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Lebanon Still Overshadowed by Oblivion As Port Blast Aftermath Enters Fourth Year

Art has played an influential role in making sense of the loss felt after the August 4 explosion. Tom Young’s “Strong Angels” and other paintings show a human dimension of the tragedy and its civilian heroes, who “join forces to lift the city’s grief,” writes Darine Houmani of Diffah Three (The New Arab). “Despite all its devastation, the August 4 explosion brought greater impetus to preserve our heritage and brought about a database of our historical buildings that hadn’t been done before,” states Mona Hallak, an architect, heritage activist, and director of the American University of Beirut’s Neighborhood Initiative, as cited in The New Arab. Several weighed in on the rebuilding efforts, including Lebanese architect Jad Tabet, who proposed “rehabilitation” rather than “reconstruction,” focusing on preserving the city’s existing social fabric and inhabitants alongside the architecture (for further reading on Jad Tabet and architectural heritage, see Al Jadid, Vol. 4, No, 25, Fall 1998; Vol. 5, No. 26, Winter 1999; and Vol. 24, No. 79, 2020). As art historian and gallery owner Andrée Sfeir-Semler says, “You need to nourish people with art and culture because that is what feeds their souls.”


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Beirut’s People Still Waiting: The Government That Left a Bomb on Their Doorstep Now Leaves Them Out in the Cold

Al Jadid Staff
The never-ending reports from Lebanon on its social and economic crises are perplexing. Despite the gravity of the situation, officials sitting at the top refuse to relinquish or even reform the system. Recent news reports reveal a collapsing banking sector, a threatened educational system, and an impoverished and broken health system, all while the country watches a judiciary circus played daily on TV and social media, demolishing whatever legitimacy the courts still hold.

German Reinvention: Do a Million Syrian Refugees Bring Down the Curtain on WWII Legacy?

The devastating combination of the Syrian war, the failure of the Arab Spring, and the worsening state of refugee camps in the Middle East culminated in an influx of migrants across Europe. Between 2015-2016, two million migrants fled Syria, Afghanistan, Iran, and Eritrea to European countries. This mass migration produced a crisis across the continent, as several countries refused to undertake the moral and economic responsibilities of housing and feeding newcomers. According to the Pew Research Center, 45% of refugees came to Germany, among whom over 1.2 million were Syrians.

The devastating combination of the Syrian war, the failure of the Arab Spring, and the worsening state of refugee camps in the Middle East culminated in an influx of migrant

The Golden Notebooks

Angele Ellis

Zed Books has chosen interesting times in which to re-release the English translation of the two-part autobiography of Nawal El Saadawi, “A Daughter of Isis” and “Walking Through Fire.” One of the most important and distinctive voices of her generation, not only in the Arabic-speaking world, but across the globe, El Saadawi has served as a physician, writer, rebel, and revolutionary. Born in 1931, she explores in these two interwoven volumes her personal struggles for autonomy – for the survival of body, mind, and spirit – as both girl and woman in an Egyptian society warped by patriarchal religion, as well as repressive social traditions and laws. She states in “A Daughter of Isis” that at the age of six, she learned “these three words by heart and they were like one sentence: ‘God, calamity, marriage.’”As I write this review, similar women’s words echo in the halls of the U.S. Capitol and throughout America.

Remembering Lokman Slim (1962-2021)

Lebanese publisher, filmmaker, and activist Lokman Slim, an outspoken critic of Hezbollah, was murdered on Feb. 4, 2021 while on his way home from southern Lebanon. In 2017, Al Jadid published a review of his award-winning film “Tadmor” (Icarus Films, 2016), co-directed with his wife, Monika Borgmann. “Ghosts of the past come in many forms.

Film “1982” Glimpses into Emotional Costs for Innocents Caught in Lebanese War

Premiering at the Toronto International Film Festival in 2019, director Oualid Mouaness’ contemplative drama film “1982” explores the anxiety of war for those who never wished to take part in it. For the teachers and students at a private school in East Beirut, what should have been a “normal” last day of classes becomes anything but, as the distant sounds of bombing come closer and closer. It is 1982, and Beirut, divided between Muslims on the west and Christians on the east, teeters on the cusp of invasion as Israel and Syria fight overhead.


The Arab-Israeli Conflict: How the American Left Grabbed the Third Rail of American Politics
Michael Teague
The Arab-Israeli conflict has long been a divisive issue in the left lane of American politics. Bitter disagreements came to the fore, especially during periods of armed conflict and subsequent occupation, such as the wars of 1967 and 1973, and Israel’s invasion of Lebanon in 1982.