While I was in Beirut last week, I stopped by the final lecture of The Beirut Exchange (a two-week program organized by Mideastwire twice a year, in which college and masters students get to meet various political bigwigs and study Arabic).
If you’re at all interested in Middle East politics, and Lebanon in particular, I’d consider checking this out. This year’s program included sit-downs with President Suleiman, Michel Aoun, Walid Jumblatt, Nawwaf Mousawi, Hassan Fadlallah, Nicholas Blanford, Paul Salem, Rami Khoury, and many other luminaries of the Beirut political scene. Nick Noe, who runs the program, tells me that they’re also considering setting up a separate branch in Syria in the near future, and perhaps farther afield as well.
Here’s a story about the program in as-Safir and here’s the advertisement for the June program (pdf).
I sure hope that the exchanges that the program arranges are more cogent than the gibberish statements that have been issued by all sides in response to the loss of the Ethiopian Airlines.
Fadllallah, who is one of our most learned declared:” the Lebanese presented in this crisis a civilized model through their compassion, unity and interaction as a people who deserve life”. What gibberish, what nonsense. Let the world know that we deserve life since a commercial airliner was lost in our territorial waters!!!
Do yourself a favour and skip over all news items related to statements by Lebanese officials in regard to this tragedy.