On the 1st of December, a Syrian worker was shot by Lebanese police dressed in civilian clothes in the early hours of the morning. The murder happened in Hamra, a residential and commercial district of Beirut that is popular with tourists and locals alike. The incident received little coverage in the media, with the exception of Al-Akhbar newspaper which published detailed coverage of the circumstances of the murder and placed it prominently on its digital version. Two things conspired to keep the story from receiving the attention that it deserved: the fact that the victim Abdel Nasser Ahmad was Syrian and Al-Akhbar’s publication of the leaked cables from several Arab countries which dominated the news.
12 Dec 2010
11 Dec 2010
I've started writing about Lebanon for Muftah, they just published my first article: "Consensus in Lebanese Politics: The Authoritarian Alternative to Democracy." Muftah is an online publication concerned with Middle East and North Africa Policy-Making, and it's ran and written by an impressive group of volunteers. Please visit the website and if you want to show your support 'Like' their page on Facebook and you can also follow them on Twitter.
9 Dec 2010
First things first: the attacks that brought down Al-Akhbar newspaper’s website today are a despicable action that is as pointless as it is stupid. Pointless because any hope of stemming the flow of information on the internet is a delusion and stupid because those attacks will only reinforce the idea that the leaked information that Al-Akhbar published should be repressed. To me, freedom of speech in the Arab world is much more important than political disagreements and we should all support Al-Akhbar against those attacks.