Building bridges through interfaith dialogue: a conversation with Mohammad Sammak

Positive peace for Lebanon: reconciliation, reform and resilience
Jul 2012
Religion is central to Lebanese politics and society. Mohammad Sammak reviews priorities and processes of interfaith dialogue to promote tolerance and reconciliation. He describes challenges related to the conflation of religion and politics, as well as the contribution of faith to peacebuilding, including the extent of its social reach: down to grassroots; out to peripheries; up to political elites; and across sectarian divides.

Ex-militia fighters in post-war Lebanon

Positive peace for Lebanon: reconciliation, reform and resilience
Jul 2012
Dima de Clerck reviews post-war rehabilitation of demobilised Lebanese militia, describing how this has been piecemeal, selective and politicised. Many former fighters remain unemployed and have been left to deal with the psychosocial scars of wartime violence. The fact that a new post-war generation of youth is being recruited through a heroic imagining of the war highlights the dangers of neglecting rehabilitation of ex-fighters.

Box 3 - Youth Activism in Lebanon: the challenge of domesticating politics?

Positive peace for Lebanon: reconciliation, reform and resilience
Jul 2012
Jamil Mouawad explores youth activism in Lebanon, in particular the 2005 ‘Independence Intifada’ demonstrations against Syrian occupation and the political potential of young Lebanese to initiate change.

Civil mobilisation and peace in Lebanon

Positive peace for Lebanon: reconciliation, reform and resilience
Jul 2012
Civil mobilisation has had a mixed record as an agent for political change in Lebanon. Marie-Noëlle AbiYaghi reviews the history and impact of Lebanese civil activism from before the war until the present day. She focuses in particular on anti-sectarian demonstrations in Beirut in 2011, which not only exposed growing popular appetite for de-confessionalised politics, but also reinforced civil society’s susceptibility to political interests and interference.

Box 2 - War, peace and history in Lebanon: a conversation with Ahmad Beydoun

Positive peace for Lebanon: reconciliation, reform and resilience
Jul 2012
In conversation with Accord, Ahmad Beydoun describes how the teaching of history is sectarian for many Lebanese. He stresses the importance of narrative diversity in recollecting experiences of the war, and the potential of a coordinated national educational curriculum to help accommodate and acknowledge different views as a means to improve understanding of the ‘other’.

Box 1 - Documenting memories of war: UMAM and The Hangar

Positive peace for Lebanon: reconciliation, reform and resilience
Jul 2012
Liliane Kfoury illustrates Lebanese civil initiatives for memorialisation by describing the Association for Documentation and Research (UMAM D & R), which gathers wartime testimonies of combatants, politicians, civilians, the displaced and relatives of missing people, in order to help preserve collective memory of the war.

Duccio Bandini

Duccio Bandini is currently Programme Manager for the Instrument for Stability with the EU Delegation in Beirut. He holds an MSc in Development Management from the London School of Economics, and has worked on crisis response, recovery and stabilisation issues in Colombia, Central America, Rwanda, and Lebanon, focusing in particular on peacebuilding, reconciliation and security sector reform issues.

Timur Goksel

Timur Goksel is a former spokesperson and senior advisor to UNIFIL. He currently teaches in the Department of Political Studies and Public Administration at the American University of Beirut.

Nizar Abdel-Kader

Nizar Abdel-Kader is a retired General of the Lebanese Armed Forces and a Board member of the Lebanese Defense Journal. He is also a political analyst for the Ad-Diyar newspaper in Beirut and the author of, Iran and the Nuclear Bomb, Nation Without a Fence, and The Israeli Strategy to Destroy Lebanon.

Oren Barak

Oren Barak is a Senior Lecturer at the Departments of Political Science and International Relations at The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Israel. He is the author of The Lebanese Army: A National Institution in a Divided Society (State University of New York Press, 2009).