Monday, March 7, 2011

Hablo espanol? Yours truly in El Pais

I have recently been interviewed by El Pais newspaper doing a special about revolitions in the Arab world... I am sparing you the Spanish version and giving you the raw answers as I ahve sent them!...

1 How do you see the current situation in your country?


Lebanon is a little different from other neighbouring countries, whereas the others suffer from no political parties we suffer from the existence of many of them each of them with a seperate and distinct agenda and with its own (rival) ties to the regional and international powers. Right now, we are trying to form a government but it looks like the former majority does not wish to participate. So it might end up being one sided, or lopsided, depending on whom to believe.

2 What are the main problems of young people?

Upon graduation, people have to resort to the clientage system (or who knows who) to be able to get a job, so meritocracy is not really something that works well in Lebanon. All in all, however, employment rate is rather well, and most people seem to find an outlet for their education.

3 Are you following informations about other arabic countries, like Tunis or Egypt? What do you think about them?

Yes, Lebanese are political by nature so we always follow political news. It is interesting that the domino effect is starting to show, and eventually, each country will have whatever equation that is suitable for its people, the ones in power, and whatever regional or international equations that come into play. Naturally, we are delighted for the Tunisians and the Egyptians for the bold moves they have done.

4 Do you think that protest will arrive to your country? What the people say on the streets?

Mind you, we already had major protests and counter-protests in 2005, but in Lebanon, no one managed to topple anyone! Everyone stayed in their positions and on their guns so to speak.

5 What's the role of the social networks in protests? Do you know, for instance, any Facebook group agaisnt your country's government?

In Lebanon, there's a lot of free speech, maybe not too much democracy but free speech is a staple here. So there are many websites, against the government, and yes, many facebook groups too. It all depends on which side of the spectrum you are on. If you support the government that will be formed, then you cannot have supported the one that has just been toppled.

6 How are your feelings about arabic future? Will the democracy arrive soon?

Which "democracy" are you talking about? The Iraqi failure? The one the US is trying to impose? When Palestine has a free election, they had Hamas elected. For the US that was not democracy....
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