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Lebanon

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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

Lebanon’s New Government (Feb 15, 2014)

After nearly eleven months (329 days to be exact), Lebanon has a new government. Some thoughts are forthcoming about why the process took so long, what happened to facilitate it, and what this suggests about a shifting regional picture on the situation in Syria, but in the meantime, here are some quick observations: There are … Continue reading

Lebanon Spent Nearly Two of Last Four and a Half Years Without a Government

There has been some movement in recent days on the cabinet formation stalemate. Saad Hariri agreed to join a national unity government with Hizbullah, a welcome development after months of deadlock. How many months precisely? Nearly ten. Tammam Salam was appointed PM-designate on April 6, 2013. As you will recall, Lebanon’s previous premier Najib Mikati … Continue reading

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