Here are a couple of noteworthy events for political buffs in Beirut. Some of you may have seen the announcement a couple of months ago for the 2009 Emerging Leaders for Democracy Conference Series, organized by the Project on Middle East Democracy and several other institutions.
There are three conferences in all (Amman, Beirut, and Cairo), which are meant to promote dialogue between Middle Easterners and Americans/Europeans about the most important political reforms needed in each country. The Beirut conference will take place next week (October 26-28); more information is available here.
The second noteworthy event is the Beirut Exchange, which is now accepting applications for its January and June programs. If you are a student of Lebanese politics who reads this blog and dreams of rubbing elbows with Samir Geagea, Nawaf Moussawi, Ousama Safa, Paul Salem, and Nick Noe while studying Arabic and attending lectures about the dysfunction of modern-day Phoenicia, then you need to sign up for this program. Further information is available here (PDF), and you can watch Cal Perry’s CNN report on the program here.
Some reading material:
- Ben Gilbert on the politics behind the hashish crackdown in the Bekaa valley. (This is really good — read it.)
- Steve Walt on Obama’s Plan B.
- Watch out for Cthulu…