My debut column on The New Arab (Al Araby Al Jadeed) looks back at Lebanon's popular uprising, also known as the You Stink movement, the nuances that exited on the ground, and why it failed. I look back at what happened and analyze it after spending hours almost every day among the protestors throughout the summer and fall of 2015.
Below is an excerpt:
Lebanon's recent popular uprising, dubbed "You Stink", was at its peak around this time a year ago.
Thousands of people protested almost daily, and for the first time in recent memory, politics was the conversational focus of young people in Lebanon - a generation which had appeared to have taken an oath of silence to politics, much to the delight of Lebanon's establishment.
Lebanon's ruling political alliances, the pro-GCC/West March 14 and pro-Iran/Russia/Syria March 8 movements, were struggling to quash the grassroots campaign using brute force, overt about their interest - or lack thereof - in any progress or development in a country that, since its inception, has been on the verge of being a failed state.
Sounds awe-inspiring, doesn't it?
Unfortunately, things weren't all that straightforward, and it isn't only a result of the rather lousy media coverage - both from local and international platforms. It also has to do with what was happening on the ground, which was never properly examined. One year ago, 250,000 people packed into downtown Beirut. Today, despite the high levels of security in the area, the massive concrete and barbed wire barricades, and spray-painted revolutionary slogans, it has again become a ghost town. What happened?
Read the full article here.