The Beirut Banyan

Ronnie Chatah

Storytelling and conversations, from Beirut and beyond. Subscribe from your preferred podcast platform. Support us through Paypal or Patreon.

All Episodes

0:00 Intro 1:30 Drive to register 18:51 Future of this country 42:38 Entrepreneurs We're with Dana Hourany for Episode 290 of The Beirut Banyan. Click to watch: https://youtu.be/WbtraNrDDpc We discuss her recent NOWLebanon pieces covering opposition-led politics and last week's lawyers syndicate election defeat for October 17 parties, impressions following the diaspora voter registration campaign, as well as entrepreneurial skills moving online in times of financial crisis and economic collapse. Dana Hourany is a multimedia journalist for NOWLebanon. The pieces mentioned in this episode are listed below in order of appearance: '244,442': https://nowlebanon.com/244442-2/ 'The case for a united opposition': https://nowlebanon.com/the-case-for-a-united-opposition/ 'The Beirut Bar elections breakdown': https://nowlebanon.com/the-beirut-bar-elections-breakdown/ 'More than just a business': https://nowlebanon.com/more-than-just-a-business/ Help support The Beirut Banyan by contributing via PayPal: https://www.paypal.me/walkbeirut Or donating through our Patreon page: https://www.patreon.com/thebeirutbanyan Subscribe to our podcast from your preferred platform. Follow us on Facebook, Instagram & Twitter: @thebeirutbanyan And check out our website: www.ronniechatah.com Music by Marc Codsi. Animation & illustration by Sana Chaaban.

Nov 28

1 hr 1 min

I discuss October 17's setback and defeat in last weekend's lawyer syndicate elections, our recent independence day's passing and why political & militant actors in Lebanon are behaving as they do. Click to watch: https://youtu.be/Jr-FamUfG00 Help support The Beirut Banyan by contributing via PayPal: https://www.paypal.me/walkbeirut Or donating through our Patreon page: https://www.patreon.com/thebeirutbanyan Subscribe to our podcast from your preferred platform. Follow us on Facebook, Instagram & Twitter: @thebeirutbanyan And check out our website: www.ronniechatah.com Music by Marc Codsi. Animation & illustration by Sana Chaaban.

Nov 23

15 min 42 sec

0:00 Intro 1:35 Transition 24:38 Regime 44:20 March 14 1:11:42 Investigation 1:19:06 October 17 We're with Jad Ghosn for Episode 288 of The Beirut Banyan. Click to watch: https://youtu.be/xXykuFazJa0 We discuss his journalism career and transition from mainstream media to independent podcasting, and the common criticism both of us face when recording episodes with 'regime' figures. Our conversation includes a look back at the March 14 movement, investigative journalism's role in the port blast aftermath and the potential for October 17 parties to win seats in next year's parliamentary elections. Jad Ghosn is a former television host and documentary producer at Al Jadeed and currently hosts his independent podcast 'Reflections with Jad Ghosn'. Help support The Beirut Banyan by contributing via PayPal: https://www.paypal.me/walkbeirut Or donating through our Patreon page: https://www.patreon.com/thebeirutbanyan Subscribe to our podcast from your preferred platform. Follow us on Facebook, Instagram & Twitter: @thebeirutbanyan And check out our website: www.ronniechatah.com Music by Marc Codsi. Animation & illustration by Sana Chaaban.

Nov 21

1 hr 45 min

Click to watch: https://youtu.be/04xqYUAgxmM In Ep.287 I narrate my latest piece for NOWLebanon, 'Agency. Not Surrender'. To read the full article: https://nowlebanon.com/agency-not-surrender/

Nov 15

12 min 40 sec

I discuss the driving force - both the good and the bad - behind running for next year's parliamentary elections, in hopes that pushing for reform remains an ultimate priority, regardless of whether the opposition wins or loses against traditional parties. Click to watch: https://youtu.be/VCwMqgjufFk Help support The Beirut Banyan by contributing via PayPal: https://www.paypal.me/walkbeirut Or donating through our Patreon page: https://www.patreon.com/thebeirutbanyan Subscribe to our podcast from your preferred platform. Follow us on Facebook, Instagram & Twitter: @thebeirutbanyan And check out our website: www.ronniechatah.com Music by Marc Codsi. Animation & illustration by Sana Chaaban.

Nov 13

12 min 29 sec

I discuss the wider issue of consensus and how it has shaped modern Lebanese political history. I also reflect on the 1960s and why that decade is an anomaly when it comes to state building, neutrality and sovereignty. Help support The Beirut Banyan by contributing via PayPal: https://www.paypal.me/walkbeirut Or donating through our Patreon page: https://www.patreon.com/thebeirutbanyan Subscribe to our podcast from your preferred platform. Follow us on Facebook, Instagram & Twitter: @thebeirutbanyan And check out our website: www.ronniechatah.com Music by Marc Codsi. Animation & illustration by Sana Chaaban.

Nov 12

25 min 5 sec

I discuss the need for diaspora citizens to register to vote for next year’s parliamentary elections and I outline the process step by step. To register, click on the following link: https://diasporavote.mfa.gov.lb And follow the steps noted in the episode. Contact Kulluna Irada's call center for further information needed: Worldwide: +96176907686 (WhatsApp) North America Hotline: +16478466388 To read my article, 'Agency. Not Surrender.' in NOWLebanon this Thursday, visit the website: www.nowlebanon.com The other episodes referenced include: Ep.281: Minteshreen with Hussein El Achi https://youtu.be/HS-EVvzEeoA Ep.275: Moving Forward with Laury Haytayan https://youtu.be/nAK5qU9hHjA Ep.277: Kataeb in Perspective with Samy Gemayel https://youtu.be/3aJdZ4eht-0 Ep.279: Kulluna Irada with Diana Menhem https://youtu.be/SoKG0EGaf8U Ep.260: Fading Illusions with Albert Kostanian https://youtu.be/wMzOpwbCP0A Help support The Beirut Banyan by contributing via PayPal: https://www.paypal.me/walkbeirut Or donating through our Patreon page: https://www.patreon.com/thebeirutbanyan Subscribe to our podcast from your preferred platform. Follow us on Facebook, Instagram & Twitter: @thebeirutbanyan And check out our website: www.ronniechatah.com Music by Marc Codsi. Animation & illustration by Sana Chaaban.

Nov 10

10 min 7 sec

0:00 Intro 3:34 What keeps you here? 10:30 Appreciation for rock music 19:44 Patience 41:25 Democratization 1:00:38 Benefit 1:14:33 Independence 1:34:38 Years to come We're with Rabih Salloum for Episode 283 of The Beirut Banyan. Click to watch: https://youtu.be/ZFr1aUPNAhI We discuss his current solo project Grave Jones, his latest single 'Heaven Only Knows' and earlier music with Slutterhouse. Our conversation includes an appreciation for rock music, Beirut as a backdrop for storytelling and the political evolution we both experienced from 2005 onwards. We also talk about patience lost through social media, an upbringing that allowed for imagination and creativity and why a sense of anger overtakes our emotions online. Rabih Salloum is a singer, songwriter and philosophy instructor at AUB. Help support The Beirut Banyan by contributing via PayPal: https://www.paypal.me/walkbeirut Or donating through our Patreon page: https://www.patreon.com/thebeirutbanyan Subscribe to our podcast from your preferred platform. Follow us on Facebook, Instagram & Twitter: @thebeirutbanyan And check out our website: www.ronniechatah.com Music by Marc Codsi. Animation & illustration by Sana Chaaban.

Nov 7

1 hr 39 min

Click to watch: https://youtu.be/6YFqWn7ny4M I discuss what's at stake when it comes to reformists and next year's parliamentary elections, regional and international posturing vis-a-vis Iran and the increasingly likely return of (Russian-based) Syrian influence over Lebanon, and why any country with leverage over the Iranian regime and negotiating over their nuclear program must place our sovereignty on the table. Help support The Beirut Banyan by contributing via PayPal: https://www.paypal.me/walkbeirut Or donating through our Patreon page: https://www.patreon.com/thebeirutbanyan Subscribe to our podcast from your preferred platform. Follow us on Facebook, Instagram & Twitter: @thebeirutbanyan And check out our website: www.ronniechatah.com Music by Marc Codsi. Animation & illustration by Sana Chaaban.

Nov 4

8 min 56 sec

0:00 Intro 5:01 Fatherhood 10:45 Reflection 31:16 Maturity 40:34 2005 & 2009 54:43 March 14 1:06:32 Sectarianism 1:17:21 Militia 1:40:02 Internal Structure 1:44:18 Diaspora We're with Hussein El Achi for Episode 281 of The Beirut Banyan. Click to watch: https://youtu.be/HS-EVvzEeoA We discuss all that is Minteshreen, reflections on two years past the October 17 uprising and comparisons with earlier protest movements. Our conversation includes last week's tragic events in Tayyouneh, differences between current clashes and the civil war years and disagreements on the use of the word 'militia' to describe local parties aside from Hezbollah. We also talk about Minteshreen's internal structure and the important role of the diaspora in next year's parliamentary elections. Hussein El Achi is the secretary general of Minteshreen. Check our Minteshreen's recently launched website: www.minteshreen.com Help support The Beirut Banyan by contributing via PayPal: https://www.paypal.me/walkbeirut Or donating through our Patreon page: https://www.patreon.com/thebeirutbanyan Subscribe to our podcast from your preferred platform. Follow us on Facebook, Instagram & Twitter: @thebeirutbanyan And check out our website: www.ronniechatah.com Music by Marc Codsi. Animation & illustration by Sana Chaaban.

Oct 24

1 hr 53 min

I discuss the recurring suspension of the Beirut port blast investigation, Judge Tarek Bitar's continued pursuit and the reasons I think the threats against him are more performative in nature than meant to remove him, in an attempt to discredit the entire process as was done to the Special Tribunal for Lebanon. Click to watch: https://youtu.be/Fve_5cMKr3U Help support The Beirut Banyan by contributing via PayPal: https://www.paypal.me/walkbeirut Or donating through our Patreon page: https://www.patreon.com/thebeirutbanyan Subscribe to our podcast from your preferred platform. Follow us on Facebook, Instagram & Twitter: @thebeirutbanyan And check out our website: www.ronniechatah.com Music by Marc Codsi. Animation & illustration by Sana Chaaban.

Oct 12

13 min 3 sec

0:00 Intro 0:25 What is Kulluna Irada? 10:55 'Email your ambassador' 17:10 The same page 26:12 Port blast investigation 35:45 Opposition parties 46:06 Reflective 50:48 Splintering We're with Diana Menhem for Episode 279 of The Beirut Banyan. Click to watch: https://youtu.be/BUId-YOV0iM We discuss civic engagement, political reform and the wider role of Kulluna Irada. Our conversation includes position papers and policy statements delivered by Kulluna Irada, lobbying efforts regarding lawsuits and the port blast, and why political clarity is essential for opposition parties to win seats in next year's parliamentary elections. We also talk about whether the splintering of advocacy groups hurts efforts done and Diana's own reflections on her career in civil society stemming from the You Stink crisis and Beirut Madinati through to her current position in Kulluna Irada. Diana Menhem is the managing director of Kulluna Irada. The position papers and policy statements mentioned in the episode are linked below in order of appearance: 'Email your ambassador': https://kulluna-irada.org/diaspora 'Diaspora Participation in Lebanon’s 2022 Elections: Cancelling the Six Expats Seats' https://kulluna-irada.org/article-122 'Call for an International Investigative Mission into the Beirut Blast' https://kulluna-irada.org/article-123 Help support The Beirut Banyan by contributing via PayPal: https://www.paypal.me/walkbeirut Or donating through our Patreon page: https://www.patreon.com/thebeirutbanyan Subscribe to our podcast from your preferred platform. Follow us on Facebook, Instagram & Twitter: @thebeirutbanyan And check out our website: www.ronniechatah.com Music by Marc Codsi. Animation & illustration by Sana Chaaban.

Oct 10

56 min

0:00 Intro 0:58 Karantina 19:01 1934 Beirut Port Blast 25:47 Tramway 42:52 Train 48:12 Alternative Modes 57:26 Pressing Matter We're with Mohamad El Chemaa for Episode 278 of The Beirut Banyan. Click to watch: https://youtu.be/Ai_sxzYy9Nk We discuss Karantina's construction and evolution, the 1934 port blast and the country's once-renowned public transport system including the Beirut tramway and Lebanese national rail network. Our conversation includes urban planning gone astray, alternative modes of transport proposed and never implemented and the simple dream of an urban planner. Mohamad El Chemaa is an urban planner and researcher at Beirut Urban Lab. The articles by Mohamad referenced in this piece are below in order of appearance: 'Beirut’s forgotten medical history: Quarantining before COVID-19' in Beirut Today: https://beirut-today.com/2021/04/06/beiruts-forgotten-medical-history-quarantining-before-covid/ 'The forgotten explosion: Reconstructing the 1934 Beirut port blast' in L'Orient Today: https://today.lorientlejour.com/article/1270337/the-forgotten-explosion-reconstructing-the-1934-beirut-port-blast.html 'Whatever happened to our alternative modes of transport?' in L'Orient Today: https://today.lorientlejour.com/article/1270337/the-forgotten-explosion-reconstructing-the-1934-beirut-port-blast.html The metro system article referred to by Najib Mitri is accessible below: 'A 1968 USSR Study for Beirut Metro' in Blog Baladi: https://blogbaladi.com/a-1968-ussr-study-for-beirut-metro/ Help support The Beirut Banyan by contributing via PayPal: https://www.paypal.me/walkbeirut Or donating through our Patreon page: https://www.patreon.com/thebeirutbanyan Subscribe to our podcast from your preferred platform. Follow us on Facebook, Instagram & Twitter: @thebeirutbanyan And check out our website: www.ronniechatah.com Music by Marc Codsi. Animation & illustration by Sana Chaaban.

Oct 3

1 hr 4 min

0:00 Intro 2:23 Scar 15:48 Change 31:17 Reconciliation 39:47 Militia 48:00 Sovereignty 56:23 Elections 1:11:50 On Your Terms We're with Samy Gemayel for Episode 277 of The Beirut Banyan. Click to watch: https://youtu.be/3aJdZ4eht-0 We discuss the shared pain of losing family members to political assassinations, and inheriting legacies from loved ones. Our conversation includes Kataeb's political evolution since 1936, along with its militia role during the 1970s and 80s. We touch on the difficulties of addressing responsibility during the civil war years, including multiple massacres from Damour to Sabra and Shatila. We also talk about the long-term consequences of diminished sovereignty, and the type of political agency that can emerge from next year's parliamentary elections. I also let Samy address some of the negative feedback I received for willing to host him on the podcast. Samy Gemayel is the President of Kataeb Party. Help support The Beirut Banyan by contributing via PayPal: https://www.paypal.me/walkbeirut Or donating through our Patreon page: https://www.patreon.com/thebeirutbanyan Subscribe to our podcast from your preferred platform. Follow us on Facebook, Instagram & Twitter: @thebeirutbanyan And check out our website: www.beirutbanyan.com Music by Marc Codsi. Animation & illustration by Sana Chaaban.

Sep 26

1 hr 25 min

Click to watch: https://youtu.be/8p47uTIfPAg Subscribe to The Beirut Banyan's YouTube channel and help promote our video releases: www.youtube.com/c/thebeirutbanyan Thanks to everyone listening and watching. Stay tuned for tomorrow's episode with Samy Gemayel.

Sep 25

2 min 58 sec

0:00 Intro 0:25 America 28:50 Stability & Crisis Management 47:56 Two Narratives 1:01:49 Sovereignty & Neutrality 1:23:38 October 17 We're with Nadim Shehadi for Episode 276 of The Beirut Banyan. Click to watch: https://youtu.be/502pNWB33_E We discuss America's influence in Lebanon over the past two centuries, and the soft power interchange among people and education vs a more recent foreign policy defined by hard power expenditure and bureaucracy. Our conversation includes a fork in the road for Lebanon and two possible narratives emerging, one cautiously optimistic and the other catastrophic. We also debate sovereignty and neutrality and focus in on past disassociation agreements, and conclude with perspectives on the October 17 uprising's political prospects for next year's parliamentary elections. Nadim Shehadi is the Executive Director of the Lebanese American University New York Headquarters and Academic Center. The article mentioned at the start of the episode is linked below: https://www.arabnews.com/node/1914966 Help support The Beirut Banyan by contributing via PayPal: https://www.paypal.me/walkbeirut Or donating through our Patreon page: https://www.patreon.com/thebeirutbanyan Subscribe to our podcast from your preferred platform. Follow us on Facebook, Instagram & Twitter: @thebeirutbanyan And check out our website: www.beirutbanyan.com Music by Marc Codsi. Animation & illustration by Sana Chaaban.

Sep 19

1 hr 38 min

0:00 Intro 1:05 Tankers & Talks 7:58 Coming from Syria 14:01 Hof Line 23:37 Expectations from Elections 35:33 Burden 44:36 Engaging Iran 49:14 Lebanese Forces' Disarmament We're with Laury Haytayan for Episode 275 of The Beirut Banyan. Click to watch: https://youtu.be/nAK5qU9hHjA We discuss the energy crisis impacting Lebanon, along with the Iranian oil tanker and World Bank proposal both involving Syria. Our conversation includes Laury's perspective on the Hof Line and more recent negotiations regarding off-shore reserves, expectations from next year's elections and the wider dilemma of Iran's military and security involvement in Lebanon. We also put the Lebanese Forces' militia disarmament in the early 1990s in perspective, and whether that offers any comparisons to a possible Hezbollah disarmament. Laury Haytayan is an oil and gas governance expert and a member of Taqaddom. Help support The Beirut Banyan by contributing via PayPal: https://www.paypal.me/walkbeirut Or donating through our Patreon page: https://www.patreon.com/thebeirutbanyan Subscribe to our podcast from your preferred platform. Follow us on Facebook, Instagram & Twitter: @thebeirutbanyan And check out our website: www.beirutbanyan.com Music by Marc Codsi. Animation & illustration by Sana Chaaban.

Sep 12

57 min 2 sec

0:00 Intro 4:23 Political Curiosity 18:42 The Same Story 28:29 Broader Alliance 35:43 National Elections 51:38 Hezbollah 1:00:09 Not Leaving 1:08:51 Clarity 1:14:37 Lebanese Forces & Opposition We're with Rawad Taha for Episode 274 of The Beirut Banyan. Click to watch: https://youtu.be/ekKbRFkfIIs We discuss Rawad's political activism, how the readings of Samir Kassir impacted his views and whether the current aspirations of Minteshreen match those from the buildup to the March 14 movement. Our conversation includes expectations from local elections, working with broader alliances for next year's parliamentary elections and the wider debate surrounding Hezbollah's security apparatus and varied opposition views on the Lebanese Forces. Rawad Taha is a member of Minteshreen. Help support The Beirut Banyan by contributing via PayPal: https://www.paypal.me/walkbeirut Or donating through our Patreon page: https://www.patreon.com/thebeirutbanyan Subscribe to our podcast from your preferred platform. Follow us on Facebook, Instagram & Twitter: @thebeirutbanyan And check out our website: www.beirutbanyan.com Music by Marc Codsi. Animation & illustration by Sana Chaaban.

Sep 5

1 hr 21 min

0:00 Intro 2:29 Preconditions 8:57 Sovereignty 28:25 Militia 34:21 Neutrality 50:00 Baabda Declaration 1:02:11 Federalism 1:25:24 Intellectual Journey We're with Hicham Bou Nassif for Episode 273 of The Beirut Banyan. We discuss lost sovereignty, the necessity for a foreign policy of neutrality including examples from the late 1950s and 60s, and the wider debate on decentralization and federalism in Lebanon. Our conversation includes false equivalence when it comes to comparing political parties with a militia, the 2012 Baabda Declaration's limited impact on local attempts at disassociation, and Hicham's intellectual curiosity and journey when it comes to political science and Lebanese history. Hicham Bou Nassif is an Associate Professor of Government at Claremont McKenna College - California. Help support The Beirut Banyan by contributing via PayPal: https://www.paypal.me/walkbeirut Or donating through our Patreon page: https://www.patreon.com/thebeirutbanyan Subscribe to our podcast from your preferred platform. Follow us on Facebook, Instagram & Twitter: @thebeirutbanyan And check out our website: www.beirutbanyan.com Music by Marc Codsi. Animation & illustration by Sana Chaaban.

Aug 29

1 hr 41 min

0:00 Intro 4:39 The Last Few Weeks 11:55 Crossroads 15:08 Dysfunction 29:10 Determination 33:24 Iran's Needs 42:38 False Equivalencies 1:01:26 Warzone 1:08:14 Salvageable System? 1:22:55 Departure We're with Tala Ramadan for Episode 272 of The Beirut Banyan. We discuss the immense challenges over the past few weeks and rampant dysfunction making daily life enormously difficult in Lebanon. Our conversation includes a reflection of Iran's security needs in Lebanon, disagreement over what I consider false equivalencies and whether Lebanon would be better described as a war-zone. We also talk about the governing system's viability with or without geopolitical conflict and the departure of too many friends and relatives from Lebanon. Tala Ramadan is a Beirut-based journalist and reporter for L'Orient Today. The education-related piece briefly mentioned in this episode is linked below: https://today.lorientlejour.com/article/1272303/pursuing-education-in-lebanon-in-the-midst-of-a-financial-crisis-power-outages-and-internet-disruptions.html Help support The Beirut Banyan by contributing via PayPal: https://www.paypal.me/walkbeirut Or donating through our Patreon page: https://www.patreon.com/thebeirutbanyan Subscribe to our podcast from your preferred platform. Follow us on Facebook, Instagram & Twitter: @thebeirutbanyan And check out our website: www.beirutbanyan.com Music by Marc Codsi. Animation & illustration by Sana Chaaban.

Aug 22

1 hr 26 min

In memory of the victims of the August 4 blast. Click to watch: https://youtu.be/x7v4ktFV21Q Written and narrated by Mike Azar. Music by Marc Codsi.

Aug 3

11 min 32 sec

0:00 Intro 2:40 Storyteller 10:59 School Years 18:06 Instagram 27:57 Liberating 32:52 Modern Beirut 42:12 Focus of Beirut 49:07 Diaspora 1:02:54 'Lebanese' 1:10:20 Nahda 1:18:46 National Narrative 1:44:20 Phoenicia 1:57:35 Collateral 1:59:55 Saydet el Bzez We're with Charles al-Hayek for Episode 270 of The Beirut Banyan. Click to watch: https://youtu.be/4Io4GQGssdY We discuss the importance of storytelling, history education and the 'liberation' that comes with learning from our collective past. Our conversation includes all that is modern Beirut, from rapid economic growth in the late 19th and early 20th century and the cosmopolitanism that defined us, to an exploration of Lebanese identity, national narrative and myth. We also talk about the Nahda's impact on Beirut, why certain words bring out particular sensitivities and a brief discussion on fertility cults including 'Saydet el Bzez'. Charles al-Hayek is a history instructor. Help support The Beirut Banyan by contributing via PayPal: https://www.paypal.me/walkbeirut Or donating through our Patreon page: https://www.patreon.com/thebeirutbanyan Subscribe to our podcast from your preferred platform. Follow us on Facebook, Instagram & Twitter: @thebeirutbanyan And check out our website: www.beirutbanyan.com Music by Marc Codsi. Animation & illustration by Sana Chaaban.

Jul 18

2 hr 9 min

Previously unpublished introduction to my conversation with Jad Ghosn from his podcast, 'Reflection with Jad Ghosn'. For the full episode: https://youtu.be/2-UV_y30tPQ We discuss the July 2006 war, why I started my WalkBeirut tour and The Beirut Banyan podcast, and a general background to storytelling. A special thanks to Jad Ghosn for letting my publish the introduction to our episode.

Jul 12

18 min 56 sec

0:00 Intro 1:52 Erosion 9:18 Safety Issues 18:05 Incentives 26:18 Biking Today 33:50 Corruption We're with Elena Haddad and Zeina Hawa for Episode 269 of The Beirut Banyan. Video: https://youtu.be/x1EzebEJM20 We discuss incentives needed to position the bicycle as a serious alternative to car usage as well as corruption impacting all things public sector. Our conversation includes lack of pedestrian access and viable public transport in Beirut and across Lebanon. Elena Haddad and Zeina Hawa are co-founders of The Chain Effect. Help support The Beirut Banyan by contributing via PayPal: https://www.paypal.me/walkbeirut Or donating through our Patreon page: https://www.patreon.com/thebeirutbanyan Subscribe to our podcast from your preferred platform. Follow us on Facebook, Instagram & Twitter: @thebeirutbanyan And check out our website: www.beirutbanyan.com Music by Marc Codsi. Animation & illustration by Sana Chaaban.

Jul 11

52 min 35 sec

0:00 Intro 1:28 Part of the Story 9:04 Intimidation 14:52 Crux of the Issue 22:04 Covering Lebanon We're with Matthew Kynaston for Episode 268 of The Beirut Banyan. Click to watch: https://youtu.be/KBaDJHgPihw We discuss his recent interrogation, wider consequences of intimidation and what it's like for a reporter to become part of the story covered. Our conversation includes Matthew's character-driven storytelling craft and his personal journey to Lebanon. Matthew Kynaston is a multimedia journalist for NOWLebanon. Help support The Beirut Banyan by contributing via PayPal: https://www.paypal.me/walkbeirut Or donating through our Patreon page: https://www.patreon.com/thebeirutbanyan Subscribe to our podcast from your preferred platform. Follow us on Facebook, Instagram & Twitter: @thebeirutbanyan And check out our website: www.beirutbanyan.com Music by Marc Codsi. Animation & illustration by Sana Chaaban.

Jul 4

31 min 57 sec

0:00 Intro 2:45 Accomplishments & Ageing 10:40 A Way to Express 18:57 Birth Pangs of Greater Lebanon 27:34 Comparing Trends 39:32 Tools Needed to Shield 54:18 Sectarianism 1:00:52 Federalism 1:08:25 1975-82 We're with Chloé Kattar for Episode 267 of The Beirut Banyan. Click to watch: https://youtu.be/SW0_voCRSiM We discuss emotions accompanying completion of a PhD in Lebanese history overlapping with the October 17 uprising and continued economic collapse and political paralysis. Our conversation includes re-examining the 'birth pangs' of Greater Lebanon, comparing foundational aspects of state structure with later geopolitical conflict that spilled into Lebanon, and questions about the evolution (and emotions) of words including sectarianism and federalism. Chloé and I also talk briefly about her dissertation and the wider role of intelligentsia during conflict. Chloé Kattar is a PhD in History graduate at the University of Cambridge. Follow her on IG: @leb.historian Help support The Beirut Banyan by contributing via PayPal: https://www.paypal.me/walkbeirut Or donating through our Patreon page: https://www.patreon.com/thebeirutbanyan Subscribe to our podcast from your preferred platform. Follow us on Facebook, Instagram & Twitter: @thebeirutbanyan And check out our website: www.beirutbanyan.com Music by Marc Codsi. Animation & illustration by Sana Chaaban.

Jun 27

1 hr 18 min

Chaker Khazaal is a reporter, speaker, and author. His work includes an acclaimed trilogy 'Confessions of a War Child, Lia, and Sahara', 'Tale of Tala' and 'OUCH!', penned following the Beirut port blast. Follow Chaker on social media: IG: chakerkhazaal; FB: @ChakerKhazaalPage; Twitter: @ChakerKhazaal From long-form analysis to in-depth essays and books covering wide terrain, Tala Ramadan shares her appreciation for the written word. Each episode will jump into a select work, reflecting on the topic at hand. Guests will include featured authors. Tala Ramadan is a Beirut-based journalist focusing on scientific, social, humanitarian and educational issues. Her articles have appeared in news outlets including Annahar, Al Arabiya, The New Arab, SMEX, and Beirut City Guide. Available across audio podcast platforms. Simply search for The Beirut Banyan. Help support The Beirut Banyan by contributing via PayPal: https://www.paypal.me/walkbeirut Or donating through our Patreon page: https://www.patreon.com/thebeirutbanyan Subscribe to our podcast from your preferred platform. Follow us on Facebook, Instagram & Twitter: @thebeirutbanyan And check out our website: www.beirutbanyan.com Music by Marc Codsi. Graphics by Tala Ramadan.

Jun 21

25 min 2 sec

This week's article is "Tension & Turf", accessible via the following link: https://nowlebanon.com/tension-and-turf/ Help support The Beirut Banyan by contributing via PayPal: https://www.paypal.me/walkbeirut Or donating through our Patreon page: https://www.patreon.com/thebeirutbanyan Subscribe to our podcast from your preferred platform. Follow us on Facebook, Instagram & Twitter: @thebeirutbanyan And check out our website: www.beirutbanyan.com Music by Marc Codsi. Animation & illustration by Sana Chaaban.

Jun 21

11 min 8 sec

The Written Word by Tala Ramadan, Ep.2 'Borderline Love in Beirut' with Majd Zaher Majd Zaher is a Lebanese author who nurtured a profound interest in reading and writing his entire life. Majd has written many short stories and participated in numerous competitions. His book 'Borderline Love in Beirut' is a collection of love stories often concealed under the pretext of norms and culture. This novel takes the reader on a roller-coaster of contradictions and emotions. Follow Majd on social media: IG: @majdzaherr; FB: @majed.zahr.9 Website: www.majdzaher.com Available across audio podcast platforms. Simply search for The Beirut Banyan. From long-form analysis to in-depth essays and books covering wide terrain, Tala Ramadan shares her appreciation for the written word. Each episode will jump into a select work, reflecting on the topic at hand. Guests will include featured authors. Tala Ramadan is a Beirut-based journalist focusing on scientific, social, humanitarian and educational issues. Her articles have appeared in news outlets including Annahar, Al Arabiya, The New Arab, SMEX, and Beirut City Guide. Help support The Beirut Banyan by contributing via PayPal: https://www.paypal.me/walkbeirut Or donating through our Patreon page: https://www.patreon.com/thebeirutbanyan Subscribe to our podcast from your preferred platform. Follow us on Facebook, Instagram & Twitter: @thebeirutbanyan And check out our website: www.beirutbanyan.com Music by Marc Codsi. Graphics by Tala Ramadan.

Jun 15

22 min 2 sec

0:00 Intro 4:56 What happened? 11:11 'Tfeh 3leik' 19:29 A Way Out 24:09 Action We're with Yasmine Masri for Episode 265 of The Beirut Banyan. Click to watch: https://youtu.be/aF6T-JNDKrU We discuss yesterday's verbal and physical attack between Yasmine and Gebran Bassil's security team, the fallout following national media coverage and wider reflections on where the October 17 uprising stands at this immensely difficult stage for Lebanon. Help support The Beirut Banyan by contributing via PayPal: https://www.paypal.me/walkbeirut Or donating through our Patreon page: https://www.patreon.com/thebeirutbanyan Subscribe to our podcast from your preferred platform. Follow us on Facebook, Instagram & Twitter: @thebeirutbanyan And check out our website: www.beirutbanyan.com Music by Marc Codsi. Animation & illustration by Sana Chaaban.

Jun 14

32 min 56 sec

Happy to announce that I'll be contributing a weekly opinion column for NowLebanon. New pieces will be narrated here on the podcast. This week's article is "The Anarchist & The Dinosaur", accessible via the following link: https://nowlebanon.com/the-anarchist-and-the-dinosaur/ Help support The Beirut Banyan by contributing via PayPal: https://www.paypal.me/walkbeirut Or donating through our Patreon page: https://www.patreon.com/thebeirutbanyan Subscribe to our podcast from your preferred platform. Follow us on Facebook, Instagram & Twitter: @thebeirutbanyan And check out our website: www.beirutbanyan.com Music by Marc Codsi. Animation & illustration by Sana Chaaban.

Jun 13

9 min 51 sec

The Written Word by Tala Ramadan Episode 1 - Tala discusses predictive text technology, its impact on journalism and how wider issues surrounding AI affect Lebanon. The article referenced in this piece, 'The Next Work by John Seabrook' is accessible via the following link: https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2019/10/14/can-a-machine-learn-to-write-for-the-new-yorker Available across audio podcast platforms. Simply search for The Beirut Banyan. From long-form analysis to in-depth essays and books covering wide terrain, Tala Ramadan shares her appreciation for the written word. Each episode will jump into a select work, reflecting on the topic at hand. Guests will include featured authors. Tala Ramadan is a Beirut-based journalist focusing on scientific, social, humanitarian and educational issues. Her articles have appeared in news outlets including Annahar, Al Arabiya, The New Arab, SMEX, and Beirut City Guide. Help support The Beirut Banyan by contributing via PayPal: https://www.paypal.me/walkbeirut Or donating through our Patreon page: https://www.patreon.com/thebeirutbanyan Subscribe to our podcast from your preferred platform. Follow us on Facebook, Instagram & Twitter: @thebeirutbanyan And check out our website: www.beirutbanyan.com Music by Marc Codsi. Graphics by Tala Ramadan.

Jun 8

27 min 42 sec

0:00 Intro 6:34 Dialogue 15:35 Public Space 22:04 Reaching Conclusion 32:45 Hezbollah 42:45 Built-in Prejudice 54:21 Starting Somewhere 1:07:48 Protest Demands 1:15:37 Beyond the Bars 1:27:30 Cultural Center We're with Ali Baroudy for Episode 263 of The Beirut Banyan. Click to watch: https://youtu.be/aJWvRUQrU_U We discuss the importance of dialogue, better methods of communication and ways of focusing on shared grievances. Our conversation includes addressing built-in prejudice and the fundamental need to start somewhere when it comes to political reform and a wider positive outlook 'beyond the bars'. Ali Baroudy is a member of Minteshreen. Help support The Beirut Banyan by contributing via PayPal: https://www.paypal.me/walkbeirut Or donating through our Patreon page: https://www.patreon.com/thebeirutbanyan Subscribe to our podcast from your preferred platform. Follow us on Facebook, Instagram & Twitter: @thebeirutbanyan And check out our website: www.beirutbanyan.com Music by Marc Codsi. Animation & illustration by Sana Chaaban.

Jun 6

1 hr 32 min

0:00 Intro 3:14 Fait Accompli? 10:09 Why is this happening? 17:30 Explanation Problems 22:09 Missing from the Story 26:32 Port Blast 32:35 Narrowness We're with Olga Kavran for Episode 262 of The Beirut Banyan. Click to watch: https://youtu.be/hpo11X6FtjU We discuss the cost of impunity, budgetary constraints and the potential shutting down of the Special Tribunal for Lebanon. Olga Kavran is former Head of Legacy & Outreach at the Special Tribunal for Lebanon. Help support The Beirut Banyan by contributing via PayPal: https://www.paypal.me/walkbeirut Or donating through our Patreon page: https://www.patreon.com/thebeirutbanyan Subscribe to our podcast from your preferred platform. Follow us on Facebook, Instagram & Twitter: @thebeirutbanyan And check out our website: www.beirutbanyan.com Music by Marc Codsi. Animation & illustration by Sana Chaaban.

Jun 3

40 min 38 sec

A new weekly mini-series for The Beirut Banyan. The Written Word by Tala Ramadan Available across audio podcast platforms and YouTube. Simply search for The Beirut Banyan. From long-form analysis to in-depth essays and books covering wide terrain, Tala Ramadan shares her appreciation for the written word. Each episode will jump into a select work, reflecting on the topic at hand. Guests will include featured authors. Tala Ramadan is a Beirut-based journalist focusing on scientific, social and educational issues. Her articles have appeared in news outlets including Annahar, Al Arabiya, The New Arab, SMEX, and Beirut City Guide. Music by Marc Codsi.

Jun 1

15 min

0:00 Intro 2:35 Covering the Story 9:27 Investigative Process 19:01 The Public Source 31:34 Avoiding the Usual? 38:52 The Gap 47:13 Impossible to Reform 53:17 Getting Worse? We're with Kareem Chehayeb for Episode 261 of The Beirut Banyan. Click to watch: https://youtu.be/8Vx3HBjADk4 We discuss the current media landscape, investigative journalism and the role of independent outlets like The Public Source. Our conversation includes reflecting on failed attempts at reform, possibilities for positive change at a later stage and the capabilities of alternative outlets to reclaim "public space" while offering a platform for disenfranchised and marginalized groups. Kareem Chehayeb is a Beirut-based journalist, researcher, and political analyst. Follow Kareem on Twitter: @chehayebk And check out The Public Source: https://thepublicsource.org The articles referenced in this episode are listed below in order of appearance: The Killing of Omar Tayba: A Visual Investigation of a Protester’s Death in Tripoli https://thepublicsource.org/killing-omar-tayba-visual-investigation-protesters-death-tripoli Between Kafala and Governmental Neglect: How Domestic Workers Are Left to Starve During a Global Pandemic https://thepublicsource.org/between-kafala-governmental-neglect The Lebanese Revolution: A New Chapter of Kafala Misery https://thepublicsource.org/lebanese-revolution-kafala-misery ‘Little hope left’: Lebanon’s paralysis and a collapsing state https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2021/5/24/little-hope-left-lebanons-paralysis-and-a-collapsing-state Help support The Beirut Banyan by contributing via PayPal: https://www.paypal.me/walkbeirut Or donating through our Patreon page: https://www.patreon.com/thebeirutbanyan Subscribe to our podcast from your preferred platform. Follow us on Facebook, Instagram & Twitter: @thebeirutbanyan And check out our website: www.beirutbanyan.com Music by Marc Codsi. Animation & illustration by Sana Chaaban.

May 30

1 hr 1 min

0:00 Intro 1:48 Optimism 12:25 Hope in the Future 18:26 Foundation 24:52 Sectarianism 33:29 Missed Opportunity 38:35 Economics 43:48 Sovereignty 1:00:08 An Independent Voice 1:06:52 Kulluna Irada We're with Albert Kostanian for Episode 260 of The Beirut Banyan. Click to watch: https://youtu.be/wMzOpwbCP0A We discuss nuanced optimism when it comes to the future of Lebanon and a wider calling for political agency and shared destiny. Our conversation includes examining illusive pillars that are gradually fading, missed opportunities at addressing reform and the power of independent voices emerging on alternative and mainstream media. Albert Kostanian is the host of Vision 2030 on LBCI and board chairman for Kulluna Irada. For more information on Kulluna Irada: http://kulluna-irada.org Help support The Beirut Banyan by contributing via PayPal: https://www.paypal.me/walkbeirut Or donating through our Patreon page: https://www.patreon.com/thebeirutbanyan Subscribe to our podcast from your preferred platform. Follow us on Facebook, Instagram & Twitter: @thebeirutbanyan And check out our website: www.beirutbanyan.com Music by Marc Codsi. Animation & illustration by Sana Chaaban.

May 23

1 hr 13 min

0:00 Intro 2:47 Storytelling 6:14 Difficulty of the Moment 10:27 Change 26:49 Repetition 43:20 Academia 50:55 A Path Forward We're with Mona Fawaz for Episode 259 of The Beirut Banyan. Click to watch: https://youtu.be/hjUradkdq_U We discuss how we met on my WalkBeirut tour in 2009, a shared passion for storytelling and Mona's illustrious career in urban planning and political activism. Our conversation includes the immense difficulty of the moment, a theory of change for Lebanon and the ability for academia to take the classroom to the street - in a literal sense during the first weeks of the October 17 Uprising and in shaping protest movement discussions on issues ranging from political and economic reform to local urban matters. Mona Fawaz is a Professor in Urban Studies and Planning and the Coordinator of the Graduate Programs in Urban Planning and Design at the American University of Beirut. The article discussed in this episode is linked below: https://tcf.org/content/report/beirut-madinati-prospects-urban-citizenship/ Help support The Beirut Banyan by contributing via PayPal: https://www.paypal.me/walkbeirut Or donating through our Patreon page: https://www.patreon.com/thebeirutbanyan Subscribe to our podcast from your preferred platform. Follow us on Facebook, Instagram & Twitter: @thebeirutbanyan And check out our website: www.beirutbanyan.com Music by Marc Codsi. Animation & illustration by Sana Chaaban.

May 16

57 min 11 sec

0:00 Intro 2:17 Online Markers 7:38 Online Caution 15:41 Larger Problem 22:49 Part of the Story 30:03 Information 37:07 Misinformation We're with Aya Iskandarani for Episode 258 of The Beirut Banyan. Click to watch: https://youtu.be/xoCRIGTgvNY We discuss the nine month marker following the Beirut port blast, and the challenge of 'marking' without justice. Our conversation includes the difficulty of open debate online - including Clubhouse - and the precautions taken when covering Hezbollah-related issues in Lebanon. We also talk about the emotions involved when covering a story at home, and the challenge journalists face when confronting misinformation with fact-based reporting. Aya Iskandarani is a correspondent at The National. Follow Aya on Twitter: @Aya_Isk The articles discussed in this episode are listed below (in order of appearance): 'Lebanon: Hezbollah critics report threats on Clubhouse app': https://www.thenationalnews.com/mena/lebanon/lebanon-hezbollah-critics-report-threats-on-clubhouse-app-1.1200400 'Clubhouse App Creates Space for Open Talk in Middle East' https://www.nytimes.com/2021/05/02/world/middleeast/clubhouse-iran-egypt-mideast.html ''There is nothing we can’t sell’: smugglers siphon off scarce Lebanese goods to Syria': https://www.thenationalnews.com/mena/lebanon/there-is-nothing-we-can-t-sell-smugglers-siphon-off-scarce-lebanese-goods-to-syria-1.1196239 Help support The Beirut Banyan by contributing via PayPal: https://www.paypal.me/walkbeirut Or donating through our Patreon page: https://www.patreon.com/thebeirutbanyan Subscribe to our podcast from your preferred platform. Follow us on Facebook, Instagram & Twitter: @thebeirutbanyan And check out our website: www.beirutbanyan.com Music by Marc Codsi. Animation & illustration by Sana Chaaban.

May 9

45 min 56 sec

0:00 Intro 2:16 Pursuits Abroad 7:23 Common Identity 13:46 Social Pact 22:34 Higher Interest of the States 40:02 Institutionalized Country 51:52 October 17 1:02:21 Groups & Individuals We're with Ramzi Abou Ismail for Episode 257 of The Beirut Banyan. Click to watch: https://youtu.be/QC4vgX8Jby4 We discuss political psychology within the Lebanese context and dive into issues related to shared identity, Lebanon's social pact and a lacking higher interest of the state. Our conversation includes the role of institutions when examining common destiny, politics born out of October 17 and the relationship between groups and individuals and a sense of belonging. Ramzi Abou Ismail is a Political Psychologist and Doctoral Researcher at University of Kent. Follow Ramzi on Instagram: @the.political.psychologist Help support The Beirut Banyan by contributing via PayPal: https://www.paypal.me/walkbeirut Or donating through our Patreon page: https://www.patreon.com/thebeirutbanyan Subscribe to our podcast from your preferred platform. Follow us on Facebook, Instagram & Twitter: @thebeirutbanyan And check out our website: www.beirutbanyan.com Music by Marc Codsi. Animation & illustration by Sana Chaaban.

May 2

1 hr 10 min

0:00 Intro 3:24 Collapse 9:21 Coverage 25:04 Halfway to Hell 31:48 Long-Form We're with Abby Sewell for Episode 256 of The Beirut Banyan. Click to watch: https://youtu.be/lo7ECcK0bBU We discuss three of her recent L'Orient Today pieces covering collective memory and Haret Hreik, renewable energy and the power sector, and the black market surrounding fuel shortages and smugglers in North Lebanon. Our conversation includes the wider role of journalism and storytelling, and an appreciation for long-form analysis and the written word. Abby Sewell is a journalist at L'Orient Today. The three articles we cover are accessible below, in order of appearance: More than a ‘Hezbollah stronghold’: The complicated past and present of Haret Hreik https://today.lorientlejour.com/article/1254383/more-than-a-hezbollah-stronghold-the-complicated-past-and-present-of-haret-hreik.html EDL’s struggle to stave off darkness exposes a huge missed opportunity in the renewable energy sector https://today.lorientlejour.com/article/1256444/edls-struggle-to-stave-off-darkness-exposes-a-huge-missed-opportunity-in-the-renewable-energy-sector.html A roadside black market and vigilante justice for thieves and smugglers: North Lebanon adjusts to fuel shortages https://today.lorientlejour.com/article/1258315/a-roadside-black-market-and-vigilante-justice-for-thieves-and-smugglers-north-lebanon-adjusts-to-fuel-shortages.html Help support The Beirut Banyan by contributing via PayPal: https://www.paypal.me/walkbeirut Or donating through our Patreon page: https://www.patreon.com/thebeirutbanyan Subscribe to our podcast from your preferred platform. Follow us on Facebook, Instagram & Twitter: @thebeirutbanyan And check out our website: www.beirutbanyan.com Music by Marc Codsi. Animation & illustration by Sana Chaaban.

Apr 21

38 min 17 sec

0:00 Intro 2:23 Inspiration 9:49 Poetic Justice & Resistance 17:22 All we can expect? 22:17 Political Power 32:17 A tribute to Beirut? 37:02 Nawaya Click to watch: https://youtu.be/kvTYg3n9Q40 We're with Zeina Saab for Episode 255 of The Beirut Banyan. We discuss her book project: 'We Were There: A Book About the Beirut Explosion' and reflect on the pursuit of poetic justice through preserving and honoring collective memory. Our conversation includes the wider role of civil society in the aftermath of the port blast, grassroots-led movements seeking political power and real inspiration at a time of tragedy and prolonged uncertainty. Zeina Saab is the Founder and Director of Nawaya and Co-Founder at SE Factory. To help support the book project, click below: http://weweretherebeirut.com Help support The Beirut Banyan by contributing via PayPal: https://www.paypal.me/walkbeirut Or donating through our Patreon page: https://www.patreon.com/thebeirutbanyan Subscribe to our podcast from your preferred platform. Follow us on Facebook, Instagram & Twitter: @thebeirutbanyan And check out our website: www.beirutbanyan.com Music by Marc Codsi. Animation & illustration by Sana Chaaban.

Apr 18

46 min 10 sec

0:00 Intro 2:12 1999-2000 8:37 Post-War Sovereignty 18:03 Certainty 27:19 The Wider Story 40:10 Memories of My Father We're with Amb. Frederic C. Hof for Episode 254 of The Beirut Banyan. Click to watch: https://youtu.be/Yt93xZ3KML0 We discuss his recent Newlines Magazine piece: 'Assad: The Shebaa Farms Are Syrian, Whatever Hezbollah Claims' and revisit previous US efforts at securing a peace deal between Syria and Israel. Our conversation includes Lebanon's position during these talks, and why post-civil war sovereignty never in fact took hold. We also reflect on Amb. Hof's memories of my father while he was mediating between Lebanon and Israel over offshore oil reserves. Ambassador Frederic C. Hof is Diplomat in Residence at Bard College and Former Director and Distinguished Fellow at the Atlantic Council's Rafik Hariri Center for the Middle East. He was also Former US Special Envoy to Syria. The article referenced in this episode is accessible below: https://newlinesmag.com/first-person/assad-the-shebaa-farms-are-syrian-whatever-hezbollah-claims/ Additional career info below as per Bard College's bio: Hof was previously the special coordinator for regional affairs in the US Department of State's Office of the Special Envoy for Middle East Peace, where he advised Special Envoy George Mitchell on the full range of Arab-Israeli peace issues falling under his purview and focusing on Syria-Israel and Israel-Lebanon matters. He joined the State Department in 2009 after serving as the president and CEO of AALC, an international business consulting and project finance firm formerly known as Armitage Associates LC. A graduate of the Georgetown University School of Foreign Service, Hof began his professional career as an Army officer. He is a Vietnam veteran and served as a US Army Middle East Foreign Area Officer, studying Arabic at the Foreign Service Institute in Tunisia and receiving a master's degree from the Naval Postgraduate School. He served as US Army attaché in Beirut, Lebanon and later in the Office of the Secretary of Defense as director for Jordan, Lebanon, Syria, and Palestinian Affairs. He has written extensively on the Middle East and diplomacy. His awards include the Purple Heart, the Department of State Superior Honor Award, the Secretary of Defense Meritorious Civilian Service Medal, and the Defense Superior Service Medal. Help support The Beirut Banyan by contributing via PayPal: https://www.paypal.me/walkbeirut Or donating through our Patreon page: https://www.patreon.com/thebeirutbanyan Subscribe to our podcast from your preferred platform. Follow us on Facebook, Instagram & Twitter: @thebeirutbanyan And check out our website: www.beirutbanyan.com Music by Marc Codsi. Animation & illustration by Sana Chaaban.

Apr 11

48 min 23 sec

0:00 Intro 1:22 Echo Chamber 5:13 Socialization 11:59 Podcast Popularity 19:22 Privacy 26:40 Long-Form 41:21 Experts We're with Tala Ramadan for Episode 253 of The Beirut Banyan. Click to watch: https://youtu.be/SEGiDXxWgP4 We discuss Clubhouse's appeal in Lebanon and the Middle East, advantages at discussing with opposing sides over Twitter's more familiar echo chamber and attempts at state censorship over the audio exchange platform. Our conversation includes increased popularity of podcasts and long-form conversations, and how journalists turn to these platforms for information and storylines when reporting through mainstream outlets. Tala Ramadan is a Beirut-based journalist. The article referenced in this episode is accessible below: https://smex.org/clubhouse-the-popular-audio-only-app-gets-banned-in-mena/ Help support The Beirut Banyan by contributing via PayPal: https://www.paypal.me/walkbeirut Or donating through our Patreon page: https://www.patreon.com/thebeirutbanyan Subscribe to our podcast from your preferred platform. Follow us on Facebook, Instagram & Twitter: @thebeirutbanyan And check out our website: www.beirutbanyan.com Music by Marc Codsi. Animation & illustration by Sana Chaaban.

Apr 11

48 min 30 sec

0:00 Intro 1:28 Background 5:06 First Step 7:41 Individual Level 12:21 Failed State 19:44 Paralysis 30:46 Pre-Civil War 39:09 Opposition Leverage 50:43 Personal We're with Majd Harb for Episode 252 of The Beirut Banyan. We put corruption in context and discuss the first steps necessary in addressing state failure. We also examine Lebanon's legal text as it stands and the strength of our constitution. Majd pinpoints political reasons for our ongoing political paralysis and reflects on an individual lawyer's work at proving that Lebanon is currently a failed state. We further reflect on what political opposition could look like in years to come as well as the fundamental need to pursue justice at all costs. Majd Harb is a Partner at Harb Law Firm. Help support The Beirut Banyan by contributing via PayPal: https://www.paypal.me/walkbeirut Or donating through our Patreon page: https://www.patreon.com/thebeirutbanyan Subscribe to our podcast from your preferred platform. Follow us on Facebook, Instagram & Twitter: @thebeirutbanyan And check out our website: www.beirutbanyan.com Music by Marc Codsi. Logo design by Sara Tarhini. Animation & illustration by Sana Chaaban.

Apr 4

1 hr 23 min

0:00 Intro 1:24 Background 12:39 2011 20:18 Civil to Political 30:20 Hezbollah 42:32 The Last Time We Spoke 53:32 The Question 01:01:55 Roles Reversed We're with Gilbert Doumit for Episode 251 of The Beirut Banyan. We reflect on crossing paths on the streets of Beirut, from distributing aid kits during the July 2006 War until a chance encounter last week in Gemmayze. We discuss the political evolution of civil society following the Syrian army's withdrawal in 2005, and Gilbert's own career in pushing for state reform. We also touch on points of friction aired out during this episode, and at the end of our conversation we flip roles as Gilbert asks me several questions. There are moments of coming to terms in this episode and a reconsidering of preconceived notions that stood out to me. I hope you enjoy this episode as much as I did. Gilbert Doumit is a founding and managing partner of Beyond Reform & Development Group. Help support The Beirut Banyan by contributing via PayPal: https://www.paypal.me/walkbeirut Or donating through our Patreon page: https://www.patreon.com/thebeirutbanyan Subscribe to our podcast from your preferred platform. Follow us on Facebook, Instagram & Twitter: @thebeirutbanyan And check out our website: www.beirutbanyan.com Music by Marc Codsi. Logo design by Sara Tarhini. Animation & illustration by Sana Chaaban.

Mar 28

1 hr 24 min

0:00 Intro 2:00 False Comparison 11:36 Buildup 17:45 Sectarian Story 26:05 National Unity 32:10 Familiar 39:10 Reconsider 44:54 Principle 53:15 Repeated Decision 59:32 October 17 We're with Sara Assaf for Episode 250 of The Beirut Banyan. Click to watch: https://youtu.be/8my2ZQojRJg We reflect on sixteen years since the March 14 2005 protests that paved the way for the Syrian army's withdrawal from Lebanon. We discuss the buildup to that date and the political failures since. Our conversation includes the ultimate derailing of Lebanon's sovereignty and the price of repeated assassinations that targeted March 14 figures. Sara Assaf is a political commentator. Help support The Beirut Banyan by contributing via PayPal: https://www.paypal.me/walkbeirut Or donating through our Patreon page: https://www.patreon.com/thebeirutbanyan Subscribe to our podcast from your preferred platform. Follow us on Facebook, Instagram & Twitter: @thebeirutbanyan And check out our website: www.beirutbanyan.com Music by Marc Codsi. Logo design by Sara Tarhini. Animation & illustration by Sana Chaaban.

Mar 19

1 hr 14 min

0:00 Intro 1:25 Disbelief 4:08 Rage 6:28 Shared Passion 9:55 A Part of Ourselves 13:03 Heal Wounds 20:44 1989 26:23 Impunity 31:30 Justice 34:52 Too late? 41:08 Ghobeiri 48:44 Storytellers 55:34 A Way Out We're with Monika Borgmann for Episode 249 of The Beirut Banyan. We discuss UMAM Documentation & Research's contribution to collective memory and the wider power of storytelling. We also reflect on Monika's relationship with Lokman Slim, the aftermath of his assassination and the consequences of impunity. Our conversation includes a shared pursuit for justice against all odds. Monika Borgmann is Co-Founder and Co-Director of UMAM Documentation & Research. The article referenced in this episode is accessible below: https://today.lorientlejour.com/article/1247158/we-should-not-mourn-justice.html Help support The Beirut Banyan by contributing via PayPal: https://www.paypal.me/walkbeirut Or donating through our Patreon page: https://www.patreon.com/thebeirutbanyan Subscribe to our podcast from your preferred platform. Follow us on Facebook, Instagram & Twitter: @thebeirutbanyan And check out our website: www.beirutbanyan.com Music by Marc Codsi. Logo design by Sara Tarhini. Animation & illustration by Sana Chaaban.

Mar 14

1 hr 3 min

Mike Azar interviews me on Clubhouse about storytelling, my WalkBeirut tour and podcasting. We debate fundamental obstacles facing stability and long-term reform in Lebanon.

Mar 12

1 hr 59 min

0:00 Intro 3:04 Are the big answers outside? 16:04 Multiple Assassinations 21:23 Sovereignty 30:12 Long-Term Investment 40:01 What can be done? 55:21 Media 1:07:53 My Father We're with Mouafac Harb for Episode 248 of The Beirut Banyan. Click to watch: https://youtu.be/qlObTi8-s5Y We discuss his recent The Daily Star piece "Victory Lap for Tehran in Lebanon" and lay out domestic components to the current political and economic crisis vs regional and international posturing that may be conducive to restoring Lebanon's sovereignty. We also talk about Iran's long-term investment vis-a-vis Hezbollah, the shifting media landscape from conventional outlets to independent voices, and reflections of Mouafac running into my father weeks before his assassination. Mouafac Harb is an advisor to MTV Lebanon and a contributor to The Daily Star. The article referenced in this episode is accessible below: https://www.dailystar.com.lb/Opinion/Commentary/2021/Feb-22/517681-virtual-victory-lap-by-tehran-in-lebanon.ashx Help support The Beirut Banyan by contributing via PayPal: https://www.paypal.me/walkbeirut Or donating through our Patreon page: https://www.patreon.com/thebeirutbanyan Subscribe to our podcast from your preferred platform. Follow us on Facebook, Instagram & Twitter: @thebeirutbanyan And check out our website: www.beirutbanyan.com Music by Marc Codsi. Logo design by Sara Tarhini. Animation & illustration by Sana Chaaban.

Feb 27

1 hr 17 min