(My Middle East)

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

2 Stories: Lebanon Drug Addiction | Foreign Influence

with 2 comments

I had a story in The Daily Star today about an NGO, Skoun, that helps treat drug addicts and lobbies the government for more treatment and less jail time for addicts. NGOs really fill a huge gap in civil society. I’ve covered events by about a dozen so far and its really interesting to see how prevalent they are. One one hand its a good thing to provide all these services, but on the other it makes people dependent on other countries organizations and individual donors besides the state.
My story in the paper yesterday was on a UNDP report with a section on foreign influence in Lebanon. It was some of the harshest language that I’ve read about the foreign patronage, and especially suprising coming from the UN. Unfortunately it didn’t have a newspeg, but hey you gata fill the paper I guess.

The foreign influence really gets understated, particularly by people with an agenda. You hear people talk about the “Western backed” March 14 coalition (like in my story, not my choice) but really that should read something like “Saudi backed” because of the  hundreds of millions of dollars the Saudis possibly used to leverage the campaign. But as usual the truth can’t be summed up into one or two words. Parties that joined either March 8 and 14 had diverse reasons for doing so that reflect local, national, regional and global pressures that are difficult to encapsulate in a phrase.

Written by stephenddockery

July 18, 2009 at 6:18 pm

2 Responses

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  1. Lebanon, like many other developing countries , have become addicted to a culture of dependency. Like most addicts these countries are in denial of their addiction. My fellow Lebanese cannot think of themselves as living on handouts ; they would immediately point to the excessive consumption by the very rich but they would turn a blind eye to the fact that Lebanon depends on the handouts/generosity of other countries for everything from police cars to ammunition and loan forgivness. Lest we forget, NGO’s play a role only once civil society fails to perform its tasks.

    Ghassan Karam

    July 20, 2009 at 7:54 pm

  2. Interesting post. I have stumbled this for my friends. Hope others find it as interesting as I did.


    Health Campus

    August 31, 2009 at 8:11 am

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