Located in the eastern Mediterranean, Lebanon was home to the ancient Phoenicians and Romans. A tiny country, it features sandy beaches, soaring mountains and historic ruins. In the early 20th century, France left a lasting, sophisticated impression after two decades of control.
Unfortunately, Lebanon’s history since gaining independence in 1943 has been tumultuous including a long civil war (1975 – 1990). Lebanon possesses a heterogeneous population and uneasy power-sharing agreements have been destabilized by accusations of corruption and opportunistic neighbors. Israel, Iran, Syria and Saudi Arabia all meddle in Lebanon’s domestic politics. Refugees from regional conflicts provide another source of unease.
Recently, the situation in Lebanon deteriorated further. More than a year since a powerful blast ripped through Beirut killing more than 200 people, no one has been brought to justice. Sectarian violence erupts on the streets of Beirut. Saudi Arabia, one of Lebanon’s biggest benefactors, is applying economic and diplomatic pressure as its regional rivalry with Iran plays out in Lebanon.
Middle East experts Mona Yacoubian of the United States Institute for Peace and Dr. Eric Bordenkircher of the UCLA Center for Middle East Development will provide context for the current situation in Lebanon, introduce the influential/powerful political parties and the key political figures, address factors contributing to or exacerbating the current crisis, and examine the external forces exerting influence in Lebanon. Tune in to learn what is happening in Lebanon and why.
Cindy Engles graciously underwrites our Geopolitical Series.
Alpine Bank graciously sponsors our virtual programs.