Over the past three years, Nasrallah’s support in the Islamic world has experienced a sharp decline. Many observers believe that the leader’s recent actions and stances have been a highly effective way to squander decades of hard-won popularity.
Despite Sabine’s continuous efforts for more than ten years, her social work became obvious only after the outbreak of the Syrian war in 2011, followed by the refugee crisis that brought more than a million Syrians into Lebanon. Sabine decided to lead a workshop titled “Seeing the Self” to help teenagers and the victims of war and family and social violence to express themselves, writing about their experiences and turning them into short documentary films, with the help of specialized directors. This workshop produced about 19 short films that were entered in famous festivals around the world; some of them even became award-winning films. Most importantly, these films helped their heroes overcome difficult circumstances.
Rahbani’s plays satirized the political and social reality of the time. Rahbani has never hid his political affiliations. He is the ‘unusual’ artist, critical of his peers who do not express their political views for fear of losing their audience.
In a historic turn of events and after the endorsement of his decade-long rivals in the 14 March alliance, army commander Samir Geagea and Future Movement leader Saad Hariri, Aoun was elected president on 31 October at the 46th electoral session of the Lebanese parliament. Now dubbed ‘the father of all’, Aoun is attempting to serve his term as a president who is at an equal distance from all.
Nabih Berri is perceived as intelligent, dedicated and honest, with good political instincts and the ability to change when needed in order to maintain his position and party. However, his heavy involvement and current long-lasting position in the Parliament make of him an unavoidable figure of Lebanese political life.
Following the beginning of the Syrian civil war in 2011, he claimed that the regime of President Bashar al-Assad was responsible for creating the radical jihadist al-Nusra Front. However, he remains politically active, despite confirming Taymour as his political heir in March 2017. For example, he blamed Saudi Arabia for the resignation of Lebanese Prime Minister Saad al-Hariri in November 2017.
In April 2018, Gemayel said he was against a budget clause he claimed would benefit Syrian refugees looking to settle in Lebanon. Article 50 of the 2018 state budget grants residency to foreign nationals who buy an apartment of at least $500,000 in Beirut and $330,000 elsewhere. Gemayel has taken a similar stance on Palestinian refugees, opposing a proposal that would allow them to work and own property, saying it would be the first step to naturalizing them and therefore unconstitutional.
Some of these opponents denounce Boutros’ support of the movement and consider her concerts to be more like pro-Hezbollah rallies than purely artistic events. However, both supporters and opponents unanimously believe that Boutros has a beautiful voice as well as artistic and ethical commitment. Her voice has been used in many protests and demonstrations held by political parties and civil groups.
Pressure is heavy on Al Hassan's shoulders, as she will have to manage not only an important and risky ministry in a region always shaken up by war and conflicts, but to prove that as a woman, she can do it as well as any male counterpart. Al Hassan’s example and lead could change the face of female political representation in Lebanon. It is a lot of pressure to handle, but she seems prepared for the challenge.
With Lebanon hosting well over a million refugees, Labaki said that the sights of begging street children compelled her to produce a film about their daily reality. Motivated to expose their ordeal, Labaki spent four years building relationships with Beirut’s most marginalized families. On her journey, she saw the dark confines where refugees and undocumented persons languish.
Jaber concluded, “I think the most important achievement of the Metro was that it gave hope that something good can be done and that real art can be presented, which has brought life back to art in Lebanon and allowed theatres to compete with cinemas. We dreamed of creating an oasis in a city full of problems, exploiting the margins of freedom that the city has. This is in addition to restoring to the art makers their confidence in the audience and allowing them to take chances and produce art based on revenues. This audience will find its way to true art in a scene that is full of many other colours.”
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