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Syrians rally in front of the US Embassy to demand American military intervention and a no fly zone to stop the killings in Syria, in Amman, Jordan
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“It must be now clear to western defence chiefs that there is only one credible fighting force on the ground capable of fighting ISIS and that is the Syrian military. The Syrians [i.e. the Syrian regime] have held all the aces up their sleeve…” Such proposals are commonplace in diplomatic circles, but what is new this time is that this view is no longer limited to Assad’s supporters and allies.

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The central question for us, therefore, is how the use of natural resources needs to be organized so as to respect the ecological limits of our world and, at the same time, strengthen human rights and democracy. In order to capture the diversity of regional perspectives on this question, we have conducted an international dialogue process entitled «Resource Equity in a Finite World» which sought to harness the knowledge and experience of young people in particular, both in our partner countries and in Germany and Europe.

Statehood & Participation

Fish waiting to be cooked in a Lebanese restaurant
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Departing completely from the norm, Abou Faour published lists of actual businesses that have persisted in producing or selling food unfit for consumption. Providing citizens with information that would allow them to avoid threats was the least that the state can do, given that its duty to protect them against such threats was a difficult task in the face of powerful vested interests.

Lebanon Parlementary Elections 2009
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When it comes to electing a President, March 14 and March 8, remain divided over a consensual candidate but both proponents and opponents are comparatively fine with reaping the benefits of renewing their parliamentary mandate. What might sound as if it was a headline from a satire magazine, for the Lebanese is a frustrating reality.

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Environmental Justice

Ferrybridge at Dawn
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Let us imagine for a moment that we could change the world according to our wishes. Dramatic economic inequality gives way to social and political inclusion. Universal human rights become a reality. We end deforestation and the destruction of arable land. Fish stocks recover. Two billion people look forward to a life without poverty, hunger, and violence.

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.

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Conflict & International Politics

Babunnur Syrian refugee camp in Aleppo
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Less refugees are crossing Syria's borders. Not because the situation is improving - but because less people have the possibility to flee. And some are determined to stay, even if it means risking their life. On internally displaced persons in Syria.

The city of Aleppo has been ruined by the civil war
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Conmemoration of a terrible incident on the shore of the Queik river: Ahtletes in Aleppo remember the dead.

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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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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.

The 20th session of the Conference of the Parties of United Nation Framework Convention on Climate Change is taking place from 1 to 12 December 2014 in Lima, Peru. Delegates from the Heinrich Boell Stiftung Offices worldwide and their partners are represented in the CoP 20. The Heinrich Boell Stiftung, MENA Beirut office has supported journalists from the region to travel and report on the conference from Lima.

The following web-dossier includes articles on the Lima Climate Change Conference from delegates and journalists in English, French and Arabic

The collection of essays in this volume aims to situate Muslim-Western encounters in the post 9/11 context. These encounters have involved processes of mutual denunciation as well as inclusion. The categories ‘Muslim’, ‘Western’ defy precise definition. As factors of time and space collapse so do these categories.

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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

Important Notice!

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

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.

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!

Within its Environmental Justice program, the Heinrich Böll Foundation, Middle East Office launched the “To Fight For” project aiming at raising awareness through an interactive website on causes of environmental degradation in the Arab World by pinpointing some randomly selected places, species and livelihoods from the region that are at risk of disappearing. In addition, this project seeks to promote environmentally sustainable practices, laws and plans that can safeguard and help us fight for these endangered species, places and livelihoods.