(My Middle East)

77 days with a journalist, Lebanon, and a list of non sequiturs

Archive for May 27th, 2009

The Lebanese Army

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There have been a few interesting things that have popped up on my radar about the Lebanese Army recently, one as new book from Oren Barak at the University of Jerusalem and another a post on Harvard’s Middle East Strategy Blog by David Schenker

The book apparently puts forward that the army is unsuually disciplined for a country thats been in such turmoil and “The book suggests that the Lebanese Army has played a significant role in Lebanon’s survival.”

The post by Schenker on the other hand suggests, that the Lebanese army could be  in cahoots with Hezbollah, or may destabilize if March 8 wins.
Its interesting that two such opposed theories are circulating at the same time, but not all that unusual. I do find the army a very compelling subject, and from my experiences in Beirut they seem very disciplined.

Schneker’s claims of the army being in cahoots with Lebanon seem the most dubious though, with his best evidence being the Army disappearing from the streets of Beirut during the 2008  Hezbollah uprising. That seems more common sense to avoid more blood letting that working in tandem.

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Written by stephenddockery

May 27, 2009 at 7:54 pm

Got my first story

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Lets go!*

I went into work today and first thing got an assignment to cover a lecture at AUB. The lecture was at 4 and it was already 2:30 so I had to quickly finish my job of pulling together the wire stories for the specialty page (which was on women).

Right as I was about to leave, the power went out (which, I should note, is not that unusual a thing in Lebanon, the power grid is apparently very old and overworked so the power goes out almost everyday, sometimes for as much as 3 hours). But for a newspaper, to have the power go out regularly has to be impossible. I’m sure they must have a generator , but one didn’t come on today and the news staff started off talking about which pages they would cut.

Power in Beirut is something to look into and I’m sure would be a fascinating enterprise piece. From the structural inadequacies of the system to the corruption that leeches off of it (as it does in about everything in government in Lebanon, or so I’m told), it would make for something big story wise.

Anyways I caught a service to AUB (blog post forthcoming on taxis in Beirut) and covered the business lecture.  Nothing wild, but pretty good getting a by-line on the second day of the job.

I finished up the evening hanging out in the blb cafe, drinking an almaza and writing my story, and the watching the Champions league match.

Written by stephenddockery

May 27, 2009 at 7:16 pm