The Politics of Finger Pointing

“We just want to remind people, for those who don’t know what is secularism, secularism doesn’t mean being against God, secularism is just the separation between religion and state, secularism makes all citizens equal before the law with the same rights, secularism leads us from confessionalism to citizenship.”

(Closing remarks on satirical show “CHI NN” on Lebanese Al Jadeed TV, February 4, 2013)

With raging discussions on a new electoral law and civil marriage in recent weeks, the role of religion has once again been brought to the mainstream political debate. The role of religion in politics and our daily lives is certainly nothing new in Lebanon. Continue reading “The Politics of Finger Pointing”

Battle of the Beards

In the aftermath of the events in Saida last week, pitting Sheikh Ahmad Al Assir in direct confrontation with Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah, the only thing that I could think about was my next blog post. I came up with what I believed was the best title for it, as used herewith[1]. However, I seemed unable to fill the post with anything other than the usual, yet always valid, criticism of the absurdity of Lebanese politics and the way we always seem to swiftly move against the current of modern times (so much so that we could earn yet another pathetic Guinness record for it).

Continue reading “Battle of the Beards”

Lebanon: No Reaction, Just Action

Many Lebanese take pride in the fact that their country is a country of “action.” Not where actions are taken, but where action takes place. There is always something to keep us busy not bored. Something always ready to take the news headlines by storm, breaking yesterday’s breaking news as quickly as it will be broken by tomorrow’s new story.

During the past months, if it wasn’t about the adventures of Sheikh Ahmad Al Assir in Saida, it was the dilemma of the temporary and exploited workers of public utility company Electricité du Liban (EDL). Continue reading “Lebanon: No Reaction, Just Action”