Month: April 2023

Lebanon’s Golden Age through A Different Lens

Not every reference to a country’s golden age implies a current one made out of muck.

In Lebanon, it does. Almost always when Lebanese are referring to the country’s golden age, they mean to juxtapose it against today’s dark one.

There is the broken, bankrupt, corrupt, soiled, pervasively sectarian Lebanon that we have now. And there is the Lebanon that was once the jewel in the Levantine crown.

That moment of zenith, in the mind of those Lebanese who hark for it, stretches from, let’s say, the late 1940s all the way to the late 1960s. And it is usually told through visuals.

We have elegant and beautiful Lebanon, like one of its presidents and his wife, Camille Chamoun (1952-1958) and Zelfa.

The Changing Mood Of The “Westward” Arab Elite

It’s always been a rather complicated relationship, the US and Arab elites. There’s nothing unusual about that between empire and those it proposes to sponsor and instruct (its allies), and those it intimidates and subverts (its adversaries). But in the Arab world, it’s been a  wretched experience all around, especially for the “westward” ones in our midst.

Israel-Palestine Or Is It Palestine-Israel?

In the early 1980s, Georgetown University’s Foreign Service School, where I was an undergraduate student, held an international conference in Amman, Jordan. The theme was the Arab world and the US.

Professor Jack Rudy, who taught at Georgetown’s Center for Contemporary Arab Studies, gave a very interesting talk at the conference. Unusually for that period, his presentation was data driven, centering on American public opinion on Israel and Palestine.

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