Lebanon Daily News Brief 12/2/2022

Friday, December 2, 2022


December 2nd, 2022

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Lebanese Cabinet to Reconvene Next Week, Reportedly Circumventing Discussion of IMF Reforms 
According to Reuters, “Lebanon’s caretaker government will hold its first session in more than six months next week but the agenda, seen by Reuters, omits any mention of possible steps towards fulfilling reforms required for an IMF deal to ease the country’s financial crisis.” [

Patriarch Comments on Lack of Presidential Candidate
According to Naharnet, “Maronite Patriarch Beshara al-Rahi has called on those casting blank votes in the presidential election sessions to declare the name of their candidate. ‘Who is your candidate? Why don’t you declare his name and vote for him? If there are names you can negotiate on you would call for negotiations,’ al-Rahi said in an interview from Rome with Radio Free Lebanon.” 

Lebanon Employs New Exchange Rate, New Tariffs
According to Arab News, “Lebanon has officially adopted a new exchange rate on imports ten times the previous level, in a move that will deepen economic misery in a country already suffering hardship. The new customs exchange rate of 15,000 Lebanese pounds a dollar replaces the previous rate of 1,500, which was in use for nearly three years.”  [
Arab News]

Former Partner of BDL Governor Under Formal, Criminal Investigation in France
According to the National
 “Anna Kosakova, 46, a former partner of the governor of Lebanon’s central bank, is under formal investigation in France for criminal conspiracy, organised money laundering, and aggravated tax fraud laundering, French investigative journal Mediapart reported on Thursday . . . The move is part of an investigation opened last June by the French judiciary to investigate the governor’s wealth.” [The National]


Lebanon – A Food Desert
Jean AbiNader

AbiNader writes, “A food desert is commonly defined as a geographic area where residents have few to no convenient options for securing affordable and healthy foods . . . At this point, Lebanon has certainly become a beggar state. Remittances from overseas remain the most important lifeline for many, if they can navigate the opaqueness of the banking system and Central Bank rules. Without an executive government and a parliament unable to elect a new president, the country is languishing. While those with means survive, more than 75% of the population remain in poverty, unable to sustain a quality of life with adequate access to food, education, medicines, and social services. State institutions, the banking sector, and public services are all in disarray . . . Given its political structure, the very nature of assistance to Lebanon gets called into question when well-intentioned initiatives and programs – like the ESSN cash-assistance program that is actionable and immediate – prove susceptible to corruption. When Lebanon’s friends outside the country are seemingly more concerned about Lebanon’s future than its current leadership, a deeper dilemma emerges regarding how much change it will take for Lebanon to become a viable, sovereign, and self-sufficient state. We’re still waiting for that answer.”

Read More Here

L’Orient Today
Lebanon Faces a Prolonged Presidential Vacuum
Imad K. Harb

Harb writes, “Lebanon has experienced a long presidential vacuum three times in its history: from September 1988 to November 1989, from November 2007 to May 2008, and from May 2014 to October 2016, the year that Michel Aoun was elected to the position. With the end of former President Aoun’s six-year term, which came on October 31, the country has now entered a fourth vacuum, one that comes amid a much more complicated domestic, regional, and global environment. This presidential vacuum also falls around the 33rd anniversary of the Taif Agreement of 1989, which charted a course for post-civil war Lebanon—the so-called Lebanese Second Republic—by splitting political power evenly between the country’s Christians and Muslims and redesigning institutional mechanisms of governance.”

Read More Here


The Arab Gulf States Institute in Washington
Podcasting the Middle East: A Conversation With Kim Ghattas

Wednesday, December 7th, 2022 | 11:00 AM ET 

Kim Ghattas, veteran journalist and author, recently launched the podcast “People Like Us” from Beirut, examining topics involving Middle Eastern culture, society, and politics as well asinternational relations. Her most recent book was a compelling deep dive into the rivalry that has arguably done more to shape realities in the Gulf than any other single factor, “Black Wave: Saudi Arabia, Iran, and the Forty–Year Rivalry That Unraveled Culture, Religion, and Collective Memory in the Middle East.” AGSIW is pleased to host a conversation on this important new podcast and review significant developments in the region regarding U.S. foreign policy, the role of Iran, and the politics and strategic thinking of Gulf countries. The discussion will also explore what it’s like to live in and podcast from a Beirut in profound crisis. 

Register Here

Read More Here


ATFL Internship – Winter 2023

ATFL’s internship program will seek to provide young adults passionate about US-Lebanon relations with the opportunity to serve with the leading US organization promoting closer US-Lebanon relations. The internship will provide adults the opportunity to learn about the US government policy making as it relates to foreign policy. Interns will also be able to gain valuable professional experience working directly with an ATFL staff member.

Interns are expected to work at least 15 hours per week for a minimum of a three-month period. Interns should be based in the Washington, DC metropolitan area so that they can participate in ATFL’s hybrid, remote and in-person, schedule and take advantage of all of the opportunities that this region offers.

This internship is not paid; however, ATFL is prepared to confer academic credit to those who complete the program.

Interested candidates should send their resume and cover letter to steven.howard@atfl.org by December 2nd, 2022. 

Learn More on ATFL's LinkedIn Page
Learn More on ATFL’s LinkedIn Page

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.




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