Electronic Lebanon

Shebaa Farms "real issue" is water

BEIRUT (IRIN) - The politics of the Israeli-occupied Shebaa Farms, a rugged sliver of mountainside wedged between Lebanon, Israel and Syria, have long overshadowed what some Lebanese environmentalists call “the real issue” of the disputed area: its water resources. Now activists are calling for hydro-diplomacy to take precedence over political maneuvering as the most effective solution to one of the key stumbling blocks to Middle East peace. 

Lebanon's politics of real estate

Nostalgia, insists architect and academic Rami Daher, is a legitimate feeling. While most individuals’ instinctive thoughts of the glories of Levantine architecture might run to ancient mosques, castles and palaces, Daher’s yearning is towards an era in living memory, and on a more everyday scale. Sarah Irving reports for Electronic Lebanon. 

Two years later, reconstruction to start in Nahr al-Bared

NAHR AL-BARED (IRIN) - Two years on from the devastating battle which destroyed their homes and livelihoods, Palestinian refugees from Nahr al-Bared are set to see reconstruction work begin inside the camp’s official boundaries. Despite a resilient recovery under way among Palestinians living in the new camp — the area around the edge of the official Nahr al-Bared refugee camp — legal hurdles, political wrangling and the recent discovery of archaeological ruins under the site of the old camp have delayed reconstruction work there. 

Elections only fortify Lebanon's sectarian politics

Lebanon’s elections last month confirmed yet again that in this tiny Mediterranean country, sectarian politics are paramount. Long gone from the collective consciousness are the lessons of the 15-year civil war that began as a political and class dispute and descended into sectarian enmity. Forgotten also are the post-war years that led up to the recent elections and were characterized by the ebb and flow of civil strife. Sami Halabi comments for Electronic Lebanon. 

Video: Nahr al-Bared "Two Years Under Siege"

Two years after it was destroyed in the wake of fighting between the Lebanese army and a militant group, the fate of the Palestinian refugee camp, Nahr al-Bared remains unclear. This 10-minute film, the co-owner of an ice cream factory, the president of the local traders committee and the imam of the al-Quds Mosque, all Palestinian refugees, speak about the siege and its economic consequences. 

Nahr al-Bared's future remains unclear as army holds on to neighborhoods

The three-month-long war between the Lebanese army and Fatah al-Islam militants in the Palestinian refugee camp of Nahr al-Bared in northern Lebanon ended on 2 September 2007. While the Lebanese army has allowed displaced residents to return to some parts of the camp, the fate of other parts of the camp still under the army’s control remains unclear. Ray Smith reports for Electronic Lebanon. 

Video: Nahr al-Bared, "A Sip of Coffee"

This 26-minute film follows a father and his son in the Nahr al-Bared refugee camp as they attempt to deal with their unemployment. The two have been living in temporary metal shelters for more than a year, waiting to return to their camp. By documenting issues of reconstruction, temporary housing, economy, unemployment and despair, the film touches on the daily experience of life in Nahr al-Bared refugee camp. 

No work in Nahr al-Bared camp

Mohammad and Mahmoud sat on an idle field on the edge of the Palestinian refugee camp of Nahr al-Bared in northern Lebanon. While Mahmoud sang to the songs being played on his mobile phone, Mohammad used his for gaming. Mohammad looked up and explained, “We spend our days doing nothing. We get up and sit at the cafe for a few hours. Then we go home and pray. We gather again and return to the cafe. There we sit until the evening. Every day passes like this.” Ray Smith reports on the dire economic conditions in Nahr al-Bared. 

Women battle for citizenship rights

BEIRUT (IPS) - One can be born in Lebanon and live here all one’s life, and still not be a Lebanese citizen. Lebanon is one of few remaining countries in the Middle East where a mother is unable to pass citizenship to her children. Campaigners have succeeded in securing that right in countries such as Egypt, which amended the law in 2004 to allow women to pass citizenship to their children, and in Algeria, which granted women full citizenship rights in 2005. In Lebanon the struggle continues.