Austerity for the Poor and Prosperity for the Rich

August 01, 2021

There has been a growing interest in social protection policies in the Arab region dating back to the 1990s. Yet the impact of such measures has not been empirically and independently assessed. Evidence shows that, even before the COVID-19 pandemic, the poor have been getting poorer and the...

Is Lebanon at Risk in the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict?

May 25, 2021

Media attention has focused on the loss of life and property in the bombardment of Gaza, the domestic skirmishes between Jewish and Arab Israelis, and Hamas’ rocket attacks on Israel. Yet there are unique implications for Palestinian communities in Lebanon, too. In Lebanon, more than 470,000...

Lebanon Hits a New Milestone

March 05, 2021

On March 2, the Lebanese lira (or pound) eroded even further into becoming a failed currency, if there is such a thing. From an official exchange rate of 3,900 pounds per US dollar for importers and manufacturers of essential food items, the “cost of scarce dollars hit 10,000 Lebanese pounds on...

The New Generation of Arab Photographers

February 03, 2021

Discerning eyes have known for quite a while that the Arab world is more than it appears in conventional photography. The old visual language of minarets and souks, of unassuming eyes set deep in dark faces, of conceptual or actual “unveilings” and of non-consensual or ambivalent colonial...

Does Saad Hariri Really Believe He Can Save Lebanon?

October 23, 2020

My parents used to say, “Eat with your mouth and not your eyes.” This may be good advice for newly-minted Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri. He is clearly unable to resist trying once again to raise Lebanon from its deathbed, and this time the consequences may be more disastrous than just a...

Lebanon… in the USA

October 07, 2020

Finding a Cure for Lebanon’s Imperialist Hangover

September 17, 2020

Lebanon, as a nation, was destined for conflict since its creation in November 1943 by the French colonial power. To this day, it remains a client state with several competing foreign powers trying to exploit the country's social, political and economic systems for their benefit. The current...

Can Lebanon Overcome Its Sectarian Political Order?

September 09, 2020

Either the global COVID-19 pandemic or the catastrophic blast at the port of Beirut on August 4 could not have hit Lebanon at a worse time. The explosion killed nearly 200 people and displaced 300,000 residents, resulting in damage worth an estimated $15 billion. Prior to the tragedy, Lebanon was...

Should Hezbollah Be Disarmed?

July 09, 2020

Amid Lebanon’s ongoing anti-government protests, various demonstrators have held signs demanding “No weapons but legal weapons. 1559, make it happen.” This is a clear reference to Hezbollah, a hybrid organization, political party, social movement and a regional player with global...

There’s No Good News for Refugees in Lebanon

June 16, 2020

The Syrian refugee crisis in Lebanon is just the latest in a sequence of disenfranchisements that have plagued the Middle East for generations. In 1948, just years after Lebanon was founded, the Palestinians were pushed out of their homeland by the Israelis and the Lebanese granted them refuge....

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