Note: This is the first in a series of four thematic Lebanon-related posts, based on a conversation between the author and a Lebanese citizen who preferred to remain anonymous. The second post covers the economy and the third deals with the environment.
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. Continue reading ““Politics and Election Nonsense””
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”
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””
I thought there would be no words to describe what happened in the streets of Beirut yesterday, but there are. Continue reading “Live from Beirut, from the beating heart of Beirut”
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””
Last week, Tripoli was a war zone. Today, it is a city like any other.
Last week, Tripoli seemed a world apart from the rest of Lebanon. Today, some decided to bring it a bit closer to where it belongs, back to rest of Lebanon…
Continue reading “This is Tripoli”
They say that Beirut is a city that will never surrender, but what if everything that keeps life together in it is slowly disappearing, gradually being torn apart? Continue reading “Beirut will never surrender, but…”
I am not one who cries easily, but seeing with my own eyes, how a mixture of army, police, riot police and the thugs protecting the Parliament, hit young men and women protesting in front of Parliament earlier today, made me tremble uncontrollably and brought me to tears.
Continue reading “On Rescuing a Nation and Shaming its Representatives”
The self-extension of the Lebanese Parliament’s term yesterday did not come as a surprise to anybody. It was yet a further nail in the coffin of Lebanon’s democracy, albeit its own special tailor-made brand of consensual, whatever-you-want-to-call-it democracy, where nobody ever goes home a looser. Continue reading “Where is our Voice?”