Ever since the outbreak of the Syrian ‘civil war’ in the aftermath of the Arab Uprising 2011, Lebanon has become the number one host country for Syrian refugees. With a population of only six million people, Lebanon has been hosting around 1.5 million Syrians. While in the first years there was still a limited sort of solidarity with fleeing people, this has been decreasing due to the longevity of the war in Lebanon’s neighbor country and the severe domestic economic crisis that Lebanon is going through since 2019.
This report provides a situation analysis of women in Lebanon. Overall, it examines gender, feminism, sexuality, queer, and human rights conditions and challenges. The reading takes place in the context of Lebanon’s severe economic collapse, especially after the Beirut Port Blast and the lockdowns imposed during the pandemic over the past two years.
What does it mean to live in Lebanon without Lebanese citizenship even though your mother is Lebanese? Benita Kawalla pursues this question in her paper “People like me, they have to bypass- Lebanese young adults without citizenship”: The paper examines the situation of young adults, children of binational parents in which the Lebanese mother cannot transmit them her nationality because of the restrictive Lebanese nationality law. Using the concept of performative and affective citizenship, she claims that these young adults perform their Lebanese citizenship by political and social activism for a more inclusive citizenship law, by finding coping strategies to exercise basic human rights and by feeling Lebanese and stating their right to be legally Lebanese.
The Lebanese Association for Democratic Elections -LADE and as part of its mission towards observing and monitoring the electoral process, spotted numerous indications of a critical political path that affects the electoral process.
Our Partner kohl is finally happy to announce the publication of their latest issue, Counter Archives, encompassing the works of more than 35 writers, researchers and illustrators.
This issue started as “A Revolutionary Archive of 2020,” and acquired a life of its own. It took the shapes and contours of the writing circle Kohl called for in early 2021. The circle met virtually for eight Saturdays. Tearing through the realisms of lockdown, migration, COVID-19, and occupation, they created an oasis for them to grieve, breathe, be in solidarity with each other, and do community differently.
The 7th edition' booklet of abstracts of the Research Program To Strengthen the Culture of Knowledge, which was launched with the support of Heinrich Boell Middle East, Beirut and Mimmeta Organisation.
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.
Lebanon, with very little legislation regarding privacy rights to begin with, has not yet introduced legislation regarding the protection of personal data. What are the reasons for this circumstances and what barriers do they face in putting the issue of data protection and privacy rights on the public agenda? A paper by Katharina Schmidt.
Politics are brimming with metaphoric references to games – be it the famous “Great Game” as the diplomatic confrontation of great powers in Asia at the beginning of the 20th century was referred to, the understanding of strategic moves in a region as a “chess board,” war “theatres” or references to the “players,” the strong of them framed as “actors,” the weak as “pawns”, or the crazy ones behaving like “wild cards.”
On the 6th of May 2018 the Lebanese are voting for their parliament for the first time in 9 years. Elections, supposed to be held in 2013 but postponed repeatedly for security concerns, are held under a new electoral law. There is a huge discontentment with the political system and a high level of political apathy. The garbage crisis of 2015 and the municipal elections of 2016 showed that a huge segment of society does not feel adequately represented by the established political parties. This representation issue has a lot to do with the inherent corruption of the ruling political class and their failure to provide basic public services. Due to the discontent, the 2018 election saw an increase in candidates who do not come from the traditional sectarian parties. These civil society groups, who have their roots in previous protests, try to create a new political discourse around secularism, citizenship and pro-human rights. This paper examines the emergence of the these groups.
In Lebanon, a rapist could avoid criminal prosecution by marrying their victim. That was until August 16th 2017 when the Lebanese Parliament voted on the abolishment of Article 522. Thereby, Lebanon joins a number of other Arab states. Given that marital rape and underage marriage remain legal, it is a benign step towards the protection of women’s rights only, but a primer.
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
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.
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.
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. 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.
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.
A powerful and undeniable cliché: that Lebanon is a sectarian country, a country of sects. There is no need to set out to prove this. Sectarianism is viewed as a bane and plague, and thus this “bane” becomes the basis of all ills, a plague from which all plagues spring. The existence of classes is often denied because they do not conform to a particular definition of class. In this new study, Professor Fawwaz Traboulsi has investigated more throughly social classes in Lebanon.
In July 2011, hbs and partners held a conference in Beirut on contemporary thought in social sciences in the Arab world, titled “Social Sciences in Arab Countries Facing a Multi-Versalism: Pathways, Challenges and Constraints”. The cooperation World SSH Net , Lebanese Sociology Association, American University of Beirut -(Lebanese Sociology Association), Institut de Recherche pour le développement – France, rendered a number of excellent contributions. With support of hbs, these were edited and translated and now for the first time can be found in a published version. This book, published by Ibidem Verlag, discusses examples of spatially constructed knowledges and the struggles these knowledges encounter as they seek to meet one another and escape from the mind prison of their spatial contexts. Or does the world social science arena after all only prove that the ‘Western’ dogma of contextualizing social thought is a dead end road for social thought – everywhere?
Political systems are always under scrutiny: How well do they serve their purpose? Especially the youth in Lebanon is exploring alternatives, among them "Take Back the Parliament." Researcher Mouna Maaroufi interviewed some of the movement's members to learn more about their ambitions, accomplishments and frustrations.
Popular uprisings and revolts across the Arab Middle East have often resulted in a democratic void in power. The book edited by Heinrich boell foundation examines how societies in Egypt, Yemen, Syria, Bahrain, Iraq and Lebanon seeks to fill that void, regardless of whether the regime falls or survives.
Over the past 15 years, the Arab World has witnessed the rapid development of its news media, raising standards of reporting as well as expectations. With the outbreak of what has become known as the "Arab Spring," the media landscape is again in a heightened state of flux. How far the Arab media have been, and will be, able to contribute to social and political change?
Narrating Beirut from its Borderlines is a collection of four small research studies that examine a number of the physical and immaterial borderlines that have come to define the contemporary geography of Beirut and its peripheries since 2005.
The Heinrich Böll Foundation presents some of its experiences -- both setbacks and successes -- in the promotion of gender democracy. It is just a small sample of HBS' work all over the world. HBS is very much aware that its political and financial contributions are often only part of a larger network; yet its work does make a difference – for more gender justice.
This study aims to provide a comprehensive assessment of censorship in Lebanon which will hopefully allow the many local artistic and cultural actors the opportunity to lobby for the most appropriate legislative amendments to the current censorship regulations which are currently not conducive to their work.
What does the political participation of women look like within the immense diversity of the Arabic world? This edition of the Heinrich Boell Foundation’s series on Democracy analyzes the historical and current developments of gender relationships, and the role of women in the politics of Egypt, Morocco, the United Arab Emirates, and Kuwait.
From Baghdad, to Istanbul, to Dhaka, violence and grief are devastating. Every location, every city we have lived in, or walked through, or dreamed of, or even never known or heard of seems to be crumbling under the weight of centuries of inequalities and occupations and homegrown oppressions. As new geographies start to emerge, our atlas of the world is shaken by horrid images, to which we become a bit more immune every day. Despite my discomfort with universalizing frameworks, I cannot but recognize that violence, bombings, police brutality, crackdowns, shootings, incarceration, torture, and wars are pervasive, no matter where we go. And we live with the overpowering realization that no place is safe for non-white, working class bodies.“Beyond Victims and Savages: The Complexities of Violence, Resistance, and Pleasure” could not be more timely.
Homosexuality is a subject that induced the persecution of a lot of individuals and the shed of their blood.
The situation in Lebanon is not as dangerous as in other countries in the Arab world for those individuals whose sexual orientation does not comply with that of the majority, but it is not less serious. Threats of death, humiliations, blackmails, attacks, marginalization, discriminations, rejections, depressions, suicide attempts, shame, guilt, emotional life ruined, isolation, are in great majority the load of the openly or clandestinely homosexual persons living in homophobic societies.
Refugees_Partners Project publishes a report titled: "Access to legal stay and labor For Syrians in Lebanon: Status and prospects". This report examines Syrian refugees’ access to legal status in Lebanon, i.e. residency, legal documentation, and work permits. Accordingly, the research investigates the legal and policy frameworks governing the livelihood of Syrians in Lebanon by examining the different legislations and regulations governing Syrians’ stay in Lebanon and access to labor opportunities and also examining the published reports and articles written by scholars or active organizations. This report scrutinizes the policy responses that relate to Syrian refugees’ status in Lebanon, focusing on the livelihood sector as implemented by UN actors the international and national NGOs.
The Syrian Regime continues to be an essential and powerful factor in the weakening of women's role and the denial of their rights. Over the past decades it has contributed to promotion of gender description and the patriarchal system through its constant practices, its commitment to deny the woman the right to grant their nationality and lineage to their children, and its policy of depriving Syrian Kurds and Syrian women of their Syrian nationality to become foreigners and strangers in their own lands.
This study address the problem of Statelessness in Syria that is caused by multiple factors
Daniel Meier and Hussein Baydoun, respectively political scientist and photojournalist, explored various borderland regions in the North, East and South of Lebanon. They met a large number of residents from different social origins, age, gender, sects and nationalities. Each of them explained how a border is not a simple phenomenon like a “line of sovereignty” but rather an entity that has an impact on those living nearby.
Whenever war breaks out, no matter where, it casts its shadow over many aspects of human existence.
Only naturally, this manifests itself in the changes experienced in the lives of civilians, particularly in the
case of a bloody conflict in which the most basic humanitarian principles are disregarded and where there is
no serious international will to contain and limit severe loss of life.
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.
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.
Where is "home" for the permanently displaced? Haid N Haid, Syrian Columnists and Chatham House Fellow, presents the findings of his study on how (and where) citizens of Daraya see their future in light of the mounting pressure Syrian refugees are facing to return home with no clear plans to ensure the security or protection of returnees or any guarantees to ensure their right to return to their own properties.
Put ‘Minorities in the Middle East’ into any search engine and a huge volume of articles are displayed insinuating that ethnic, tribal, family and sectarian affiliations are the only relevant factors needed to aid an understanding of the politics and societies of the Maghreb and Mashreq. Be it the often praised ‘mosaic’ of multi-ethnic and multi-religious societies, or the explanation and anticipation of actual and potential conflicts in the Middle East, that are shaped by ethnic, tribal or confessional affiliations, the reading has a flavour of exoticism and orientalism. So for this issue of Perspectives, we decided to ask authors in a broader sense about minority-majority relationships that can, but do not necessarily have to, tackle ethnic or confessional subjects.
This paper draws on primary data collected from 15 semi-structured interviews with Syrian organisations and practitioners working on transitional justice. The interviews were conducted by the author via online communication (calls over Skype or WhatsApp) between March and June 2017. The interviewees were selected based on the relevance, access and availability of Syrian activists working on this topic. It is not clear how representative the views expressed here are, but the high level of agreement among interviewees on the subjects discussed suggests that the issues highlighted here merit additional attention from local and international actors working on this topic in Syria.
This year marks 50 years of occupation – a significant period, not only for Palestinians living inside historical Palestine, but indeed first and foremost for them. It means an accumulation of 50 years of dispossession, displacement and oppression, 50 years under threat of being evicted, of losing their fields, springs, orchards and homes. 50 years without political and civil rights, without a future for themselves and their offspring. 50 years of despair and shattered hopes.
The Heinrich Boell Foundation and the 10/11 collective are happy to present to you two book publications by Syrian contemporary authors:
“Abu Jurgen, the German Ambassador and I”, a grotesque episodic novel - with magical powers* - by Assaf Alassaf, and “The invention of German”, a surreal and funny collection of short stories by Rasha Abbas
When women in the Middle East make the headlines, it is usually as victims. Disturbing stories of the so called 'Islamic State' (ISIS) kidnapping and raping tens of thousands of women are sadly often the ones which stick in the Western memory. But there is more to women's political lives in the region than their victimisation and oppression. We decided to look to the future, present and past in this issue, in order to present an alternative narrative which challenges these representations of women.
When ISIS announced the establishment of the so-called ‘Islamic State’ it fuelled discussions as to whether this would herald the ‘end of Sykes-Picot’ – borders artificially drawn by the colonial powers at the beginning of the twentieth century. But borders are more than ‘lines in the sand’: they divide. While the privileged few may cross legitimately by simply presenting their passport, for most, these borders present difficult if not insurmountable hurdles. People fleeing from war, climate change or economic hardship, attempt to cross the Mediterranean but many drown trying.
The dilemma faced by the EU in its search for an effective policy with Lebanon
The European Union is compelled to define its role in Lebanon anew and needs to disperse tensions within the European Neighbourhood Policy (ENP). Is the policy’s focal point to be shared values or stability? Active policy development or non-interference? Perspectives unearthed through fieldwork in Lebanon.
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!
In post-war periods and in the aftermath of serious, systematic human rights violations, gender-based forms of violence are usually forgotten during the processing of the past and reconciliation phase. This study details these problems and presents the resulting challenges facing politicians and society.
Conclusions and Policy Recommendations based on the Böll Lunch Debate ‘The Situation of Syrian Refugees in the Neighbouring Countries: What Role Should the European Union Play?’ organised by Heinrich-Böll-Stiftung European Union in cooperation with IKV Pax Christi on 27 November 2013.
"Dear Lebanon" a Heinrich Boell supported documentary film offering a teenage perspective of bombings, religion and politics in Lebanon. the film is writen and directed by Raphael Schanz and the teenager’s team: Gassia Shadarevian, Ghida Ladkani, Majd Gharzeddine, Marwan Sakr, Mohamad Bsat, Navia Ghawi, Naye Idriss and Omar EI-Salhan.
Issue #5 of Perspectives provides space for on-the-ground analysis by Palestinian writers, thinkers and politicians of very different backgrounds in order to explore the Oslo Accords 20 years after their signing from a Palestinian perspective. Perspectives is a quarterly journal dedicated to highlighting research and debate from authors who mostly live and work in the region. It is jointly edited and published by the three HBS offices located in Tunis, Beirut and Ramallah.
This publication addresses one issue that is inextricably linked to establishing sustainable peace: transitional justice. A stable and sustainable peace in Syria, governed by the rule of law, requires a comprehensive justice and accountability process to defeat the culture of impunity that has allowed violations to go unchallenged for decades. This publication is the result of a cooperation between Dawlaty and No Peace Without Justice. It has been produced in part with the financial assistance of the German Federal Foreign Office (AA) and the Heinrich Böll Stiftung (hbs) MENA- Beirut. The book is also available in Arabic at dawlaty.org.
Writing revolution, a book published by hbs Beirut and I.B.Tauris, is a collection of some of the best new writing born out of the Arab Spring Translated mostly from the Arabic, it has been awarded a 2013 Prize from English PEN for Outstanding Writing in Translation and was launched on May 29th at the Mosaic Room London.
It is almost a year ago that Syrian citizens, inspired by the revolutions in Tunisia and Egypt, courageously took to the streets in protest against the decades-long denial of their basic rights by the Assad regime.
The self-immolation of young and jobless Tunisian Mohamed Bouazizi in the provincial town of Sidi Bouzid, being deprived of his vegetable stand and humiliated by the authorities, triggered popular movements and historic events in the Arab World completely unexpected in their magnitude…
One of the most important focal points of overlapping and competing interests of both established and emerging powers is the Middle East. This region is an arena where the new rules of the game are being developed and acted out. This publication attempts looking at the effects of the global shift of power on the Middle East to explore the perspectives of the region to become a partner in an emerging multi-polar system, rather than a stomping ground or even a battlefield for the interest and the prestige of others.
With contributions by Azmi Bishara, Parag Khanna, Hermann Schwengel, Vitaly Naumkin, Ibrahim Saif, Yasmeen Tabaa, Sven Behrendt, Mingjiang LI, Praful Bidwai, Ziad Abdel Samad, and Kinda Mohamadieh.
As the six-year transitional period defined in the Comprehensive Peace Agreement draws to a close, Sudan is sliding into another crisis. The Heinrich Böll Foundation, which has been working both with civil society partners in Sudan and on Sudan-related issues in the German context for several years, has put together this publication in order to reflect on such scenarios.
With contributions by Alex de Waal, Atta El-Battahani, Marina Peter, John Yoh, Roland Marchal, and Peter Schumann.
From 1975 to 1990, different factions in Lebanon’s civil conflict flooded the streets with posters to mobilize their constituencies, undermine their enemies, and create public sympathy for their cause. This is how the military performance on the front lines and on demarcation lines was in junction with another kind of conflict rotating around the image and words and the symbolic claiming of territory and land.
No history of the Lebanese civil war can ever be complete if it fails to explain why ordinary Lebanese chose to fight and how they perceive the actions they took during the war. With that in mind, this work has attempted to identify and elucidate some of the many factors that compelled Lebanese to enter the fray.
This research paper employs a systems analysis to explore how solid waste mismanagement has been an intentional political decision-making process tailored to nurture and protect dysfunctionality through elite capture and clientelism. The hypothesis will be presented using a Causal Loop Diagram (CLD) which will then be analyzed and validated via case studies involving the municipalities of Beit Mery, Dhour Choueir, and Brih.
This paper published with the cooperation of Arab Reform Initiative
A paper by Cynthia Kreidy, Policy Analyst, Millennium Institute
This paper tackles the evolution and role of civil society actors and advocacy campaigns concerning Solid Waste Management since the 2015 waste crisis. It addresses the organization, advocacy strategies, tools, challenges, adopted roadmaps, and lessons learned from these movements and coalitions, using a comparative analysis between the Harak movement that emerged during the 2015 waste crisis and the Waste Management Coalition that formed in 2017 in the face of persistent waste mismanagement and the government plans to adopt waste incineration.
In 2020, 768 million people suffered from hunger and undernourishment. That is almost 10 percent of the global population. The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations expects these numbers to rise further as a result of the economic crisis triggered by covid-19, extreme weather events, and conflicts.
Plastic is ubiquitous: we use it for life-saving medical devices, clothing, toys and cosmetics; we use it in agriculture and industry. But we also know the growing risk of plastic waste in the environment, landfills and the oceans.
Lebanese residents are no longer able to ignore the waste around them. Sociologist John Scanlan has observed that below the ordered and familiar topography of the city exists a “shadow counterpart” which we rarely think about. This unwelcome shadow “resists our attempts to disconnect from it.” The garbage crisis of 2015 exposed this jarring disconnect between the two topographies and along with it, the failure of politicians to provide basic utilities including waste collection and treatment.
This publication is a civil society response to the challenge of limiting global warming to 1.5°C while also paving the way for climate justice. It brings together the knowledge and experience of a range of international groups, networks and organisations the Heinrich Böll Foundation has worked with over the past years.
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.
Countless combinations of tastes and textures shape the rich culinary landscape of the region. Bridging cultural differences and political rifts, food is a common thread for many in the Arabic speaking world. It is an essential part of a nation’s identity and sophisticated recipes are almost an issue of national pride: although most mouth-watering dishes are often the result of a long history of international migration of ingredients.
Without the ocean there would be no life on our planet. But the future of this unique ecosystem faces a grave threat today. The Ocean Atlas 2017 delivers with its 18 contributions and 50 graphics the relevant facts and figures about the ocean.
Public space is essential for urban life - it enables people from all social strata and backgrounds to meet, enjoy the space together, and form a harmonious identity. Yet, Beirut is notorious for its lack of such spaces.
Before the civil war, Horsh Beirut, was the only sizeable park of the city, and a place for gatherings, festivals, and traditions. However, in 1982 an Israeli raid destroyed most of it, decimating the number of trees. So following the end of the war, the Municipality of Beirut signed a partnership agreement with the Regional Council of Ile-de-France to rehabilitate the park with the initial plan of reopening it to the public in 1995. This date was then pushed back to 2002 in order to allow the newly planted pine trees to grow bigger1. However, the year 2002 came and yet the gates to the park remained shut to the public, and became only accessible to those who request a special permit from the Municipality. In practice, the vast majority of Beirut residents had become deprived of their right to enjoy the place, under the pretext that the municipality is inadequately equipped to manage it. This led NAHNOO, a youth non-governmental organization, to spearhead the “Horsh Beirut for All” advocacy campaign to challenge the situation in late 2010 which led to its reopening to the public 5 years later, in 2015.
The Middle Eastern and Northern African (MENA) region, faced with tumultuous changes in the last five years, shows a picture of shrinking spaces for civil society activism. In contrast, ecological activism is growing and connecting the fight for climate justice to other demands for community and indigenous rights, gender equality, democracy and transparency.
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.
Through misuse, we lose 24 billion tonnes of fertile soil every year. For the International Year of Soils in 2015, this Atlas shows, why the soil should concern us all. Jointly published by the Heinrich Böll Foundation and the Institute for Advanced Sustainability Studies.
Exactly what a green economy is and should be, and with what measures and instruments it should be implemented, has not yet been defined and is the topic of intense political debate. Nevertheless, efforts are being made to develop a “Green Economy Roadmap.” Rio+20 should not simply be a repetition of previous international conferences. Instead it must offer a true breakthrough on the path to a social, just, low-carbon and resource-efficient world.
The myth of nuclear power keeps persevering. Therefore the Heinrich Böll Foundation has commissioned renowned international nuclear experts to deliver detailed facts central to the myths of nuclear energy. This overview provides the public with a current, facts rich and nuclear-critical know-how.
Bada’el is a Lebanese environmental magazine published by the Lebanese Association Ecologia. With the support of the Heinrich Boell Foundation, an issue of Badae’l on “Health, Epidemics and Climate Change” will be released in September 2010.
This book, written by a woman of the Bedouin community in the Lebanese Bekaa valley, is a compendium of some of the Bedouin tales (Sawalef) orally transmitted in the Abu Eid community. The tales are recounted in Bedouin dialect. By making public some of the oral history of that community, the books sheds light on the life of the marginalized Bedouins of Lebanon.
“At the Edge of the City” is a contemporary critique of urban governance and spatial production in Beirut. The undertaking is advocating in scope, multidisciplinary in approach, and journalistic in style. The book is an edited volume on public space in Beirut, focused on the case of Beirut’s park Horsh Al-Sanawbar, hosting the original textual and visual works of over 25 scholars, professionals, journalists, activists, and artists.
“At the Edge of the City” presents multidisciplinary, textual and visual contributions that attempt to shape an understanding of continuously evolving meanings of public space in Beirut, opening up the discussion and raising questions, and challenging the status quo, as well as the social imagination, of public space itself.
This report is the result of the EcoFair Trade Dialogue, a two-years extensive consultation and exchange process that took place across all continents. The proposals have been discussed and improved upon by a great number of representatives from farmer organizations and grass-roots initiatives, politics, the academic world, and civil society organizations. As it is high time to achieve a paradigm shift and start trade negotiations towards a General Agreement on Sustainable Trade, this report understands itself as a contribution to this aim.
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.
Comics, Hip-Hop, paintings, poems or festivals. What effect can art have on a society? How do artists interact with lebanese society and what problems do they face? Artists give insights to structures, aims and problems of the Beirut art scene.
This publication derives its title from a three-day symposium held in Beirut in April 2009, which brought together scholars, writers, filmmakers and artists to explore questions around landscapes of belonging. "Anywhere but Now" assembles diverse desires for elsewhere. It is a compilation of apart-ness, a chronicle of ruptures, violence and yearning, through time and across geographies.
The latest volume of collected articles and essays published by Bahithat (The Lebanese Association of Women Researchers) analyzes and contextualizes contemporary cultural practices and forms of entertainment applied by young people (aged 15 – 24 years) in several Arab countries and in the Diaspora.
Displacement has been an unfailing feature of recent Iraqi history. During the last thirty to forty years, substantial numbers of Iraqi civilians fled their homes compelled by war, uprisings, and government - directed policies of ethnic cleansing and systematic forced resettlement. The US-led invasion of April 2003 began under the projection of mass displacement. Aid agencies and human rights organizations warned, and governments throughout the Middle East feared, that the invasion risked triggering a massive exodus of Iraqis. This, however did not materialize immediately. It did, however in subsequent years and with great force. As the security and political climate destabilized in Iraq, the violence that ensued triggered a massive wave of displacement, both within the country and outside
Children’s literature in Lebanon nowadays is characterized by its dynamic development which shows through different traditional and contemporary narrations. Nevertheless, there are a number of factors that prevent the development of innovative children’s literature such as a lack of analytical studies, its quality, the absence of not modern issues (such as gender, conflict, environmental issues etc), and a lack of opportunities to exchange different experiences on the local, regional or international levels.
The report is a documentation of a regional conference "Freedom of Expression in Music", that was held in Beirut from 7 to 8 October 2005, in collaboration with Freemuse - World Forum on Music and Censorship and Irab-Arabic Association for Music. The report does not give a full picture of music censorship in the Middle East and North Africa. It does, however, give a picture of a region that – like many other regions of the world – experiences both traditionalist and modernist tendencies, civil and religious trends as well as struggles for self-determination and cultural diversity against cultural domination.
In engaging with the richly varied and seminal scholarship of Edward Said, Waiting for the Barbarians aims to recover the notion of culture as a collective, hybrid and plural experience, inlight of the political imperative that rules our present. In bringing together some of the figures most closely associated with Said and his scholarship, this comprehensive volume looks at Said the literary critic and public intellectual, Palestine, and Said’s intellectual legacy: the future through the lens of his work.
This book concludes an artistic research project which took place in Damascus in October 2008 and through an online platform in the months before and after. The project “Reloading Images: Damascus / Work in Progress 2008” brought together cultural practitioners from Syria, Germany, Argentina, Spain, Italy, Turkey, USA, Egypt and Slovakia to discuss forms of artistic agency and work together on artistic projects taking the city of Damascus as a starting point.