Blog archive: Lebanon

  • 4th November 2009
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    The Lebanese Shia organisation, Hizbullah, is on its highest possible state of alert, according to The National. Besides confirmation of this from an unnamed Hizbullah military commander, the paper notes signs of unusually strict security measures on the ground. “In 20 years, I have...
  • 28th October 2009
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    The Daily Star (Beirut) notes that the latest report on religious freedom from the US State Department says Lebanon's political system – which distributes power according to religious affiliation – "may be viewed as inherently discriminatory". In fact, there's no "may" about it...
  • 9th October 2009
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    The Saudi king's two-day "reconciliation" visit to Syria has prompted speculation about what it will mean for Lebanon, where wrangling over the formation of a new government continues, four months after the parliamentary election. Saudi Arabia backs Saad Hariri's March 14...
  • 1st October 2009
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    Almost four months after the Lebanese election, bickering continues over the formation of a new government. Elias Muhanna, of the Qifa Nabki blog, has written a challenging article for The National which raises fundamental questions about the Lebanese political system. He writes...
  • 4th September 2009
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    After going off-line for several hours yesterday "for maintenance", the Menassat website is back – but without the announcement of staff sackings posted by earlier by "Robin Hood". There's one new article on the front page, about the presidential succession in Egypt. A...
  • 3rd September 2009
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    A strange announcement has appeared on the Beirut-based Menassat website under the by-line “Robin Hood of Arabia”. It seems that all nine editorial staff were sacked at less than 24 hours’ notice, pending the site’s closure. Menassat was set up to promote free speech and improve the...
  • 3rd September 2009
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    The case of a Lebanese financier who went bankrupt after investing hundreds of millions of other people’s money is sending shockwaves through Hizbullah and Lebanon’s Shia community. Salah Ezzedine is thought to have lost more than $1 billion – which  is affecting “thousands of...
  • 25th August 2009
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    It's looking as if Lebanon will not have a new government until late next month – after the end of Ramadan. Ms Tee, blogging at B-side Beirut, outlines three current theories about the reasons for the delay: 1. Michel Aoun is making impossible demands 2. Saudi Arabia and Syria (the...
  • 18th August 2009
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    More than two months after the Lebanese election, the saga of trying to form a government continues. In the latest twist, ex-general Michel Aoun is insisting on the re-appointment of his son-in-law, Jibran Bassil, as minister of telecommunications. Bassil failed to win a seat in the...
  • 14th August 2009
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    A survey by Human Rights Watch in Lebanon has found that 17 out of 27 beach clubs enforce some kind of restriction on migrants, the BBC reports. The ban is aimed at keeping out the domestic workers from Sri Lanka, the Philippines, etc, who are employed by many Lebanese families. The BBC...
  • 7th August 2009
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    King Abdullah is still having difficulty with his cabinet appointments in Lebanon. He is discussing the problem with his prime minister designate, Saad Hariri. The Daily Star has more details. Posted by Brian Whitaker, 7 August 2009
  • 21st July 2009
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    I was taken to task by a friend the other day for mentioning the “murder” of Yasser Arafat in the same breath as conspiracy theories about the death of Princess Diana and the Kennedy assassination. The idea that Arafat was murdered is far more plausible, my friend said. The murder...

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