Friday, January 18, 2008
The excellent Rasha Abu Zeki from Al-Akhbar asks: is there a place for consumers associations in Lebanon? Rasha is very young and has excellent analytical skills and class consciousness. She starts the article with an interview with Prof. Nahawand al Kadri from the Lebanese University on the individualism in Lebanese society and how this prevents collective action (modern Lebanon was bad enough, so post-modern Lebanon, je ne vous dit pas). She then talks about Lebanon's consumers association which is being sued by everyone it criticizes (and it is very mild), and is NOT protected by the state (as it should be). The state does not recognize that its duty is to care for its citizen, the least it could do is protect civil society when it tries to do that. If the consumer's association was claiming to be protecting Lebanon against Sassanid invasion, I'm sure the state would have looked very positively at it. And some donors too.