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Lebanon Media Roundup (January 2016)

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[This is a roundup of news articles and other materials circulating on Lebanon and reflects a wide variety of opinions. It does not reflect the views of the Lebanon Media Roundup editors or of Jadaliyya. You may send your own recommendations for inclusion in each roundup to] Significant Legal Rulings Lebanese judge affirms trans man right to change gender “Lebanon's Court of Appeals granted a transgender man the right to rectify his legal status in civil registry after taking into account his psychological, sexual, moral and social status, a source told The Daily Star Friday [15 January].”  تغيير الجنس في حكم قضائي جديد: احترام حق الفرد في ...

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Archiving Palestine: Building a Digital Platform for Oral History - A STATUS/الوضع Conversation with Hana Sleiman

In this interview with Status/الوضع host Moe Ali Nayel, Hana Sleiman takes Status deep below the American University in Beirut building where a vast archive is housed, keeping Palestinian memory alive.  Hana Sleiman is an archivist and researcher based in Beirut, Lebanon. Her research interest lies in archive creation and appropriation in the Palestinian context. She is currently working as a Special Collections Librarian at the American University of Beirut Libraries. Her work focuses on book illustration and comic books in the Arab world, Arab intellectual history, and the Palestinian Oral History Archive. Sleiman received an MA from Columbia University's ...

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Publications: An Excerpt From the Book "A Lebanese Archive"

[Ania Dabrowska, A Lebanese Archive, Om Ashad Qara, Ashad Qara, and village children, Photo by Diab Alkarssifi, Slefa Village, Lebanon, 1984, 2015]

[The book A Lebanese Archive by Ania Dabrowska, from the collection of Diab Alkarssifi, was published by Book Works and Arab Image Foundation, 2015.] Om Ashad, (Ashad’s Mother) Slefa Village, Lebanon, 1984 DA 1984 was a bloody year in Lebanon, with heavy fighting in Beirut. Bekaa valley was under the control of the Syrian army, but despite this and despite the war it was not affected by the fighting. Life went on as normal. We were on a trip to the waterfalls in Yammouneh, near Baalbeck. The woman in the pictures, Om Ashad, was like a ‘mother of all the boys’. Her son Ashad is a doctor today. (…) Usually we would go to this area because it has a river and ...

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Call for Applicants--Doctoral Dissertation Summer Workshop: Researching Lebanon

The Arab Studies Institute (ASI) and AUB’s Center for Arab and Middle Eastern Studies (CAMES) are pleased to announce the first Lebanon-focused Doctoral Dissertation Summer Workshop, to be held 13-24 June 2016. The program aims to provide a framework for facilitating and advancing rigorous inter-disciplinary doctoral dissertation research on Lebanon. Scholarly literature on Lebanon is seldom fully integrated into the graduate coursework of PhD students focusing on the Middle East and North Africa region. Furthermore, such students rarely find themselves at institutions with access to a scholar of Lebanon to fulfill the role of course professor, academic advisor, field ...

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The Ambiguous Encampment of the World

Michel Agier (ed.), Un monde de camps (A World of Camps), (Paris: La Découverte, 2014). The refugee camp is a topic of interest for many social scientists coming from different disciplines such as geography, urban studies, and anthropology. Literature on refugee camps has often been fragmented according to regions or to their particular dynamics (Palestinian refugee camps in the Middle East, refugee camps of the past decade's wars in different parts of Africa, administrative detention centres for asylum seekers or “illegal” immigrants in Europe). Edited by French anthropologist Michel Agier, the aim of this volume Un monde de camps (A world of camps) is to go beyond ...

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The Diaspora, Debt, and Dollarization: Unraveling Lebanon’s Resilience to a Sovereign Debt Crisis

[Data from Banque du Liban ( Graph by the author. The ratio of dollar to Lebanese lira deposits is taken as a confidence indicator in the Lebanese economy.]

There are no official statistics on the numbers of Lebanese who have emigrated and are working abroad, nor on the immense sums of money they transfer to their home country. According to World Bank estimates, remittances comprised between fifteen and twenty percent of Lebanon’s gross domestic product over the past five years. More than half these remittances are earned in the Arab Gulf countries, where an average emigrant annually sends eight thousand one hundred US dollars back to Lebanon, while those in Africa and Europe/the Americas remit nine thousand dollars and four thousand three hundred dollars, respectively. These remittances are deposited in Lebanese banks, many ...

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Dalieh’s Civil Campaign’s Open Competition: Three Winning Entries

Last June 2015, The Civil Campaign to Preserve the Dalieh of Beirut announced its open ideas competition results at the Lebanese Ministry of Environment. The jury selected three winning entries from twenty submissions. The selection was made on the basis on the projects’ sensitivity to the urban context, reaffirming the historical identity of Dalieh as a space for the public, functionality, flexibility, and economic feasibility, ecological and environmental sustainability, the institutional framework addressing property and managerial/administrative concerns, innovation and creativity, and clarity and completeness of the submission. Winning Entry: The Last Resort ...

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Revisiting Dalieh: Open Ideas Competition Results & Updates

In June 2015, The Civil Campaign to Preserve the Dalieh of Beirut announced its open ideas competition results at the Lebanese Ministry of Environment. The Civil Campaign is a coalition of individuals invested in safeguarding Beirut’s livability, advocating for the protection of the city’s seafront as a shared space and open access zone. The campaign had launched its open ideas competition on 24 March 2015, under the patronage of the Lebanese Ministry of Environment, the American University of Beirut’s Asfari Institute for Civil Society and the Nature Conservation Center. The competition called for participants “to articulate creative, sensitive, and environmentally ...

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Dalieh’s Civil Campaign’s Open Ideas Competition: Jury Report

[Image from Dalieh-n]

The jury held its official deliberation on Saturday 30 May 2015 at the Issam Fares Institute at the American University of Beirut. The jury members included Jad Chaaban (AUB); Habib Debs (URBI); Marwan Ghandour (Iowa State University); Hans Kienle (University of Stuttgart); Jala Makhzoumi (AUB); Nizar Saghieh (Legal Agenda); Jad Tabet (URBI, UNESCO); Andreja Tutundzic (IFLA); as well as deputy jurors Wafa Charafeddine (CDR) and Mona Harb (AUB). The jury unanimously elected Jad Tabet, an architect, urban planner and member of the UNESCO World Heritage Committee, as chair. Deputy jury members were given the right to vote through a unanimous vote. The chair announced that ...

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LCPS Interviews Jadaliyya Co-Editor Ziad Abu-Rish on Electricity in Early Independence Lebanon

[Newspaper headline from 1946 reporting the strike of tramway workers and the government's response. At the time, the Beirut Electricity Company was also the owner and operator of the city's tramway system. Headline from al-Bayraq newspaper. Image by Ziad Abu-Rish]

In the following interview with the Lebanese Center for Policy Studies (LCPS), Jadaliyya Co-Editor Ziad Abu-Rish discusses the history of electricty in Beirut during the early independence period, and some of the legacies and insights of the period. The interview was conducted over email, and first published on the LCPS website. It follows up on an earlier interview on the history of state instutituions in the early independence period. Lebanese Center for Policy Studies (LCPS): The electricity sector in Lebanon, as both a public utility and as an employer, has garnered quite a bit of attention in recent years. Much of what is ...

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The Arab Center for Architecture (ACA): Interview with George Arbid

The Arab Center for Architecture (ACA) was established in 2008 to raise awareness about contemporary architecture and urbanism within civil society. In an interview I held on 25 June 2015 at the offices of the ACA in Beirut, George Arbid, the co-founder and current director of the ACA, discussed the work of the ACA and modern architecture in the region. Arbid explained the activities and aims of the ACA, including the establishment of an archive, a library, educational programs and the formation of the DoCoMoMo Lebanon chapter. He outlined the important contributions of Arab architects to modernist architecture and the complexities of talking about “Arab architecture,” ...

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قصائد: عبير خليفة

[عمل بعنوان

              بلا تبعات حوافُ الحزن لا تُرى والفرح مُسْكرٌ فلا أميّزُ بين مهرّجٍ ومُبتسم. إنّها لسنواتٍ سبعٍ عجاف القحطُ لم يتكرّر ولم أبكِ خلالها كمَطر. التطاولُ عليكَ مباح لأنّكَ في البارحة تكملُ ما تفعلُه تقول: أحبكِ ثمّ تموت بينما يكفي أنْ تتراجعَ خطوةً بعد كلّ قبلة و يكفي أنْ تقول: بلا تبعات ثمّ نكملُ القهوةَ التي بردتْ ونُفسِحُ للحبِّ مساحةً لهدْأته. Keep Reading »

إطلاق حملة بعنوان «مدينتي ومن حقي البقاء فيها» من أجل دعم قضية المستأجرين في لبنان

جانب إدارة التحرير والصحافيين في وسيلتكم الإعلامية الموقّرة لقد قامت مجموعات متعددة بالعمل سوياً على إطلاق حملة بعنوان «مدينتي ومن حقي البقاء فيها» من أجل دعم قضية المستأجرين وإلغاء قانون الايجارات الصادر في 1 نيسان 2014     تدعوكم الحملة الى أوسع تغطية لإعتصام وتظاهرة المستأجرين غدا الأربعاء، في ٢٧ كانون الثاني الساعة الخامسة بعد الظهر من أمام ثكنة الحلو مروراً بشارع مار الياس، وصولاً الى منزل رئيس الحكومة تبني هذه الحملة على حراك المستأجرين القدامى في لبنان الذين يشكلون وقود حراك ...

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Third Annual Cultural Resistance International Film Festival of Lebanon

Cultural Resistance International Film Festival of Lebanon, Beirut, 9-10 November 2015. Sandwiched between the Beirut International Film Festival and a slew of ongoing fall film offerings, the third annual Cultural Resistance International Film Festival of Lebanon (CRIFF) concluded in mid-November. This curiously-named, soon-to-be-renamed-and-revamped festival remains noteworthy for its unique Asia-Mediterranean focus, notwithstanding the modest size of the three-film package that was curated for this ...

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Decoding an Urban Myth: An Inquiry into the Socio-Economics of Van Number 4 in Beirut

It has been called a #lifestyle on social media (#اسلوب_حياة). The van number 4 has become a social phenomenon, as well as an economic one. Here, we call it an intersection between contradicting places where strangers from different classes share the journey from the informal area of Hay el-Sellom in south Beirut to the cosmopolitan neighborhood of Hamra in the Lebanese capital, and back. In most third world countries, informal public transit pervades the urban fabric. The need to move within the city ...

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Beirut Bombed: A STATUS Quick Thoughts Conversation with Maya Mikdashi

In this not-so-quick Quick Thoughts interview for Status/الوضع, Maya Mikdashi examines how the representation of the attacks on Beirut became dominated by connotations surrounding the term dahieh. She reviews the Western media's characterization of the neighborhood as a Hezbollah stronghold and problematizes it against the backdrop of spatial sectarian fault-lines in Beirut. She also critiques the way in which the Paris attacks either quickly overshadowed Beirut or were replaced by a state-sponsored ...

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Mukhtars in the Middle: Connecting State, Citizens and Refugees

Lebanon’s political set-up differs significantly from that of the region’s monarchical and authoritarian countries. Its consociational system is both remarkably protracted in its sectarianism and distinctly volatile in its elite bargaining. Lebanese governance, consequently, is characterized by a multiplicity of (both state and non-state) political authorities and a plurality of (both de jure and de facto) political institutions. Lebanon, in short, can be considered a “hybrid political order” in which ...

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الكهرباء في الحقبة الأولى للاستقلال في لبنان

[هذا الجزء الثاني من مقابلة أجراها المركز اللبناني للدراسات مع محرر جدلية والباحث زياد أبو الريش، وهي  تركّز على قطاع الكهرباء ومسائل تتعلق بمؤسسات الدولة في بداية عهد الجمهوريّة اللبنانيّة. وتجدر الإشارة إلى أنه تم إجراء هذه المقابلة قبل انطلاق الحراك الكبير في بيروت في شهر أيلول 2015. أما الجزء الأول فناقش خلاله تاريخ مؤسسات الدولة في بدايات الاستقلال في لبنان وبعض الموروثات التي خلفتها. يمكن قراءة الجزء الأول هنا] *** تحدث المركز اللبناني للدراسات مؤخّرًا مع الدكتور زياد أبو الريش لمناقشة ...

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Dalieh Civil Campaign’s Open Competition: Background Report

The Civil Campaign to Protect the Dalieh of Raoucheh authored a competition brief to guide all participants to the competition in elaborating and proposing their entries. It is available in English and Arabic on the Campaign’s website. In addition, the Civil Campaign authored a rich background report providing text, narratives, images, testimonies, analytical maps, and legal references about the site. It includes information about the Civil Campaign beginnings, progressive growth, and timeline of ...

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Dalieh’s Civil Campaign’s Open Competition: Results

When we started working on the ''Revisiting Dalieh'' competition about a year ago, our goal was to involve the largest number of people in shaping visions for the location of Dalieh of Raouche, as a starting point for a public debate about the common spaces in the city. We wanted to present alternative visions to the current practices along the Lebanese coast, serving as models or pilots for the design, management, and sustainability of similar spaces. We also wanted to raise public awareness about the ...

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New Texts Out Now: Robert Saliba, Urban Design in the Arab World: Reconceptualizing Boundaries

Robert Saliba, editor, Urban Design in the Arab World: Reconceptualizing Boundaries. London: Ashgate, 2015. Jadaliyya (J): What made you write this book? Robert Saliba (RS): The idea for this book was initiated in the wake of City Debates 2012, an international conference on contemporary urban issues that I organized in May at the American University of Beirut. The conference, entitled Reconceptualizing Boundaries: Urban Design in the Arab World, asked: “How are the changing paradigms of urban ...

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TandemWorks Launches its Rehabilitation Scheme of Beirut River

The founders of TandemWorks, Mayssa and Alia Badawi, are pleased to announce their inaugural project, Hammoud Badawi, in collaboration with theOtherDada (tOD) Integrated Architecture Lab, the Lebanese Center for Energy Conservation (LCEC), and UN-Habitat, as part of a scheme to rehabilitate the Beirut River. TandemWorks is a new, Beirut-based non-profit arts organisation which advocates social, cultural, and environmental change by means of multidisciplinary interventions in public places. Under the ...

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Table Ronde: Observer la ville dans le Monde Arabe (Vidéo)

Le 5 juin 2015, une table ronde intitulée Observer la ville dans le Monde Arabe s'est tenue dans le cadre des "Rendez-vous de l’histoire du monde arabe" de l'Institut du Monde Arabe de Paris. Organisée et animée par Vincent Lemire, historien spécialiste de Jérusalem, elle rassemblait Mercedes Volait, historienne de l’architecture, fondatrice de l’Observatoire urbain du Caire contemporain en 1985 au sein du CEDEJ, Eric Denis, géographe, qui en fut l’animateur entre 1993 et 2002, Eric ...

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كابوس دمشـق وســماواتها: يوميات سورية

العودة إلى الشام 14  آب/أغسطس 2011  وقفتُ في الدور قلقاً بعض الشيء. لطالما أثار فيَّ مطارُ دمشق، أنا الكردي العراقي بجنسيتين عراقية وأخرى أمريكية مع اسم عليّ أن أردده أكثر من مرة قبل ترجمته، خليطاً غريباً من مشاعر التوجس والقلق وصولاً إلى الخوف. تُعتبر المطارات واجهة مصغرة لمدنها وهي بمثابة بوابتها التي تمنحك نكهة روح المدينة. مثّلَ مطارُ دمشق بالنسبة لي بالوجوه العابسة لضباطه وشرطته غرفة تحقيق هائلة وظيفتها بث القلق والخضوع  استعداداً للدخول الى فضاء المدينة العام.    وقفتُ ...

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