Lebanon, Reform

Citizen Zero

iimonthlyAs things have been too slow in Lebanon to warrant serious commentary and too depressing to warrant satire, I’d like to direct your attention to one of the best publications on Lebanese affairs, The Monthly. It’s published in English and Arabic by Information International, a research and consultancy firm based in Beirut and headed by Mr. Jawad Adra, one of Lebanon’s leading pollsters (and the one whose election predictions were closest, out of the big four).

This magazine is unique because it examines major political, economic, and social issues from a quantitative perspective: crack open a copy and you’ll be amazed at the data that is marshaled in the service of thoughtful analysis and commentary, from opinion surveys to consumer price and real estate indexes. There is nothing quite like it.

I highly recommend those of you in Beirut to pick up this month’s issue at your local bookstore. For readers abroad, you can subscribe to the electronic or print edition on the magazine’s website (link is above), and I encourage university-based readers to get their libraries to subscribe as well.

PS: Be sure to also check out their publications and reports which contain valuable historical data made available in convenient formats. And their blog, Lebanon Issues, is here.

Some notable links:

  • Here is `Uqab Saqr doing battle with Joseph Abu Fadel on the superb al-Jazeera talk show, “al-Ittijaah al-Mu`aakis” (h/t Nathan Field)
  • Here is an exclusive report from as-Safir on the minutes of last week’s Hariri-Aoun meeting. I was rather stunned at the progressive nature of Hariri’s questions — he asked Aoun for his opinion on how to dismantle political sectarianism, on whether we should establish a senate, on electoral matters, and other things. Aoun’s answers were a little disappointing. (h/t Nick Noe)

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One thought on “Citizen Zero

  1. Well clearly MPs salary is not linked to productivity.

    I’m quite intrigued with the magazine – I think I might just subscribe. Thanks for the tip.

    Posted by Jad Aoun | September 29, 2009, 12:50 pm

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