Lebanon has been a political and religious powder keg for decades. It’s a nation known for its intellectual and cultural capital, and its political instability. Lebanon was built on a shaky sectarian foundation with religious identity at the heart of its political system. History has shown that when there is a palpitation, it can have deadly consequences. This summer, after two years of political paralysis and a couple of bloody spasms, Sunni, Shia, and Christian factions compromised and formed a consensus government. But, between the domestic divisions, regional conflicts, and international interests, there’s no telling how long the current calm will last.
- Hilal Khashan, Professor of Political Studies at the American University of Beirut
- Paul Salem, Director of the Carnegie Middle East Center
- Rajah al Husseini, Media Officer for the Waad Company
- Sheikh Mazen Mohammad, Imam at the Harba Mosque in Tripoli
- Samir al Taqi, Al Sharq Center for International Relations in Damascus
- William Harris, Professor of Political Science at Otago University in New Zealand
- Mohammed Berjawi, former Member of Parliament for Beirut’s Second District
- Timur Goksel, Senior Advisor to the UN Interim Forces in Lebanon
- Judith Palmer Harik, President of Metn University and author of Hezbollah: The Changing Face of Terrorism
- Michael Young, Opinions Editor for Lebanon’s English language newspaper, The Daily Star
- Nicholas Veliotes, Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs
- Robert Dillon, US Ambassador to Lebanon
- Robert McFarlane, National Security Advisor to President Reagan
- Sulieman Haddad, Chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee in the Syrian Parliament
- Ziad Haidar, Political Editor of Syrian newspaper Al Watan
- Elie Fawaz, Political Analyst with the Lebanon Renaissance Foundation
Deborah Amos examines the relationship between Lebanon’s sectarian identity politics and its chronic instability.
Ray Suarez looks back at the major role foreign powers have played in Lebanon’s turbulent history.
Deborah Amos explores the rise of Hezbollah, a Shiite Muslim fighting force turned political powerhouse.
Ray Suarez examines America’s unsuccessful attempt to calm Lebanon’s troubled waters in the early 1980s.
Deborah Amos explores Syria’s interests and long-standing influence on its tiny Western neighbor.