Tuesday, January 22, 2008
A report by Rasha Abu Zeki from Al Akhbar on a workshop organized by UNDP on Socio-economic Citizenship. I didn't go, although it sounded theoretically interesting. Rasha caught the mood of these assemblies of academic specialists very well: she reports about the brow-beating of the young researcher (Jad Chaaban) by the old timers about the quality of his sources, and later, by Antoine Haddad, about what seems to be Jad's "polarized" description of the Lebanese society. Haddad tells him that there are many shades of gray, and that we have enough polarization in Lebanon today. Jad is right however, when a country has all but lost its middle class, and has one of the highest levels of inequality in the world, I think we can safely call it polarized. And who is Antoine Haddad to talk about polarization: he is part of one of the 2 poles, March 14. I've heard him call into talk shows to justify the government. Anyway, the reason I didn't go (besides the fact that I don't have time for a full day of talk), is that I didn't like the line up: many people from the March 14 camp, none from the opposition. Well, when you work for Ban ki, what do you expect?