Lebanon in Syria

The fates of the modern states of Lebanon and Syria are inextricably linked. It is important to read their history not just as was done conventionally that is Syria never fully recognizing Lebanon as an independent state but also the reverse, as Lebanon, or particular segments of the Lebanese political establishment involving and using Syria […]

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Isolationism or Regionalization?

Recently the Phalangist MP Sami Gemayel has proposed to “amend the preamble of the constitution to stipulate Lebanon’s neutrality towards regional conflicts”. “We request amending the constitution to clearly state that Lebanon must stay neutral towards regional events,” Gemayel said after the weekly meeting of the party’s political bureau. He elaborated: “We are very concerned […]

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Sectarian Land Law

Lately, Lebanese Labor Minister, Butros Harb, has proposed a law that would forbid a Lebanese to sell land to another Lebanese of a different confessional affiliation. According, to Al Akhbar Journalist Hassan Oleik, the law does not have much chance to pass and is mostly proposed for electoral reasons, but still signals initiatives from the […]

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A Christmas Lesson

In Christian festive times, Al Manar TV uses such rituals in order to focus attention on a political cause either pertaining to internal Lebanese issues (Jesus and messages of co-existence), regional (usually related to the Palestinian cause) or even international. On Christmas Eve for example, the seven o’clock news broadcast has most of its content […]

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Tayyar views on Hizbullah

One has to wait a long time in order to read an article in the Lebanese press that actually takes the time to interview people from several corners of the country. I already said elsewhere that Al Akhbar contributes in a novel and ‘fuller’ way (i.e. more in line with European press standards of constructing […]

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On Palestinian camps

Al Akhbar is probably the first Lebanese newspaper to have added a section on Palestinian camps to its publication, along with political news, society, economics, etc, as part of its ‘local’ news pages.

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Rome to Beirut or Tel Aviv

The airport of Rome sticks the gate of the plane going to Beirut to the one going to Tel Aviv. Every single time I use Italian airports for flight connections it is the same story. It could be taken as a lesson of ill-directed pride. It could be read as something like: for us you […]

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Read to know the world

By now it is all out in the news, that Druze leader Walid Jumblatt met yesterday with Hizbullah SG Hassan Nasrallah. Beyond all the political implications of this meeting that was anyway foreseen given the shifts in Jumblatt position, I want to point out a very interesting development that happened during this meeting. According to […]

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A box office success…

… Karim Makdisi nails it: Lebanon’s June 7 national election was a box office success. It had it all: shady politicians, foreign intrigue, bribes, beautiful women, meddling religious figures, sectarian agitation, recently exposed spy rings, fundamentalists collaborating with capitalists, the poor and oppressed voting for the rich and privileged. It was a brilliantly marketed production […]

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The return of the right

I don’t know if this has gone unnoticed, but there has been something strangely disenchanting about local Christian politics in modern day Lebanon. I will list a couple of disjointed points: 1- The Loubnanouhom paradigm is gaining institutional currency. Once a remote petty reactionary movement led by the son of a disgruntled leader followed by […]

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There is no State in Lebanon ok? Fix your conceptual frameworks

Yet another analysis of Hizbullah very sneakily undermining the functioning of the State of Lebanon, this time by none other than the only Muslim writer of the French Colonialist-nostalgics, chauvinistic and socially elitist Lebanese newspaper L’Orient le Jour. I don’t understand this guy by the way, Mahmoud Harb. Doesn’t he realize how anti-Muslim this newspaper […]

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Writing Hizbullah

An excellent article today in Al Akhbar by a friend of mine deciphering the various media and other type of intellectual production in the “Lebanese” sphere that came to shape how Hizbullah was and is written. In so doing Raed Charaf goes through a very detailed account of the various types of intellectual activity that […]

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Campaign ads again

I see that Al-Akhbar has finally picked up on blogs’ favorite topic and decided to publish a feature article on campaign ads uncovering even more rebuttals coming from March 14. How do you find this one for example:

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Electoral philosophical injunctions

This tiny chunk of land that came to be called Lebanon is entering in full force its circus legislative elections. It is highly re-assuring to see that indeed the Lebanese advertising culture is now using its long-worked on branding concepts for the benefit of the various political factions. But from the Lebanese Forces who play […]

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