Note: This is the third in a series of five thematic Lebanon-related posts, based on a conversation between the author and a Lebanese citizen who preferred to remain anonymous. The first post was on politics and the parliamentary elections and the second on the economy.
Eye on the East (EOTE): I never thought it would take so much time to reconvene.
Lebanese Citizen (LC): Well, you know that I’ve been here. You’re the one that’s always so busy. I hope you’re not going to end up like one of those people who is always soooo busy, but you really wonder what they’re soooo busy with. Continue reading ““Land of the Cedar””
This is the second in a series of five thematic Lebanon-related posts, based on a conversation between the author and a Lebanese citizen who preferred to remain anonymous. The first post was on politics and the parliamentary elections and the third on the environment.
Eye on the East (EOTE): So where were we?
Lebanese Citizen (LC): I had started talking about garbage and the economy, but you stopped me because you wanted to grab a drink. Continue reading ““Resilience””
They said people would take to the streets because parliamentary elections would be cancelled. “We are a democracy,” they said, “people won’t let that happen.” But people did let elections be cancelled, twice.
They said people would not let the garbage crisis go without a fight. “People may not care about democracy and holding politicians accountable,” they said, “but this is about garbage and their health.” But people also gave up, protesters couldn’t keep the demonstrations together, and the garbage crisis continued and a sustainable solution has yet to be found. Continue reading “So They’re Gonna Raise Some Taxes”
Late Lebanese legendary filmmaker Maroun Baghdadi once said, “I come from a world where, strangely enough, the image has difficulty in spreading. It’s a world that has problems with its own image.” He went on to say that in Lebanon and the Arab world, the image can be considered a taboo, complaining that he had been sometimes accused of giving a “bad image” of the region in his movies. “This excites me,” he lashed back, “and encourages me to transmit my message through images even more.” Continue reading “When looking back hurts, really hurts”
For once, and if only in Beirut and Mount Lebanon, the reality on the ground quite literally reflects the exact state of our country and its politics: garbage.
In fact, if it is hard for you to picture it, the tonnes of garbage piling up in and around our capital city are a perfect way to physically depict what corruption, mismanagement, monopoly, nepotism, patronage, clientelism and misuse of public funds does to a country: it is toxic, it affects everybody and may eventually kill everybody, just like the garbage will, the longer it stays on our streets. Continue reading “It’s about Garbage and so much more”
Here’s what happened in Beirut yesterday, constituting yet another sad day for Lebanon’s freedom of the press, another badge of shame on the government and another example of the public sector’s impunity when it comes to dealing with its own citizens. Continue reading “Lebanon: Another battle in the long fight against corruption”
I don’t know about you, but when I watched the scenes from Benghazi last Friday, as thousands of Libyans stormed the headquarters of Islamist group Ansar el-Sharia, leading to their eviction from the city, it felt quite overwhelming. The militia that some have accused of not only being behind the attack against the US Consulate, but of spreading terror and fear among the local population, had gotten the people’s verdict of its presence first hand. The government of Libya and its interim leader soon followed with their call to disband all illegal militias in the country, which spread during and after Qaddafi’s ousting. But on Friday, the people of Benghazi had had enough, they spoke and they were heard. Of course, disbanding all militias and transforming Libya into a full-fledged stable democracy will take time, but at least that seems what the people truly want to achieve, no matter how long it takes. Continue reading “Never Angry Enough”
I like to compare living in Lebanon to standing on quicksand. The longer you stay, the faster you sink in the bundle of developments, traditions, expressions and customs, slowly losing the precious perspective needed to be able to see things for what they truly are. Continue reading “Vocabulary of Failure”
Update Note: Eye on the East has the pleasure to introduce its first guest writer Jorge Seeman, a Mexican-Lebanese residing in Mexico City, who contributed the following post. You will find an English translation at the end. After initial refusal to publish Jorge’s article, Lebanese daily An Nahar published an edited version in its May 14, 2012 issue, almost a month after it was posted in its unedited version on Eyeontheeast.org . Some truths are still too much for the local Lebanese media to handle…
انتفاضة شعبية مكسيكية أوصلت الجنرال Porfirio Diaz الى رئاسة المكسيك اواسط القرن التاسع عشر. مطلب جوهري واحد وقفت وراءه الامة كان الباعث على هذه الانتفاضة هو أن “لا تجديد” للرئيس بعد اليوم, ايا كان هذا الرئيس. اما هذا الجنرال – الدكتاتور فقد أغوتة السلطة – و السلطة تفسد: تنكَّر لهذا المطلب الشعبي الجازم فحكم بلاده على امتداد خمسة و ثلاثين عاما. Continue reading “صرخة من المكسيك: احرقوها – A Cry From Mexico: Burn It!”