The Syrian Revolution 2011

Syria's five year war has cost up to 470,000 lives. Many survivors are plagued with guilt that their revolution has led to so much pain, says Haid Haid.

Latest Publication

The civil society movement during the garbage crisis in Beirut after July 2015.

When garbage started to pile up in the streets of Beirut in summer 2015, a new wave of civil society protests was initiated in the country. Thousands of Lebanese were protesting in the streets – against the garbage situation, corruption of the government, the failure of electing a president, sectarianism and many more issues connected to the crisis of the state and the waste management. More than half a year later, no final solution for the garbage has been found and the political situation has not changed. It is said that the civil society movement failed to put pressure on the government, but also the regime itself is made responsible for the lack of change. For many people it was hard to follow up with what was happening on the streets during the demonstrations and to understand who the protestors were and which goals they tried to achieve. This paper analyzes the dynamics of the movement and tries to explain why not much has changed so far and if there is any chance for civil society movements in Lebanon in the future.

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

Mourners at the funeral of Asem Bader Waw, a 31-year-old shot dead by a Syrian army sniper in Al Qsair. Jan. 31, 2012

It has been common to frequently come across assassination incidents in local Syrian news, which turned them into expected news. The daily killing and atrocities committed in Syria contributed to normalizing this phenomenon not only internationally but locally as well. However, the scale of these incidents and their significant impact on the local dynamics of the conflict make the assassination war in Syria stand out as an important issue that can’t be ignored.


Since February 26, a truce has largely prevailed in Syria. However, hardly any improvements to the humanitarian situation in the country can be observed to date. People continue to suffer starvation. That is part of the war strategy.


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.

Grid image Survey Questions – Civic Charter – First Draft – Open Consultation April – June 2016

It's time! As members of civil society, we must claim our space! UNTIL JUNE 3: Please go to our online survey on the Charter for Civic Participation and let us know what you think. 


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

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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.