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Elections

This category contains 111 posts

Aoun and the Future

A couple of years ago, shortly before the end of President Michel Sleiman’s term in office, I wrote an essay asking why Lebanon needed a President, given the relative powerlessness of the position. Here’s the payoff paragraph: Twenty-five years after Ta’if inaugurated Lebanon’s Second Republic and nearly nine years after the Syrian departure gave us a new, mysterious set … Continue reading

Dissolving Parliament is the Key to Lebanon’s Trash Crisis (and Everything Else)

In about an hour, downtown Beirut will be filled with angry protesters and jittery security forces. The “You Stink” demonstrations have grown in numbers, defiance, and ambition. In Lebanon, just like anyplace else, nothing succeeds like success. No longer content with a hasty fix to the trash collection crisis or even the proposed resignation of the Minister of the Environment, the … Continue reading

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

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

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