“Politics and Election Nonsense”

Note: This is the first 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.  

What’s the best – or laziest – way to reconnect with a subject that you haven’t dealt with in a long time? Talk to someone who does. That’s exactly what I did, as I thought of the best way to write my first post after what turned out to be an unintended and unannounced break from the blog.[1] Continue reading ““Politics and Election Nonsense””

So They’re Gonna Raise Some Taxes

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”

“Please Don’t Forget Me!” “!بشرفكن ما تنسوني”

On September 16, yet again, Beirut’s Martyrs’ Square and some of the main roads leading to Lebanon’s Parliament building came back to life. The families of the Lebanese soldiers kidnapped by Daesh were reiterating their endless calls for the government to bring their sons, brothers and fathers back alive. Others were protesting against the government’s failure to resolve the garbage crisis in a sustainable and environmental way. But everyone was there demanding that the political class meeting under the guise of an unconstitutional, worthless, ineffective so-called national dialogue, start listening to its people, be held accountable, even step down and have mercy on a country they have used and abused for far too long. Continue reading ““Please Don’t Forget Me!” “!بشرفكن ما تنسوني””

“The West will never understand Iraq’s complex landscape”

It is heartbreaking to watch a country fall apart and become accustomed to its cities becoming synonymous with war itself. Since the fall of Saddam Hussein in 2003, this has been the fate of Iraq. Sadly, recurrent violence in Iraq and the eruption of wars elsewhere, such as Syria, have also pushed the Iraqi story away from the front pages of the world’s news.

Continue reading ““The West will never understand Iraq’s complex landscape””