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)

Hapless victims: Lebanese students in Ukraine caught in no man's land as Russian war rages on

In the early hours of Thursday morning on February 24, Russian President Vladimir Putin declared the start of a "special military operation" in several Ukrainian cities. The attack followed months of speculation about Russia's intentions as it massed tens of thousands of troops on Ukraine's border. These hectic hours became crucial for foreigners in Ukraine to understand what to do: to remain or to leave. But for Lebanese students studying in Ukraine, the situation became more burdensome due t

Who will fill Saad Hariri's void in Lebanon?

Leader of the Sunni-majority Future Movement party and former prime minister Saad Hariri announced on 24 January that he will not run in upcoming parliamentary elections scheduled for May 2022 and is withdrawing from Lebanese politics. In a TV speech, a red-eyed Hariri, speaking behind a portrait of his father, Rafik Hariri, who was assassinated in 2005, said he had decided to suspend all of his roles in political life. "I am convinced that there is no room for any positive opportunity for Leb

Lebanon's 2022 elections: What to expect from the diaspora vote

Lebanon has experienced several waves of emigration over the course of its modern history. Although it is hard to track the exact numbers of Lebanese living abroad, it is a common opinion that there are more Lebanese around the world than in Lebanon itself. It is estimated that around 10-15 million Lebanese live abroad, while only 6 million live in Lebanon. The Lebanese diaspora has significantly contributed to Lebanon's economy over the past decades, as the economic remittances from expats ha

In the shadow of Regeni, Italy must pressure Egypt over fate of imprisoned student

Patrick Zaky, 29, was flying from Italy to Cairo to visit his parents in his hometown of Mansoura. He was a student of Gender Studies at the University of Bologna, Italy. Also, he was an activist with the human rights organisation, Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights. Following his arrest, Amnesty International's spokesperson in Italy Riccardo Noury the researcher was "at risk of prolonged detention and torture". This claim was also confirmed by Patrick Zaky's lawyer, who said he was beaten

Lebanon-Israel negotiations: Another US-brokered normalisation deal or 'technical' maritime border talks?

But to work on the seabed of the Levantine Basin to extract hydrocarbon resources, Lebanon will first be required to sit down for unprecedented talks with Israel. Although still in a formal state of war, Israel and Lebanon will start negotiations over their maritime border dispute on Wednesday, 14 October - the first talks between the two sides in 30 years. US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has described the talks as "historic", following years of US shuttle diplomacy. Representatives of the t

Caught in Haftar's nets: Libyan warlord's detention of Italian fishermen sparks diplomatic storm with Rome

On 1 September, the Libyan coast guard stopped and seized two boats 35 miles off the coast of Benghazi. Eighteen people were on board the Antartide and Medinea fishing vessels, including eight Italians, six Tunisians, two Indonesians and two Senegalese nationals. After their arrest they were transferred to Benghazi, a region in eastern Libya controlled by warlord and self-styled Libyan National Army (LNA) leader Khalifa Haftar. They have been detained there ever since. According to internat
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