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Lebanon

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Of FreeCell and Phone Chargers: A Lebanese Parable

Lebanese politics often resembles a game of FreeCell to me. Or, for the millennials among us: 2048, which I often catch my students playing on their phones before class begins. For long stretches, the board is locked down. There is an occasional opening, a small shift in the grid, but it comes to nothing. Hardly anything moves for several rounds … Continue reading

Report on Syrian Students in Lebanon

There’s a report out about the situation of Syrian students in Lebanon, authored by a specialist team of researchers affiliated with the University of California at Davis, the Carnegie Corporation, and the Institute of International Education. I know a couple of the authors very well and vouch strongly for their knowledge of the region’s politics, societies, and … Continue reading

The Lebanese Presidency, Twenty-Five Years after Ta’if

Lebanon failed to elect a president this week, but the failure was rather dignified by recent standards. Unlike the 2008 election — preceded by twenty months of government paralysis, public demonstrations, a parliament building locked by its Speaker, and several high-profile assassinations –  it was a relief to watch 124 parliamentarians show up at the Chamber of Deputies last Wednesday and cast their votes. Most … Continue reading

Interview with Bassam Haddad for Guernica Mag

A couple of months ago, I caught up with my friend Bassam Haddad, Director of Middle East Studies at George Mason and a co-founder and editor of Jadaliyya, and interviewed him for Guernica Magazine. The introduction is below, followed by a link to the main body of the piece. Also, here’s a crowdsourcing challenge to the Lebanese expatriate readers: I’m … Continue reading

Masters and Disciples

I’ve written something about the cabinet formation for The New Yorker’s News Desk blog. First graf is below, with a jump to the full piece. Come on back here to comment. ** Lebanon’s War in Syria The birth of a new government in Lebanon is often greeted with ironic festivity. People pass around trays of baklava … Continue reading

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