Deputy Speaker of Parliament Expects Proposal on Maritime File Within 24 Hours According to Naharnet, “Deputy Speaker Elias Bou Saab has said that he is hoping President Michel Aoun will receive within 24 hours a written proposal from U.S. mediator Amos Hochstein regarding the demarcation of the sea border with Israel.” [Naharnet]
Lebanese Government to Roll Out New Rate Gradually According to Reuters, “Lebanon will roll out a new official exchange rate of 15,000 pounds per dollar gradually, with initial exceptions to include banks’ balance sheets and housing loan repayments to which the old rate will still apply, the prime minister said.” [Reuters]
Mayyas to Host Virtual Event with US Embassy According the National, “Teaming up with the US embassy in Beirut, the all-female dance crew [Mayyas] will perform online and speak about their TV victory along with their founder, Nadim Cherfan . . . He confirms the group will perform for the first time since returning from the US.“ [The National]
Interior Ministry Announces New Measures to Curtail Informal Migration According to L’Orient Today, “Lebanese authorities plan to enforce a series of ‘measures’ to curb irregular migration, the caretaker cabinet announced following a meeting Thursday in Beirut, a week after an attempted irregular boat journey ended in the deaths of more than 100 people . . . Authorities plan to launch a public awareness campaign “to explain the consequences of irregular emigration,” caretaker Minister of Interior Bassam Mawlawi announced after Thursday’s cabinet meeting. In addition, all boats will need to be registered officially and naval forces will increase the frequency of their patrols. Mawlawi did not clarify in his statement when enforcement of the new measures would begin.” [L’Orient Today]
OPINION & ANALYSIS
Hope And Strength Alive In Lebanon Jean AbiNader
AbiNader writes, “There is no single person or institution that can root out and change the culture of corruption and lack of accountability in Lebanon. At all levels of society and in all areas of the country, accountability is missing or avoided. As Zena Wakim, the president of the Board of the Swiss foundation, Accountability Now, and an international lawyer emphasized, there are no shortcuts. Investigations, whether tied to financial misdeeds or crimes against humanity, are detailed and require a great deal of energy. She works with civil society to pursue accountability issues and most recently brought forward a suit in a Texas court for harm faced by US citizens as a result of the Beirut Port Explosion. She also trained as a war crime investigator with the Institute for International Criminal Investigations in The Hague. The work is intense and sometimes dangerous, but without these advocates, Zena, Monnika, and Tania, and their colleagues, hope would be impossible.”
AP News For Iran, The IRGC’s Regional Role Is As Important As The Nuclear Deal Kareem Chehayeb
Chehayeb writes, “Farmers in a small town perched on a northern Lebanese mountain have long refused to accept defeat even as the government abandoned them to a life off the grid. Harf Beit Hasna receives almost no basic services. No water or sewage system, no streetlight or garbage collection. The only public school is closed. The nearest pharmacy is a long drive down a winding mountain road.
‘We live on another planet,’ said Nazih Sabra, a local farmer. ‘The state has completely forgotten us, and so have the politicians and municipalities.’ Its around 2,500 residents have gotten by because of an ingenious solution: They dug trenches, lined them with plastic and use them to collect rainwater. For decades, the rainwater enabled them to grow enough crops for themselves, with a surplus to sell. But where government neglect didn’t kill Harf Beit Hasna, the combination of climate change and economic disaster now threatens to.”
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.