Libyan Women Ok With Sharia

Tripoli, Libya

“’Egypt is Islamic, it will not be secular!’ Islamist supporters of Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi have taken to chanting this slogan during street protests in Cairo. While the mantra fills opponents of the Egyptian president with dread, as does a Morsi-backed draft Constitution ensuring laws and rights will be strictly subordinated to sharia law, such chants would hardly prove controversial in Libya, Egypt’s neighboring Arab-Spring country—nor would they propel tens of thousands onto the streets of Tripoli or Benghazi to express dissent.”

Read my Daily Beast here.

Will Libya’s Women Be Shut Out?

Tripoli, Libya

“A year on from the ouster of Col. Muammar Gaddafi, the Libyan revolution is turning sour for women, who had hoped that they would find the new Libya open to them to play a far greater role in public and political life—and on their terms rather than those defined by men.”

Now they are battling to get women on a planned constitutional body tasked with coming up with a new constitution for the new post-Gaddafi Libya. Read full report here.

Lebanon Peeps Into The Abyss

And this filed on December 7 and examining the dangers to Lebanon of a spillover from the Syrian civil war.

“No one is suggesting that the clashes have yet reached a tipping point. The government in Beirut has struggled for months to try to limit the repercussions on the country from the vicious warfare raging in Syria and to avoid the that country’s conflict reviving the Lebanese civil war of 1975 to 1990—a crisis that left 120,000 Lebanese dead and a quarter of the population wounded. But one government minister, Faisal Karami, acknowledged that the situation in north Lebanon is becoming ‘very critical and dangerous.’

Full report here.

Syria’s Kids: Children of the Rubble

December 13

I have been very neglectful of the blog the past few weeks and so am updating with four recent articles from Newsweek/Daily Beast. The first is below and was filed from the Lebanon city of Tripoli. It focuses on the trauma affecting the children of the rubble — refugees kids from Syria.

“The children are refugees from war-torn Syria, where fighting is in its second year, and more vicious than ever. The oldest child is 14, the youngest 3, and everyone has been uprooted from their daily lives; from school and teachers; from friends and familiar places. Some have seen relatives killed, friends blown up, or neighbors buried in rubble. But all have witnessed the horror of a country at war with itself.

Media coverage of the Syrian conflict focuses on the tangible: on the shooting and killing, on the tactics and military hardware, on the death toll and the wounded. But the harm is much greater than the estimated number of people killed—36,000 so far. The greatest casualty is the generation of Syrian children who are living with untold grief and trauma.”

You can read the full report here.