The race for Lebanon's next president

The new parliament formed in May is preparing to elect the next president of the Lebanese Republic, who will be in charge for the next six years. President Michel Aoun is expected to leave office by 31st October, and the election of a new president represents a crucial test bed for political parties to gauge alliances and outline the political direction of the country. By convention, the president of Lebanon is a Christian Maronite, and the main responsibility is to serve as a symbol of the na

Why Lebanon's capital controls law is causing unrest

On 30 August, a joint parliamentary committee in Lebanon postponed discussions over a controversial capital controls law that would limit the flow of foreign capital in and out of the country. The proposed law is the latest of several versions passed by the parliament over the last year, but the body has now suspended its discussions until the government settles on a fully-fledged reform plan. It aims to legalise and standardise banking restrictions put in place at the beginning of the economi

Lebanon turns to solar power to address acute energy crisis | DW | 17.08.2022

When Patrick Ardahalian moved from Saudi Arabia to Lebanon in 2010, he was shocked at the frequent power outages in the country's capital, Beirut. "Power outages are something I had never experienced," he said. But for the Lebanese people, the situation was different, he added. "They never experienced stable electricity in their life." To address the country's energy crisis, Ardahalian, who is of Lebanese origin but grew up in Greece, decided to pick up solar power. "Lebanon is a very sunny c

Legalizzare la cannabis è una questione di diritti umani

A quasi tre anni di distanza da quando è stato depositato alla Camera e al Senato, il disegno di legge (DDL) unificato Magi-Licatini sulla depenalizzazione della coltivazione domestica di cannabis per uso personale è approdato in Parlamento il 29 giugno a seguito del parere favorevole del testo da parte della Commissione Giustizia della Camera dei Deputati. Il testo della proposta mira a modificare il Testo Unico sugli stupefacenti (DPR 309/90) depenalizzando la coltivazione domestica di massim

Lebanon's dollarization of university tuition worsens students' lives | DW | 13.07.2022

In 2018, Manar Sleiman moved from Baalbek to Beirut to study architecture at Notre Dame University there, thanks to a scholarship that covered 85% of her expenses. Although the university where she chose to study wasn't the most expensive institution in Lebanon, keeping up financially was a challenge. "I already struggled to pay tuition fees and expenses, and I had to sleep in the university dorm," the 22-year-old told DW. But the economic crisis that began in late 2019 put her career as a st

Lebanon's first test: Will Nabih Berri be re-elected?

For the first time since the economic crisis in 2019, Lebanese citizens voted on 15 May to elect a new parliament. The election set into motion two significant changes in the legislative branch of the government. On one hand, voters elected thirteen candidates inspired by the Lebanese uprising (or Thawra), a series of anti-establishment protests that started on 17 October 2019 to protest against the ruling class. On the other, Hezbollah and its allies lost their parliament majority. Although t

Why Gulf states are rekindling ties with Lebanon

Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, and Yemen in April announced the return of their ambassadors to Lebanon, while the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Bahrain have yet to return their envoys to the country. The re-engagement came after diplomatic tensions had escalated in October 2021 following Lebanese information minister George Kordahi's criticism of the Saudi-led coalition's war in Yemen. Although Kordahi made those comments before being appointed minister, Saudi Arabia and other Gulf states withdrew the

Middle East faces severe wheat crisis over war in Ukraine | DW | 09.03.2022

The invasion of Ukraine and the ensuing sanctions imposed on Russia have European nations worried about access to natural gas on which they have long depended. The conflict has increased pressure on energy resources, driving up the prices of oil, gas, coal and other commodities. But the war in Ukraine could hit more than just energy supplies in Europe. Global food security is also at risk. In particular, it could disrupt the wheat supply chain in several Middle Eastern and North African (MENA)
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