It has been nearly a decade since Lebanese citizens last had the opportunity to go to the polls and cast their votes. The current parliament had been extending its mandate on three separate occasions mainly due to several reasons starting from not agreeing on a new electoral law to the ongoing war in neighboring Syria. Finally, in summer of 2017 a proportional law was agreed on and elections finally will be held on May 6 of this year. With elections approaching we have put together this dossier that would help the voter keep track of everything they need to know about the elections.
Lebanon, often described as the Paris or Switzerland of the Middle East, and still considered safer and more stable than most Arab surrounding countries, is constantly under threat of falling apart due to its political instability and corrupt politicians. Although many Lebanese have lost their faith in their political leaders, it seems that the politicians themselves are eager to go through with the parliamentary elections. The only plausible explanation is that the politicians are confident that their supporters will eventually give them their votes, perhaps for lack of better alternatives.
Since the Lebanese "waste crisis" broke out in 2015, NGOs, private enterprises and citizens have worked in order to fill the vacuum in the provision of Solid Waste Management-related services. The intervention of the aforementioned actors often times working independently from the central government has brought about a more decentralised Solid Waste Management system. The benefits, the difficulties and the position of such a system vis à vis the Lebanese state are explored in this paper through the testimonies of individuals currently operating in the Solid Waste Management sector.
After examinig the current state of agriculture in Lebanon, this article will investigate the implications of the Lebanese food production system and will try to identify the reasons underlying this situation. Finally, the article will shed light on the emergence of a form of ‘alternative agriculture’ and will try to understand whether or not it can be a sustainable solution to assure food security in the country in the face of rapidly advancing climate change.
Islam and Feminism, those two words seem like an oxymoron to most people. But it is not to everyone. Starting in the 90's a number of Islamic feminists from different parts of the world took the stage and made their struggle for women‘s emancipation public. This paper delves into the basic concept of Islamic Feminism and attempts to portray the counter-discourse as it is forming in Lebanon. Ann-Kathrin Steger
The garbage crisis in the context of which Beirut was haunted by bad smell in the past year, is still awaiting a satisfying solution. For the time being, it is not that hot and there is an enjoyable change of air in Beirut, so it is not that obvious.
Changing a crooked system from within might seem like a desperate effort, especially when the same political actors had been in power for over 20 years facilitating corruption and clientelism. Yet, it is a task that the civil platform Beirut Madinati took upon itself when they ran in the 2016 Lebanese municipal elections for the Beirut city council. Although they were not able to win a seat due to the Lebanese winner-takes-all electoral system, their high electoral success caused a massive uproar, also among the established political parties. For this research, a series of interviews has been conducted with members of Beirut Madinati in order to assess the reasons for their success, public reactions and considerations for their further proceedings.
The Dalieh of Raouche Watch Day, organized in cooperation with the Heinrich Boell Foundation, is part of a larger project aiming at celebrating Beirut’s natural and built heritage. The project builds on activists effort by the Dalieh Campaign since 2013 to protect the Dalieh of Raouche, located on the Western coast of Beirut, as a site of exceptional ecological, geological and biodiversity value, archaeological and cultural value and the only remaining natural, publicly accessible landscape in Beirut.
With the development of the Arab Spring across the neighboring Arab nations, such as in Syria and Egypt, and with the inescapable consequences and repercussions on the Lebanese political scene, a new wave of protests against the Lebanese politicians has arisen, particularly following the government’s failure to resolve the mounting garbage crisis.
One of the most interesting aspects of these demonstrations is the involvement of numerous Lebanese artists who are using the protests as a space to address their political views. For this purpose, they use different kinds of artistic expressions, such as music, paintings, graffiti etc. in order to convey messages to a larger public and to attract a bigger number of protestors and activists.
One year ago, Heinrich Böll Stiftung’s Beirut office did a research on the European Neighbourhood Policy and its perception in Lebanon. Views from the region on the performance of the European Union are important and it is particularly beneficial to see how experts and activists on the ground perceive the impact of it and take their recommendations on what could be improved and how. Therefore this year, we conducted interviews with a number of researchers and practitioners in Lebanon on specific issues – discussing with them specific findings of the EU’s own progress report and the latest press release of December 2015.