July 20, 2020

THERE IS NO LEBANON:

The Inexorable Collapse of Lebanon (Christoph Reuterm 20.07.2020, Der Spiegel)

Lebanon never grew together as a nation, Allouch says, adding that it was pieced together by France a century ago from the leftovers of the Ottoman Empire. Ultimately, he says, it was the product of lobbying by rich merchants, particularly in Beirut. "But we have never felt like we belonged together."

Shiites, Sunnis, Maronites, Armenians, Greek-Orthodox Christians or Druze: All groups eye the others with suspicion, he says, their leaders stirring up fear of the others and only joining together to plunder the state. "We're a kind of Frankenstein with make-up," Allouch says.

The radiance of Lebanon, and the myth of a "Middle Eastern Switzerland," has always been fragile, and no city has experienced this as painfully as Tripoli. Here, in a kind of remake of the civil war that continued for years until 2014, the inhabitants of the two poorest quarters would fire shots back and forth at each other: the Alawites from Jabal Mohsen and the Sunnis from Bab Tabbeneh.

It's what happens when your political system is based on giving the minority power over the majority.

Posted by at July 20, 2020 12:00 AM

  

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