Lebanon: A Tale of Three Explosions

On August 4, a devastating explosion struck Beirut’s port, killing hundreds, injuring thousands, and destroying half of the city. Blamed for gross negligence, Lebanon’s government quickly resigned, for the second time in the past year. And two weeks later, on August 18, the Special Tribunal for Lebanon (STL) announced its long-awaited judgement in the investigation of PM Rafic Hariri’s assassination, finding one suspect, Hezbollah member Salim Ayyash, guilty. Many Lebanese remain deeply unsatisfied, saying the government’s resignation isn’t enough, and that years of corruption and mismanagement warrant reform of the entire system. Meanwhile, the STL’s decision has been almost forgotten as Lebanese begin rebuilding their city amid an economic crisis that has left much of the country on the brink of penury. Thirty years after the end of the civil war, Lebanon’s future is as uncertain as ever. Nadim Shehadi will discuss the factors that have led Lebanon to this deplorable state and how the country might move forward.