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Habermas vs. the Sheikh Zayed Book Award: An Intellectual or Soft Power Conflict!

By 
Michael Teague

Jürgen Habermas's decision to reject the Sheikh Zayed Book Award's "Cultural Personality of the Year" prize set off a heated debate in the Arab press. The most famous remaining representative of the second generation of the Frankfurt school, despite his considerable bibliography, Habermas was not well-known at the popular level in the Arab world. After his initial acceptance and then rejection of the Sheikh Zayed award, however, intellectuals in the employ of the United Arab Emirates criticized the German philosopher vociferously. 

Can a Nation Plagued by Mass Corruption, Decaying Institutions, and Rabid Sectarianism Deliver Justice For those Lost and Victimized by the August Explosion?

By 
Elie Chalala

One cannot miss the irony of the Lebanese officials allegedly responsible for what is possibly the third or fourth largest non-nuclear explosion in the world hiding behind “immunity” from a crime that claimed over 207 people and injured 6,000, while devastating large parts of the Lebanese capital. The Beirut Port explosion in August 2020 measured about one-twentieth the size of Hiroshima’s atomic bomb, according to the BBC. As its one-year anniversary approaches, many Lebanese are still struggling to hold accountable those responsible for the blast.

Important, Sometimes Controversial Iraqi Poet Saadi Youssef (1934 - 2021) Requests a ‘Funeral Without Mourners’

By 
Elie Chalala
 
The legendary and controversial Iraqi poet Saadi Youssef died at 87 in his Harefield home outside of London on June 12 from lung cancer. The poet, whose multitude of works encompassed poetry, prose, literary criticism, translation, and memoir, leaves decades’ worth of work penned in exile and translated into several languages, among them English, French, German, and Italian.

Controversy Over Mohammad Shukri’s Literary Legacy Outlives the Author

By 
Al Jadid Staff
Many students and scholars of Arabic literature would recall the debates on the books of Mohammad Shukri (1935-2003) late last century and a part of the early 21st century. The debates centered primarily on Shukri’s picaresque approach, which included harsh depictions of repression, marginalization, deprivation, morality, breaching taboos and censorship, and of course, the banning of his books in most Arab countries. We can categorize many of his books as autobiographical, and the opposition was not to this type of literature but to the language and details he used. His spontaneity violated all technical and artistic norms in both Moroccan and Arab literature, especially in “The Bare Bread,” “Age of Mistakes,” and “Faces,” his autobiographical trilogy.
 

The Judiciary, Latest Indicator of Lebanon’s Impending Collapse:

A Judge Runs Amok
By 
Elie Chalala
The collapse of the Lebanese state grows imminent as news of different sectors unraveling emerges every day. The latest crisis reached the judiciary, which — though already known for its politicization and sectarianism — currently deals with a judge whose erratic, politicized personality violates all the norms of judicial behaviors and traditions. This controversial judge is Mount Lebanon state prosecutor, Ghada Aoun.
 

In a Statistical Vacuum, Speculating on the Arab-American Vote, 2016 vs. 2020

By 
Elie Chalala
 
While much of the country — and even the world — focused on the last U.S. election and remained engrossed even after its results and consequences, the picture of this historic event in the Arab world was unlike anything that was happening here. Regrettably, the distorted analysis and coverage by Arab media influenced to some extent the attitudes and electoral choices of many Arab immigrants in the U.S.

Beirut’s People Still Waiting: The Government That Left a Bomb on Their Doorstep Now Leaves Them Out in the Cold

By 
Al Jadid Staff
 
The never-ending reports from Lebanon on its social and economic crises are perplexing. Despite the gravity of the situation, officials sitting at the top refuse to relinquish or even reform the system. Recent news reports reveal a collapsing banking sector, a threatened educational system, and an impoverished and broken health system, all while the country watches a judiciary circus played daily on TV and social media, demolishing whatever legitimacy the courts still hold.

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