“…resilience might have kept the country from falling apart, but has not helped in truly bringing it together. Resilience is surviving but not coming to terms with the past.”
As part of their World War I centennial issue, University of Warwick’s Lacuna Magazine invited Eye on the East to contribute a piece on Lebanon and we accepted with pleasure. This was the end result:
A century of war and peace in Lebanon
As you may already know, Eye on the East regularly contributes to a variety of online and print publications, listed in the Featured page here. I thought I’d highlight this latest contribution, especially since it isn’t usually something covered on the blog and especially in such length! I hope you enjoy it…
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”
Note: this piece is a translation of Eye on the East’s previous post “Lebanon: ‘Naming and Shaming’ as a Duty.” The below Arabic version was published in the March 1-6 2014 issue of Zahle weekly Al Rawaby.
يتعذر علي ان اتذكر عدد المرات التي سمعت فيها المقولة السائدة في لبنان “دون ذكر الاسماء” عبارة قصدها تجهيل الفاعل والتعامي عن قول الحقيقة ورفض تسمية الاشياء باسمائها, فنشعر بالاسى لغياب الوضوح و الشفافية في كيفية عمل النظام اللبناني. Continue reading “لبنان: التسمية و التشهير هو واجب”
After 11 long months of political deadlock and childish bickering, Lebanon finally has a cabinet. Although some are satisfied just by having a cabinet and with it some illusion of normalcy, not many are happy with its composition. And in true Lebanese fashion, “what difference does it make anyway,” some will say: if it’s not the same faces on the cabinet table, then it is the same faces behind the scenes that brought them, and if there has been some alternation in portfolios (based on political affiliation and sect), it all remains part of the same game of sectarian and power politics that has brought so much misery to the majority of the Lebanese throughout the years, and will continue to do so in the years to come… Continue reading “A Warm Welcome to Lebanon’s New Cabinet”
I couldn’t count the number of times I’ve heard the “let’s not name names” or “دون ذكر أسماء” refrain in Lebanon and feeling at a complete loss for words and hopeless, yet again, about the way this country works. Continue reading “Lebanon: ‘Naming and Shaming’ as a Duty”
…or so some would say.
Nine years after the assassination of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri in 2005, the court proceedings of the ‘Special Tribunal for Lebanon‘ (STL) have finally begun. Created for the purpose of bringing those responsible for this crime (and many others that followed it) to justice, the tribunal is considered unprecedented on many levels. While it is the first time that an international court will be trying a case based on terrorism charges, it is also the first time in contemporary Lebanese history, if ever at all, that so much effort and resources have been allocated to bringing criminals to justice. Lebanon may have become used to wars and politically motivated crimes, but it has become even more accustomed to never knowing the truth behind those crimes and taking for granted that nobody in Lebanon is ever brought to account. Continue reading “The Time for Justice has Come…”
I’m quite sure not even a Maronite Patriarch could have pulled off such a gem. Technically, they do have a right to, given that the “glory of Lebanon has been bestowed upon him” (“مجد لبنان أعطي له”). Then again, some Christians could have come up with this too, because as some of them have told me (half serious, half jokingly): Christians (read Maronites) created Lebanon, they have the right to destroy it, and if we extrapolate, they could be the only ones to save it as well… Continue reading ““Only Christians can save Lebanon”: A Quick Response”
Sometimes, I think it would be easier to just re-post my thoughts and frustrations on Lebanon, again and again, in view of the current situation. I am not inclined to write a “Beirut Yet Again and Again” after the latest explosion in Beirut’s southern suburbs on January 2, after having written “Beirut, Yet Again” (بيروت ايضا و ايضا) following the explosion in Downtown Beirut on December 27. The nature of the explosives may have differed and the location slightly shifted, yet nothing else has changed on the ground. Continue reading “Lebanon: A Gloomy Look Ahead”
Yesterday’s explosion in Beirut – killing former Finance Minister Mohammad Chatah among around seven others who remain to be identified – is a sad way to end a year already painted blood-red. With the ongoing violence and bombings in Tripoli, Dahiyeh, and the recurrent attacks on Lebanon’s border with Syria, 2013 was a tragic year, but in true Lebanese style, it could have always been much worse… Continue reading “Beirut, Yet Again”