then under the Ba'ath rule, seizing companies, factories, and private banks.
Businessmen who managed to escape the socialist dragnet in Egypt and Syria found no better place to put their money than Lebanon, coined at the time as the "Switzerland of the East."
But there was another side to Lebanon — a darker side which few cared to notice. As wealth increased, so did poverty and need.
A poverty belt began to form around the Lebanese capital, with suburbs that were soon to be penetrated by Arafat and the PLO. Running through this "belt" were three Palestinian refugee camps (Tal al-Zaatar to the east, Sabra and Shatila and Bourj el-Barajneh westward) where money was plenty, and people were armed to the teeth.
As time went by, their weapons travelled outside of the camps and began showing up on the streets of Beirut, raising the ire of Lebanese nationalists — among whom was Suleiman Frangieh.