Cultural Briefings

Once Hopeful Lebanon Faces Crises and Hopelessness as it Marks First Anniversary of its 17th October Uprising!

Elie Chalala

Those who are looking for signs of Lebanese hopelessness need only look out over the waters of the Eastern Mediterranean sea, or to the doors of Western embassies in Beirut. The sea is where the Lebanese tragedy is really being played out, as hundreds board rickety vessels for the perilous journeys to neighboring Cyprus. We need to abandon the illusions that such deadly trips originate from countries other than Lebanon. A brief glimpse at the news, with all the stories of drowned and dead Lebanese, is more than enough to liberate us from the delusions of Lebanon’s “exceptionalism.”


Lebanon, Corrupted, Blasted, Burning, ‘Celebrates’ in Irony the Centennial of Its Foundation
Elie Chalala

The Lebanese political scene has a melancholy and desperate mood. The country suffered shock after shock, from the economic-financial meltdown to the COVID-19 pandemic, all the way to the explosion at its main port, a significant economic lifeline disabled when most needed. Most heartbreaking is watching and listening, even from afar, as Lebanon celebrates its centennial birthday while lacking the resources to extricate itself from its present predicament and being left to plead with foreign countries and economic institutions for humanitarian and economic assistance. Aside from the legitimate requests needed to address the consequences of the port explosion, Lebanon lacks the essential prerequisites of a functioning and legitimate state.

May Menassa (1939-2019): Journalist, Novelist Wrote in the Black Ink of War and Tragedy

Forthcoming in Al Jadid
Al Jadid Staff

The Lebanese Civil War (1975-1990) spurred the production of a vast literature. Yet only a small fraction of these books, novelsand memoirs are available in English. An even smaller portion received wide attention through reviews or publicity campaigns. This leaves a void in the English language about the literature of this war. This essay highlights one novelist’s contributions in the Arabic literature of the war as well as a brief glimpse into her life.


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