Mayyas Proclaimed Winner of America’s Got Talent, Earns $1 Million Prize According to Reuters, “Lebanese celebrated at home and abroad on Thursday, despite their homeland’s crises, as they woke up to the news that local female dance troop Mayyas had won the America’s Got Talent competition on U.S. television, bagging a $1 million prize.” [Reuters]
Activists Vow to Facilitate Future ‘Bank Heists’ While BLOM Bank depositor, Sali Hafez, entered a Beirut branch brandishing a toy gun yesterday, accompanying activists from a group known as Depositors’ Outcry threatened to set the bank on fire in support of her attempt to forcibly withdraw $13,000 of her deposited savings. The group today announced that more ‘bank heists’ would be carried out to help people retrieve their locked savings. [AP News]
IMF Team to Visit Lebanon Next Week According to Reuters, “The International Monetary Fund said on Thursday that a staff mission will visit Lebanon next week to discuss ways to “speed up” implementation of agreed reforms required for an IMF loan program amid deteriorating living conditions in the country.” [Reuters]
Parliamentary Session on 2022 Budget Underway According to L’Orient Today, “Lebanese MPs are meeting on Thursday for the first day of a plenary session that will last until Friday evening, in order to adopt the annual state budget for 2022. The meeting was supposed to start on Wednesday but was postponed. During this meeting, members must debate and then vote, normally article by article, on a text that was approved by the government of Najib Mikati in Feb. 2022 before being revised by the parliamentary Finance and Budget Committee.” [L’Orient Today]
OPINION & ANALYSIS
Malcolm H. Kerr Carnegie Middle East Center In Sinwar’s Shadow Mohanad Hage Ali
Hage Ali writes, “Following their sharp disagreements over the conflict in Syria, Hamas and Hezbollah have since improved their relations, most recently when the Palestinian organization reportedly intervened in the elections of the Jamaa al-Islamiyya, Lebanon’s Muslim Brotherhood branch. According to media reports in online sites such as Al-Modon and Asas Media, the Jamaa wing that is close to Hamas and Hezbollah won recent elections for the organization’s leadership, as well as majorities in the Political Bureau and Shura Council. Sheikh Mohammed Taqqoush, the organization’s former security chief for Beirut, who is said to be on the Hamas payroll, was elected secretary general, while another figure close to Hamas and Hezbollah, Muqdad Qalawun, was reappointed the Jamaa’s overall security chief. The Jamaa had a military wing during Lebanon’s civil war, named Al-Fajr (Dawn), which played a role in resisting the Israeli occupation alongside Hezbollah, which is why it remains close to the party.”
Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in these articles are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the position of the American Task Force on Lebanon, a non-profit, nonpartisan leadership organization of Lebanese-Americans.