The Lebanese parliamentary electoral system is the worst in the world. The necessary remedy is to introduce proportional representation, either through the mixed system proposed by the National Electoral Law Commission headed by Fouad Boutros in 2006, or through other variations proposed by a number of groups since then. The oligarchy will resist this threat to its dominance, but there is no political path forward without this reform.
In part due to a broader move from an emergency to development-based approach and due to pressure from central Lebanese government authorities, the humanitarian effort has now been coupled, since mid-2014, with one that takes into greater account the needs of local host communities alongside those of refugees. This traces the way in which tensions between hosts and refugees have become increasingly central to the development and execution of aid projects aimed at community-level support. The author argues that this has important consequences that may actually incentivize the tensions it aims to alleviate.
New to the Oman Library’s shelves is a distinct collection, donated by Sallie Lewis on behalf of her late husband, Ambassador Samuel Lewis. This new addition brings a unique set of stories to the library, with many works containing signatures and personal notes from well known figures who worked closely with the ambassador during his career in the foreign service.
Prior to Monday, Lebanon had, in fact, been without a president for two years — but this fact could not be discerned on the streets of Beirut. President or no, Lebanon has had no effective governance for decades.
Michel Aoun achieved his long-desired objective of becoming president. He comes into office with two unrealistic objectives: reclaiming the Maronite political prestige and power lost in 1989 and empowering the state.