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Abu-Rish: Lebanon's Uprising in a Time of Crisis

Tags: talks, lebanon

Talk given by Ziad Abu-Rish on May 27th, 2020.

3 parts to talk:

  • Multiple crises
  • Taking stock
  • covid-19 issues

Multiple Crises

Many crises at play here:

  1. Financial Crisis
    • Literal shortage of dollars
  2. Fiscal Crisis
    • Chronic deficit
      • Large chunk of spending (1/3rd) is used for just servicing debt
  3. Employment Crisis
  4. Infrastructure Crisis
    • Most people pay 2 electricity bills & water bills
  5. Political Crisis
    • Electoral politics has failed to provide a solution

Taking Stock of the Protest Movement

  • Greviances go beyond the whatsapp tax
    • whatsapp tax is very minor overall
  • Protests were largely big tent
  • State deployed a variety of violent tactics
    • Army to contain movement
    • Military tribunals for protestors
    • Thugs
  • Politicians ended up disappearing from the public view
    • Now trying to rewrite the history of the protests
  • Attempt in early march to coalse the movement

Covid-19

  • Government was so willing to shut down the country because it would also disperse the protests

Additional sources

  • Lebanese Center for Policy Studies
  • Lebanese Politics Podcast
  • Habib Mastah
  • “The Public Source” - lebanon
  • “Megaphone” - lebanon

Questions

  • Comparison of Lebanon and HK?
  • “political entrepenur” - neoglism coined by makdisi
  • the lira peg was largely to make investing in lebanon a safe habor for disapora
  • health care in lebanon is largely privatized