Essays and Features

The ‘Grand Compromise’ Between Lebanon’s ‘Strong Presidency’ and Iran’s 'Rejectionists' Hastens the Demise of Lebanon’s Economy

By 
Elie Chalala

In early July, we wrote about two suicides in Lebanon while holding off on a third until we fact-checked it. Subsequently, the Beirut-based Al Modon newspaper wrote about a total of four suicides, including the two reported here. The article’s author deliberately stressed the reasons behind the suicides were not personal, but rather related to deteriorating economic conditions and the loss of dignity.

ESSAYS IN FORTHCOMING AL JADID, VOL. 24, NO. 78, 2020

How Lebanon’s ‘State within a State’ Escalated Financial Disaster: Two Beirut Landmarks – AUB, and Le Bristol Hotel – the Latest Collateral Damage
By 
Elie Chalala

It is painful to witness, even from afar, what recently befell Lebanon. This agony springs from the memories of my formative years during Lebanon’s post-independence era, when resentment of its ruling elites consolidated my belief in the necessity of change. I left the country without the reform wish fulfilled, and later watched the flames of civil war consume hopes of change – even when guns fell silent after the country’s second constitution in 1989. While the Lebanese started to come together to embark on reconstruction of the country, corruption, sectarianism, and the plundering of state’s resources soon took over.

ESSAYS IN FORTHCOMING AL JADID, VOL. 24, NO. 78, 2020

Farah Al-Qasimi: Between Two Worlds: Arab Americans in Detroit
By 
Al Jadid Staff

The works of photographer Farah Al-Qasimi touch on the intricacies of life as an Arab American in Detroit, with each frame capturing both Arab and Western aesthetics. Of the 22 countries belonging to the “Arab World,” as defined by membership in the League of Arab States, seven – Lebanon, Palestine, Syria, Iraq, Egypt, Jordan, and Yemen – are prominently represented by immigrants in Metro Detroit. The Arab American community is also diverse in its religious representation, with Islam and Christianity in their Middle East iterations represented by a variety of sects and denominations including Chaldean, Coptic, Druze, Greek Orthodox, Maronite, Melkite, Shi’a, Sunni, and Syrian Orthodox.

Amin Maalouf, Praised by Lebanese Patriots as Born for ‘Greatness,’ Criticized by Hashem Salih for Dubious Claims in His ‘The Wreck of Civilizations’

By 
Elie Chalala

Amin Maalouf recently received the National Order of Merit from the French government, earning the second-highest status in the title of Grand Officer. The author's other decorations include the Prix Goncourt in 1993 and his induction into the Academie Francaise in 2011, filling the seat of Claude Lévi-Strauss. His books have been translated into 50 languages. The Lebanese-French author is well-known for the historical themes in his writing. "Leo the African" (1987), for example, is a vivid re-imagining of the life of geographer and scholar Hasan Al-Wazzan. "Ports of Call" (1991) is a love story between a Muslim man and a Jewish woman. One of Maalouf's most well-known novels, "The Rock of Tanios" (1993), which won him the 1993 Prix Goncourt, recounts the conflict between the Ottoman Empire, Egypt, and England during the assassination of the Maronite patriarch. Maalouf came from a literary family, about whom he wrote in his biography, "Origins" (2004), which documented Lebanon's shifting loyalties and affiliations throughout the world. His most recent work, "The Wreck of Civilizations" (Le Naufrage des Civilisations, Grassat 2019), takes up Samuel Huntington's "Clash of Civilizations" thesis but shifts the focus from a clash between civilizations to a crisis that affects all aspects of human civilization. As Huntington's thesis suggests, in the age of globalization and technological development, Maalouf claims we cannot separate peoples and civilizations from each other. The COVID-19 pandemic seems to add credence to the author's claim.

 
Amin Maalouf recently received the National Order of Merit from the French government, earning the second-highest status in the title of Grand Officer. The author's other decorations include the Prix Goncourt in 1993 and his induction into the Academie Francaise in 2011, filling the seat of Claude Lévi-Strauss. His books have been translated into 50 languages. The Lebanese-French author is well-known for the historical themes in his writing.

Pages

Subscribe to RSS - Essays and Features