Wednesday, January 19, 2022

Worthy Talk…

Of Princes, Tax Farmers and Revolts…

Lebanon’s relatively modern history (c.1500s to 1800s) has known ruling princes or Amirs, nominated by the Sublime Porte. They were Ottoman subjects with grand titles, and many degrees removed from the central power of Istanbul. They oversaw Mount Lebanon’s affairs and acted un...

Federate This!

Whenever the subject of federalism is mentioned in Lebanon a cacophony of voices is suddenly unleashed against it, without necessarily understanding its real meaning or true dimensions. One would think that the subject relates to a v...

A National Binary Choice

Throughout its recent history as a Republic, Lebanon’s parliamentary elections have been, in essence, a plebiscite premised on a national binary choice, despite their farcical undertones and colorful patterns. What is essential to keep in mind is the fundamental difference between the fo...

A Nation for a Map or vice versa?

On September 1, 1920, General Henri Gouraud, the newly appointed French governor of Lebanon under the sanctioned mandate of the League of Nations, declared the birth of Greater Lebanon. This declaration was not fully welcomed at the time and still today it is disputed by many elitists an...

The Beirut Plot Thickens…….

The investigation into the Beirut Port Blast of August 4th, 2020, has come to a grinding halt through a judicial imbroglio which has, in all but words, rendered the process nugatory. The investigating judge, Tariq Bitar, is reportedly dedicated to his job, a person with integrity, and un...

To Bond or Not to Bond….

The most recent James Bond is disappointing. Here you have it, from the outset, the verdict has been rendered. The opinions will be divided, the critics will be debating, the viewers will be judging, and the curtain will fall -with a whimper not a bang- on the Bond legacy. This time our ...

A Presidential Battle not a Civil War…

What happened in the streets of Beirut on October 14, right on the demarcation line of the past civil war, was not caused by sectarianism or ideological differences between Shia-Islamist’s militants and Christian-right wingers. What took place was a distractive maneuver led by Hezbollah ...

Welfare not Warfare

Arab generations, especially those who grew up in the 50s to 70s, were mesmerized by the anti-Colonial and later, by the anti-Zionist rhetoric. Nasser more than anyone, captured their imaginations and represented the ‘Model Arab Leader’ of the times. Later, when the tantalizing slogans w...

The Hell with Civil Society

The Beirut Port blast of August 4, 2020 was one of the largest explosions in a non-war zone since World War II. Whether it had a Nuclear-like effect, or a Nitrate substance, or some other technical aspect or dimension is of little importance. What is, remains the fact that hundreds were ...

Wagner Wins

In August 2018 news surfaced about the killing in the Central African Republic of three Russian journalists who were carrying an investigation into the activities of the secretive paramilitary Wagner group. The Washington Post described the group at the time as a “shadowy Russian mercenar...

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