This brief details the history of the Syrian refugee crisis in Lebanon from 2011 to present. As economic and security conditions in Lebanon have fluctuated and weakened over the course of Syria's war, public ire and distrust in Lebanon has turned towards the over 1 million Syrian refugees who have settled there, who many Lebanese view as responsible for Lebanon's economic and political woes. This brief breaks down why the presence of Syrian refugees in Lebanon has become so politicized in both public discourse and the rhetoric of political pundits, arguing that refugees have become a scapegoat to deflect away from more severe structural issues such as sectarianism and poor governance.
To use platforms and coming out- or not to? How to balance between the desire for a presence to share experiences on the one hand and being firmly attached to their family’s values? This is a question that many LGBTIQ* people in Lebanon face.
Civil society is identified as a key partner for the European Union (EU) and receiver of financial support in the European Neighbourhood Policy, as civil society is closest to the citizen’s needs, for example in terms of human rights. However, the existing body of research questions whether such aspirations for human rights are compatible with the EU’s main priority in neighbourhood, stabilization. To investigate how this alleged contradiction affects the de facto support for pro-democratic civil society organizations, this research focuses on the question “What are the means of the European Neighbourhood Policy to support Lebanese Human Rights Organizations in their advocacy for Human Rights and Democracy in Lebanon?”Interviews with local experts show that the EU Delegation is striving to cooperate closely with civil society actors to support their human rights advocacy but is limited in their capacity to provide funding to HROs due to a shift of priorities in the newest Single Support Framework (SSF). A comparison of the SSF from before and after stabilization became the main priority, confirms this finding.
During the war in Syria, artists played a big role in keeping the fight for freedom alive via peaceful and creative means such as street art, film-making, and documentation at a time when traditional media continued painting the picture as one of hopelessness. Their work has paved the way for possibly new strategies through which they could seek justice against crimes committed by the regime.
This study focuses on the areas permanently under Kurdish control with regime presence. These areas have experienced a quite different trajectory because they have been least affected by military fighting. While the human losses and damage suffered at the hands of ISIS should not be belittled, this area has hardly experienced aerial bombardments or fighting on the ground. Kurdish actors, for a long time tightly controlled by the Syrian regime, have been able to develop governance structures in parallel to the ones set up by the regime. While none of the Kurdish parties has openly called for independence understood as separation from Syria, Kurdish actors have come up with governance structures that explore the possibilities of autonomy within a federal state. They have come up with a constitution and an institutional design, and as far as it is in the range of their possibilities, they have been working on implementing it.
This selection of quotation and thoughts translated from German to English and Arabic from his works aims to illustrate the impact and the legacy of Heinrich Böll. However, most of all they are intended to inspire thinking which, at best leads to action in line with tradition of aphorisms in the Age of Enlightenment. Our foundation is dedicated to the thoughts and actions of its namesake Heinrich Böll. His exemplary dedication spurs us on to fight for the dignity of each and every person, for their fundamental rights and to stand up for a living democracy.