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"Back to zero: Palestinian refugees who after the nakba had built their lives and existences in Syria have been forced to leave. While their memories of Palestine are vivid, they feel they have lost yet another home. Watch Carol Mansour's film "We cannot go there now, my Dear", produced in collaboration with Heinrich Böll Stiftung - Middle East."
 

Latest Publication

Perspectives issue 7 Cover - illustration by Mazen Kerbaj

Rumour has it ... the new Perspectives is out!

They are only 'hot air' but anyone who has been affected by rumours is familiar with their unhallowed dynamics, and the serious consequences they can entail. Rumours fulfil social functions. They serve as a medium through which unfulfilled hopes or unspecific fears can be voiced. They bond and drive a wedge between people and population groups at the same time. They can destroy reputations, credibility and even lives. Read here twelve experts from the MENA region discussing the topic!

Statehood & Participation

No for Extension
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At least two days before the seventy-first celebration of Lebanese independence on November 22, patriotic responsibility dictates that, if parliamentary elections have not been held, then a law must be in place extending the term of the current parliament for the second time in succession, lest Lebanon—on its Independence Day—be transformed into a series of tribal states instead of the state of tribes it is today.

Laique Pride_8217
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The LGBT community in Lebanon has made important gains, but continued abuses remind us that there is much more to be done.

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Environmental Justice

The ecological Shop of Organic Products
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Some seek to establish tradable prices for ecosystem services, claiming that markets can achieve what politics has not. However, such an approach collapses nature’s complex functions into a set of commodities stripped from their social, cultural, and ecological context and can pose a threat to the poor and indigenous communities who depend on the land for their livelihood.

Cattle Calls

Factory-style livestock production is a critical driver of agricultural industrialization. Its remorseless expansion is contributing to climate change, deforestation, biodiversity loss, and human-rights violations – all to satisfy Western societies’ unhealthy appetite for cheap meat. 

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Conflict & International Politics

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ISIS has plenty of funding, but it does not live on material sources only: one of their most powerful weapons is to commit the most monstrous atrocities - and make sure everybody sees them. Unable so far to stop them, Arab activists at least try and mock them, and the French foreign minister tries to ban them rhetorically where they want to be least: in the letter soup. Instead of their self-chosen name "Islamic State" he from now on want to refer to them only by the acronym Daesh which they hate and try to ban by all means.

Iraqi Yazidi refugees in Newroz camp receive help from International Rescue Committee
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Is Germany willing and capable to contribute to the crisis management in Iraq? Judging by the initial reactions of Germany’s political frontrunners, the answer not only depends on whom you ask but also on which day of the week it is. That said, the public debate currently unfolding in Germany marks a tentative but significant paradigm shift.

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Culture & Dialogue

Sagesse Street in Achrafieh, Beirut
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Peaceful La Sagesse Street is about to experience an uproar the like of which it has never known before as the Beirut city authorities renewed the La Sagesse-Al Turk highway project. What is this project aiming to and why it provoked outrage and mobilized the forces of civil society?

 

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What does it mean that the Union Building — one of city’s most prominent, if not the most prominent, modernist landmarks — is currently under threat of demolition? What does it mean that this vulgar investment culture also threatens the nearby Arida building? Anyone who has heard of the architectural pioneers responsible for these two buildings, will understand all too well how disastrous things have become.

 

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