THE ISSAM FARES INSTITUTE FOR PUBLIC POLICY AND INTERNATIONAL AFFAIRS
Book Discussion: "Le Liban d’hier à demain"
Within the framework of the Festival Beyrouth Livres 2022, IFI, L’Orient littéraire and L’Institut français held a book discussion of “Le Liban d’hier à demain,” by Amb. Nawaf Salam on October 27. In the presence of the author, the panel discussion included Dominique Eddé, Lebanese novelist, Ziad Majed, Professor and political researcher and IFI Director Joseph Bahout, who also moderated the discussion.
The book gathers articles written by Salam on the Lebanese political system throughout the years, re-written and updated in light of the most recent crisis facing the country and its very existence. During the discussion, Bahout highlighted two quotes from the book; that “the tragedy of the Lebanese remains to be citizens in an unfinished state.” In addition, he singled out a quote by Antonio Gramsci, which Salam alludes to, “the crisis consists precisely in the fact that the old is dying and the new cannot be born; in this interregnum a great variety of morbid symptoms appear,” both of which summarize the current state of affairs in the country.
The panel singled out and talked at length on the subjects of federalism – and whether it really responds to Lebanon’s problems – and confessionalism – questioning what is needed to overcome it and whether change should and could be implemented within the system. In response, Salam, listed the defects of confessionalism and identified its harm on both the citizens and the state. He also added that “this is neither a state to be built against communities, nor a state that is only tolerated by them, but rather a state that is capable of containing and transcending them.”
You can watch the full panel discussion here.
Within the framework of the Participatory Hub for Effective Mapping, Acceleration and Capitalization (PHEMAC) project, the Climate Change and Environment (CC&E) Program at IFI held the PHEMAC Innovation Week on October 10-11, gathering local and international partners to discuss the Water-Energy-Food (WEF) Nexus and meet startups working to tackle Nexus challenges. The event gathered researchers, policy makers, investors, industry players, SMEs, startups and entrepreneurs working in the fields of the WEF Nexus.
The week kicked off with a panel on WEF Nexus status and realities in Lebanon. The discussion focused on the establishment of synergies with other on-going Nexus initiatives in the Mediterranean Partner Country (MPC) region and the need to raise awareness on success stories on MPC best practices within the WEF sectors.
Recommendations were presented on ways to improve MPC participation in the discussion about priorities of future policy dialogue in the region related to WEF issues. A focus group was later held on IT platforms addressing the WEF Nexus, how to employ them, guarantee their sustainability or replicate their use. A brokerage event provided a great opportunity for youth-led startups and entrepreneurs to present their innovative projects showcasing initiatives to alleviate the WEF Nexus in Lebanon and explore potential opportunities for commercial and technological cooperation.
Day 1 ended with the Lebanese-MED Researcher’s Night, during which researchers and students pitched their research, within the realm of the WEF Nexus to support growing studies in this field and tackle the current implications in Lebanon and the MENA region. The winning project was Drone Aid, with Jamra Plus winning second place and G algae third place.
On Day 2, the CC&E program lead a discussion on the elevated PHEMAC methodology, involving an older version re-visited in a broader framework of analysis. The day ended with a workshop whereby participating partners tested the methodology and its effectiveness in assessing the impact of projects tackling the WEF nexus.