Wednesday, January 19, 2022

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 under the direct authority of regional governors seated in either Akko, Saida or Damascus. Their role was made simple: to collect crop tax...

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 violation of sovereignty, or the use of illegal armed force, or the organized theft of the government’s cof...

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 form and the substance of elections in Lebanon.  On form, Lebanon’s upcoming elections shall not disappoint. They will display all...

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 and populists, as the unnatural birth process of a nation. Some even contest the country’s boundaries, other the concept, and few contest ...

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 unproven political affiliations. Judging the person would yield little clues. However, judging the investigative path itself calls for dif...