This paper examines how Saharawi feminist political praxis shapes community organizing and national liberation politics. I attempt to disrupt the binaries of national liberation and freedom through a reading of the political and temporal context of the engagements of National Union of Saharawi Women feminists in the refugee camps, in Tindouf, Algeria. From ethnographic encounters, the paper aims to challenge the linearity of violence in armed conflict by looking into nuances and politics of feminists who challenge the equation of national liberation as state-building, and simultaneously argue for more just and inclusive forms of organizing for the Saharawi community. This research looks at Saharawi feminist politics and visions for the future that are vigilantly articulated from within militarized institutions and protracted armed conflict.

Latest Publication

8,331 - is the astonishing number of officially registered civil society organisations in the small state of Lebanon. From HIV prevention over democracy building to environmental protection, almost no topic remains unaddressed. However, from a closer look, the impact yielded by these groups in the compact state in the Middle East often remains somewhat restricted. On the example of gender equality – a topic fervently debated in Lebanon – this paper analyses the internal and external reasons behind this surprising discrepancy and stipulate thought about how to make the Lebanese civil society work more effectively.

Statehood & Participation

'Jinsiyati' Campaign

On the day they removed her name completely from my official papers, my existence was transferred from her “guardianship” to the “guardianship” of my employer, whose name is on my residence card. Struck with fierce bitterness and sadness, I felt as though I had been shattered, like our house. My mother said to me: “It is as though I didn’t give birth to you, or as if I am not Lebanese. It is as though I mean nothing at all.”


Looking at Aliaa Elmahdy’s act of protest through posting naked photos of herself on her blog, this paper studies the debates that followed. I complicate the juxtaposing between Femen’s tactics and Elmahdy’s act of nudity through engaging in questions of feminism/colonialism and feminism/conservatism. By examining articles that were written about Femen, nudity, Muslim women, and body politics, I show that the debates ran the risk of stabilizing feminism within static dogmatic beliefs.



Environmental Justice

Demonstration in Garzweiler - August 2015

Finding an answer to the question of how to deal with global climate change is no easy feat and the issue has been setting challenges for international politics for decades. A scientific advisory body was established in Germany, with the aim to support the German government in the field of climate politics. The so-called WBGU, the German Advisory Council on Global Change, analyses climate change and its consequences in its role as an independent institution and compiles action plans for political decision-makers.

In 2014, the WBGU published a report on ‘Climate Protection as a World Citizen Movement’ on behalf of the German federal government departments. In its report, the advisory board clarifies that climate change is occurring and that the human population plays an important role in it. The WBGU presents suggestions for the climate conference in Paris and lays particular emphasis on the shared responsibility of protagonists at all levels. It is time for global civil society to take on more responsibility, according to the report. Yet that is not the solution.


Lebanon ranks low on the list of world corruption. Its environment is degrading fast. Is there a link between the two? Many, experts say.


Conflict & International Politics

Mustafa hasn't been to school for four years now, Lebanon.

Lebanon has accepted more people in need per capita than all other states neighbouring Syria but never having acceded to the UN convention does not recognise them as refugees.

Refugee camp in Aleppo, December 2013

Many internally displaced people within Syria are being prevented from fleeing conflict zones due to fears over sleeper cells


Culture & Dialogue

Still from "Shelter" by Tamara Qiblawi

"Shelter" is a Beirut-based project that integrates a documentary on Bomb Shelters with space (a former bomb shelter). An audience-powered performance in the two-room shelter blurs lines between memory and the present, between image and physical surroundings in order to unearth a people's history of Lebanon's wars.

Spring has returned. That is, SHAMS (the Cultural Cooperative Association for Youth in Theater and Cinema), Cultural Resource and partners have announced the program of the 2016 Spring Festival.

more videos

The Middle East Office of the Heinrich Böll Foundation supports the production of short and long feature films and documentaries that explore topics of immediate interest for the Lebanese, Syrian and Iraqi societies. Our key topics are ecology and sustainability, statehood and participation, conflicts and international politics, culture and dialogue.

All films supported by the foundation are available with English subtitles. They can be obtained for public and private screenings as hard copies (DVD/Blu-ray/DCP), as digital files or through streaming access.

For More information, Visit our You Tube Channel

Contact us: info@lb.boell.org

COP 21 - Dossier

The 21st session of the Conference of the Parties of United Nation Framework Convention on Climate Change is taking place from 30 November to 11 December 2015 in Paris, France.  Delegates from the Heinrich Boell Stiftung Offices worldwide and their partners are represented in the CoP 21. The Heinrich Boell Stiftung, MENA Beirut office has supported journalists from the region to travel and report on the conference from Paris.

The following web-dossier includes written and audio-visual media coverage of the Paris Climate Change Conference from delegates and journalists in English, French and Arabic.

New Office

Heinrich Boell Stiftung - Middle East office moved to a new location, to contact us, please call:

Guidelines For Contributors

Heinrich Boll Foundation Middle East Office welcomes articles to be published on its website www.lb.boell.org. We consider unsolicited original submissions on arts, culture, politics, social and environmental affairs in Lebanon, Syria and Iraq or addressing issues related to the Arab World. Articles should be rigorous written in language accessible to the educated general reader interested in the region. Queries should be directed to info@lb.boell.org

There needs to be a clear concept for the article, pointing out the question the article tries to answer. Articles need to be in line with hbs values and publication ethics. more


Heinrich Boll Middle East and North Africa Office, Beirut does not offer scholarships. Please send your applications to the HBS foundation website

All rights reserved.

Perspectives - Political Analysis and Commentary from the Middle East is a publication series of the Heinrich Böll Stiftung’s offices in Beirut and Ramallah that seeks to provide a platform for presenting analysis and viewpoints of experts from the region.

The fight against corruption in the MENA region has gone through several ups and downs. Prevention, awareness and purification campaigns aiming to eradicate endemic or systemic corruption have had very little impact. The political will and the good intentions formulated in speeches and conferences during the democratic transitions referred to as the “Arab Spring” have hardly born results.

Who tolerates whom? Who is "we" and who are "the others"? How private or public can/must love be lived? A Cinematic Intervention by director Angelina Maccarone and writer Carolin Emcke on equal rights for LGBTI.