Last word articles

Are Arab countries on track for UN education goals?

Are Arab countries on track for UN education goals?

A region of renowned civilizations and contribution to humanity, the Arab region has become one of paradoxes in recent times: Young, highly educated, dynamic nations, on the one hand, and multiple protracted armed conflicts, high levels of youth unemployment, volatile and vulnerable states of existence, and extreme inequalities and disparities, on the other.    While

Press freedom in Lebanon today

At the time when it is essential for the press to be independent, when everyone should be investing their efforts into safeguarding the well-being of the press, instead, the world over, there are economic, religious, political, and legal pressures that are controlling the freedom of expression of journalists, media outlets, and even citizens themselves. Freedom

‘Normalization’ with Israel is a flawed policy

Realities are becoming increasingly unreal in an ever more volatile region. Expectation of the Netanyahu government formally annexing Palestinian land—with the excuse that they are only confirming the reality of Israeli rule—means 2019 is going to be a dangerous one in the Middle East. At the heart of the current mess is a “normalization” policy

Fighting harassment at work in Lebanon

The need to adopt a legal framework to tackle harassment in the workplace in Lebanon has been garnering more space in the public debate during the last couple of months, especially after the success of the almost global #MeToo campaign. In fact, many in the labor sector—especially women and transgender persons, who are verbally or

Factors keeping Lebanese youth unemployed

On the one side are Lebanese youths eager to work, on the other are local employers looking for staff. So why are businesses—especially those based outside of Beirut—not recruiting more local youth? This question was the driving force behind Mercy Corps’ Youth-led Market Assessment (YLMA) in 2018. The YLMA explored the reasons why youth were

Misplaced trust

Through discussions with Lebanese citizens about the space for free speech in the country, we have found that many Lebanese say they take solace in the belief that despite the government’s failure to provide even the most basic services, they at least are free to say, write, and joke about their predicaments, and criticize those

Targeting the right people for our advocacy

When Lebanon signed the United Nations Convention Against Corruption (UNCAC) in 2008, our political elite unwittingly embarked on a path toward better governance and more transparency. For many reading this article, this statement will come as a surprise—particularly given the high levels of corruption in Lebanon today and the general perception that no one is

Peace for those left behind

“Just a bone,” she said. “All I need is one bone for me to put his memory at peace.” On the International Day of the Disappeared, at an event organized by the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), a woman from the crowd took the floor and reminded us again why, year after year,

Talking saves lives

The conversation around mental health in Lebanon has been ignited. While some believe we are still at the beginning of this journey, it is safe to say that the past five years—and in particular the past six months—have witnessed a dramatic change in the state of mental health awareness and resources in Lebanon. This change

Access to information in Lebanon

The same questions come up often: “How can I use the Access to Information Law (A2I)?” or “Can I use it at all, or has it joined the ranks of the dozens of good laws that are not enforced in Lebanon?” Lebanese citizens, once hopeful that transparency in the country would be heightened with the

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