Archive: lebanon

13th May 2020
Considering Lebanon's political and economic chaos its efforts to control the spread of Covid-19 infections have been surprisingly effective. Eleven weeks after the virus first arrived in the country there have been only 870 confirmed cases among a population of almost seven million. Lebanon had… Read more
10th January 2017
By: Brian Whitaker
 On a recent trip to Beirut I came across a stack of magazines that – judging by their cover photos – looked suspiciously like Arabic porn. Unambiguously titled "al-Jins" (Arabic for "sex") they were displayed on a newspaper stall in Hamra Street, for sale secondhand. Their less-than-pristine… Read more
19th December 2016
By: Brian Whitaker
After a delay of more than two years Lebanon finally has a new government and, for the first time, it includes a minister for women's affairs. He – yes, he – is Jean Oghassabian, a 62-year-old Armenian who has held posts in several previous governments. Reuters notes that the new… Read more
8th August 2016
By: Brian Whitaker
Saudi Arabia's second-largest construction firm is likely to declare itself bankrupt, the Saudi Gazette reported today. For several months now, Saudi Oger, the debt-ridden company headed by Lebanese politician Saad Hariri, has failed to pay tens of thousands of its workers – many of them expatriate… Read more
2nd August 2016
By: Brian Whitaker
Thousands of Indian workers are trapped in Saudi Arabia, unable to leave the country and with no means to support themselves after their employer stopped paying them. At the weekend Indian embassy officials began organising emergency food aid following reports that several hundred workers had not… Read more
29th November 2015
By: Brian Whitaker
Carole Samaha returns to GNRD Lebanese singer backs mysterious rights organisation    Following the birth of her baby daughter in August, Lebanese singer/actress Carole Samaha has announced that she will be resuming "professional activities" in December and returning to the Global… Read more
24th August 2015
By: Brian Whitaker
   There were echoes of the 2011 Arab uprisings at the weekend when thousands of Lebanese protesters swarmed into downtown Beirut. They were protesting – ostensibly – against piles of uncollected rubbish causing a stench in the streets, though chants of "Thawra! Thawra!" (Revolution! Revolution!)… Read more
29th October 2014
By: Brian Whitaker
I have been puzzling over the latest Global Gender Gap report from the World Economic Forum (the organisation behind the annual Davos gathering). As might be expected, Arab states are all in the bottom third of the 142 countries surveyed, with Yemen at the very bottom: 113 Kuwait  115 United Arab… Read more
21st August 2013
By: Brian Whitaker
Sharmine Narwani appearing on Press TV   Sharmine Narwani, the chronically muddled commentator for al-Akhbar newspaper in Lebanon, claims to have uncovered yet another western conspiracy. This time it's a western media plot to label Hizbullah's stronghold in southern Beirut as ... er, a Hizbullah… Read more
27th June 2013
By: Brian Whitaker
A report issued by Human Rights Watch this week looks at abuse, torture and ill-treatment of people from marginalised social groups by the Lebanese Internal Security Forces. It is based on more than 50 interviews with people arrested for suspected drug use, sex work, or homosexuality over the past… Read more