Saad Hariri negotiates his return with the parties

In Lebanon, the change is obviously not for now. President Michel Aoun was to open, Thursday, October 15, official consultations to designate a head of government capable of getting the country out of the rut in which it finds itself. At the last minute, these were postponed for a week, to Thursday, October 22, “Due to the emergence of difficulties which need to be overcome”, announced the presidency.

In fact, informal negotiations have already started and we can already see the photos of the meetings between major party leaders circulating. And the result could have a bitter taste for the actors of the protest …

→ ANALYSIS. Lebanon: still deprived of government, the country is heading “towards hell”

As they prepare to celebrate, Saturday, October 17, the first anniversary of the thawra, the Lebanese revolution, it is Saad Hariri, the Prime Minister whose departure they have not without difficulty, who could make his big return to the Seraglio, the residence of the Prime Ministers. “I am convinced that the initiative of President Emmanuel Macron is the only and last opportunity to stop the collapse of the country and rebuild Beirut”, said in a statement the head of the Current of the Future, expressing his availability.

Government of specialists

Son of former Prime Minister Rafic Hariri, himself already twice appointed to this post, in 2009 and 2016, Saad Hariri does not exactly have the profile requested by Emmanuel Macron in the roadmap he left on 1is September: “A government of specialists who do not belong to political parties” for “Implement the reforms” essential to the survival of the country.

Unperturbed, the Sunni leader wants to try his luck, even if nothing indicates that the blocking factors which led Moustapha Adib to give up in September have disappeared. In particular the refusal of the Shiite parties – Hezbollah and Amal – that a Sunni prime minister can appoint all the members of the cabinet.

Aware of pitfalls

Invoking the Constitution, article 95 of which provides that communities must be “Fairly represented in government”, Hezbollah is keen to uphold the tradition that each of them names ” his “ ministers, and also to retain the lucrative post of finance minister, regularly allocated to a Shiite in recent years.

→ READ. In Lebanon, Hezbollah on the defensive after Emmanuel Macron’s charge

For their part, other figures in the Lebanese political scene, such as Gebran Bassil, son-in-law of President Aoun and accustomed to ministerial cabinets, are reluctant to pass their turn if Saad Hariri was himself authorized to lead the crew. « Macron was greeted with smiles and promises, but as soon as he turned his back, the political blocs started arguing for power again and meanwhile the economic crisis worsened ”sighs a European diplomat.

Well aware of all these pitfalls, Saad Hariri could apply the same recipe as his predecessor, the ephemeral Hassan Diab, who resigned after the explosion that devastated the port of Beirut on August 4: let each camp name its « experts », officially to better focus on the essential: reforms. According to those close to him, the meetings of the last few days were organized for this purpose: to verify « l’engagement » Lebanese parties in favor of the reform plan he defends and “The absence of blocking practices”.

Smiles and promises

The demonstrators, convinced that the political class is responsible for the looting of the country, have stopped waiting for them to find a solution to their ills. “Immediately after his resignation, we knew that Saad Hariri was coming back: our only question was ‘when'”, ironically Hussein el-Achi, lawyer and head of the Menteshrin movement, born out of the October revolution. “He is just the Trojan horse of this whole clique of politicians that we know very well how it works. By bringing Hariri back, they think they are calming the Sunnis. By using violent incidents, they try to frighten Christians and then present Hariri to them as a savior. But the only thing he saved was his money in Switzerland and Luxembourg! “

→ PORTRAIT. Lebanon: Hussein El Achi, changing society through politics

Friday 16 and Saturday 17 October, when the actors of the thawra will celebrate the anniversary of their first parades just a year ago, Saad Hariri should not be spared by their slogans. “Some activists see his return to the head of government as a provocation”, denounces Hussein el-Achi.

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The Lebanese sickened by the descent into hell of their country

REPORT – A year after the start of the “revolution”, the unity of the demonstrators demanding the departure of the ruling class is crumbling and some are becoming radicalized for lack of hope.

Anti-government protesters in front of a metal sculpture with the word
Anti-government protesters in front of a metal sculpture with the word “revolution” topped in flames near the Port of Beirut. MOHAMED AZAKIR/REUTERS

Special envoy to Beirut

A year after the popular uprising of October 17 and its procession of demonstrations in Beirut, the land of the Cedars is in disarray. The movement failed to translate the aspirations of the Lebanese who recognized themselves in it. The Covid-19 virus, the economic crisis and its procession of bankruptcies, the collapse of the Lebanese pound, which has become a monkey’s currency, and the explosion of the port have dampened enthusiasms.

The withdrawal into oneself is de rigueur for a large part of the population whose main concern is survival. It is often accompanied by a disillusioned look at a “revolution” marked over weeks and then months by the absence of leading figures, the intrusion of thugs into the ranks of protesters, political infiltration and emergence. of religious differences between demonstrators while its strength was to transcend the currents. The Sunnis in Tripoli were demanding to support the Shiites in southern Lebanon.

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Negev in Israel: five tips for a vacation in the desert

Wüste – isn’t that this inhospitable place where you want the people you want to be gone forever? Isn’t there a void there that is merely filled with evidence of impermanence? Isn’t the desert a space without a future, a still life, memento mori? Someone who asks like this has never been to the desert.

There are two desert zones on earth. Once in the south at the height of Australia and in the north between the 25th and 35th parallel. Europeans who want to experience the desert will find the closest one in Israel: the Negev.

It covers about 60 percent of the country – too much for the Israelis to simply hide the area. Ben Gurion, Israel’s first prime minister, already closely linked the country’s fate with the Negev: If Israel does not learn to use the desert, it will not survive.

Indeed, the Israelis have gone to great lengths to make the area fertile. Israel is now one of the leading nations when it comes to agriculture in the desert. There are around 2000 greenhouses in the Negev.

also read

As a tourist destination, the Negev has only been on the radar of the responsible ministry since the beginning of last year. The Negev has its charms. Even if you can no longer travel there this year due to Corona, the plans for the coming year have to be made after all. Five reasons why the Negev is worth visiting:

Hiking in the spectacular Negev countryside

It’s really not an exaggeration: the Israel National Trail is one of the most beautiful long-distance hiking trails in the world. From the border with Lebanon in the north down to Eilat in the south, it stretches for a good 1000 kilometers and offers a spectacular landscape including top panoramas.

Many sections of the route can be reached by public transport, luggage deliveries from A to B are also possible, so you don’t have to forego all comfort. Cell phone reception is mandatory everywhere in the desert.

The Negev desert in Israel

Source: WORLD infographic

If you are lucky, you can observe animals such as eagles, foxes, wolves, hyenas (larger than the African variant), Nubian ibex, porcupines, badgers, jackals or even scorpions, which can be best seen at night using a black light. But be careful, many of them are extremely poisonous! Much more often, however, one meets sheep and camels.

If you come across a flock of sheep on a hike through the desert, you shouldn’t pay too much attention to the herding dogs. Not that these are snappy. But they quickly identify you as part of the herd they must hold together under all circumstances, which is why they find it difficult to accept if you intend to continue on your own path. With loud barking, you are repeatedly asked to line up – and these guys can be pretty persistent.

Israel: The Maktesh Ramon is a 40 kilometers long and up to ten kilometers wide crater in the Negev

The Maktesh Ramon is a 40 kilometers long and up to ten kilometers wide crater in the Negev

Quelle: Getty Images

As for the camels, they are perfectly adapted to the conditions. An animal can carry a load of up to 400 kilos and can do without water for six days. Owning camels is still part of the Bedouin tradition – animals no longer have any real practical use. In the past, they were used as pack animals and to have milk and meat if necessary.

Today they are sent into the desert and collected again after days. This has a decisive advantage for hikers: Camels always look for the most comfortable and safest way over the stony ground, so their paths are safe and easy to hike.

also read

Fatnas Island (Siwa Oasis, Egypt)

Every hiker should ideally carry five liters a day with them. You can spend the night in desert camps. For a hut with a mattress, a wood stove and a sleeping bag, you pay just under 90 euros a night. Breakfast and a ride on a camel are included. But it remains unforgettable when you go to the washbasin in the bathhouse in the morning to brush your teeth and look not into a bathroom mirror, but through a large round opening in the wall into the never-ending desert.

A tour by jeep in the Maktesh crater

This natural spectacle is only found in the Negev and Sinai. The Maktesh Ramon is the largest crater of its kind, 40 kilometers long and between two and ten kilometers wide. The best way to explore it is on a tour with a jeep, then you can see most of these bizarre rock formations, layers and structures. And the sunsets there are incomparable.

Negev desert in Israel: The best way to explore the Maktesh Ramon crater is by jeep

The best way to explore the Maktesh Ramon crater is by jeep

Source: Andreas Hub / laif

When you get out, you should be aware that you are walking on 200 million year old soil. Why it is like that? The crater was created by the erosion of sedimentary rock. There used to be an ocean there and it washed up a lot of sand.

Over the course of time, a harder layer of limestone has formed over this layer of sand, with the folding of the ground, mountains emerged, the part of which protruding above the water surface was slowly eroded by the ocean. This exposed the sandstone again.

After the ocean disappeared, rains continuously washed away this sandstone until a crater was formed. The important thing is that the water only found one exit to drain; if there were two, you would have been dealing with a canyon. Fun fact: there are even leopards in this area.

Sandboarding on the temptation dunes

About halfway between Beersheba and Mizpeh Ramon are the dunes of temptation. The 43-year-old Dror Bamidbar runs a small sandboarding station here. By the way, snowboarding comes from sandboarding and not the other way around, he says. However, this can hardly be verified.

If you want to zoom down the dunes here on the sandboard, you can choose between three slopes of different difficulty. Regardless of where you ride: The best thing is to stand sideways and with your legs slightly apart on the board, which, unlike a snowboard, has no binding, but only a slightly roughened surface, and then turn your upper body in the direction of travel.

Negev in Israel: If you want to zoom down the dunes on the sandboard, you can choose between three slopes of different difficulty

If you want to zoom down the dunes on the sandboard, you can choose between three slopes of different difficulty

Quelle: Getty Images

If you are not an experienced snowboarder, you should hold on to the back of the so-called tail with your right hand and stretch your left hand forward into the air to correct your balance, which automatically assumes a lower and safer riding position – and if in doubt, falls softer.

Two hours of sandboarding is an effective workout for the legs, as there is of course no lift here. You have to work independently to have fun every time (drorbamidbar.co.il).

Cycling in the desert is a challenge

You can also cross the country by mountain bike, at least in theory. Of the 1,100 kilometers of the Israel Biking Trail, however, only a few hundred kilometers are passable. 27 stages are planned, often parallel to the National Trail.

Israel: If you want to explore the Negev by mountain bike, you should be in good physical condition

If you want to explore the Negev by bike, you should be in good physical condition

Quelle: Getty Images

You should have a basic athletic constitution, a good physical condition and a certain driving ability if you want to explore the Negev from the saddle. Because the routes are mostly off-road and sometimes quite demanding.

Mountain bikes including helmets can be rented on site. When it rains you should refrain from cycling and hiking: “Flash floods”, lightning-like masses of water, surprise unsuspecting tourists again and again. You have to be especially careful when touring in dry river beds. (Information about the routes: desert-bikeair.co.il, israel-trail.com)

Diving with dolphins in Eilat

Right at the bottom, where the desert borders the Gulf of Aqaba, lies Eilat, a city that has been taken out of a retort: ​​Hotels like Playmobil castles next to fairy-tale castles from the Arabian Nights and sober functional buildings.

Here is the “Dolphin Reef”, an extraordinary resort that attracts people all over the world. Above the water level, a beautiful complex with bars and lounges with a view of the Jordanian coast, where Akaba’s white houses glow in the sun. A wide jetty leads out onto the water.

Israel: If you are lucky, you will be visited by curious dolphins while diving in Eilat

With a little luck, divers in Eilat will be visited by curious dolphins

Quelle: Getty Images

But the highlight is a different one: Here is one of the few places on earth where you can dive with wild dolphins, touching is prohibited, of course. The animals can swim in the open sea at any time. However, they have got used to the people who have become part of their lives, and if you’re lucky, they grace you with their closeness and curiosity on a dive.

Five times a day you can snorkel in small groups with supervision or go into the water with an oxygen bottle, even without a diving license. There are 20 minutes in another world that you won’t soon forget (more info: new.goisrael.com).

Participation in the trip was supported by the Israel Ministry of Tourism. You can find our standards of transparency and journalistic independence at axelspringer.de/unabhaengigkeit.

This text is from WELT AM SONNTAG. We are happy to deliver them to your home on a regular basis.

Welt am Sonntag from October 4, 2020

Source: Welt am Sonntag

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The Israeli ambassador to Egypt tweets about what her mother requested for her first visit to Cairo in 25 years

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Prisoner exchange in Yemen: meticulously planned first step

Good news from Yemen: The conflicting parties are exchanging prisoners. What sounds simple is a political and logistical monster project.

Arrived: released Houthi prisoner on Thursday in Sanaa Photo: dpa

KAIRO taz | It is the largest confidence-building measure since the Yemen War began five and a half years ago. Around 1,000 prisoners of war are to be exchanged for two days. More than 600 Houthi rebels and 400 captured government fighters in Aden are said to be released and brought home. The mass exchange was agreed last month at UN-sponsored talks in Montreux, Switzerland.

“On Thursday alone we had seven planes with over 700 released prisoners who flew in or out of the airport in Sanaa,” explains the Swiss Katharina Ritz, who heads the office of the International Red Cross (ICRC) in Yemen, to the taz. “There was a lot of mistrust, so we had to plan meticulously. The machines had to start synchronized at three different locations at the same time. “

A double rotation of flights between Sanaa and Aden is planned again for Friday. This would then complete the exchange of a little more than 1,000 prisoners. “We hope this will be one of many future releases as thousands of families are still waiting for relatives in prison,” says Ritz.

“Of course, we would like this exchange to have created trust, which will then put more energy into finding a political solution to end the conflict,” she adds. “Such humanitarian gestures can set an example because after years of conflict people are tired, drained and have lost a lot.”

Already agreed in 2018

Martin Griffiths, the UN special envoy for Yemen who led the negotiations, is also hoping for more: “It is a sign of what can be achieved through peaceful dialogue,” he says. The deal is the continuation of the so-called Stockholm Agreement, in which the exchange of 15,000 prisoners of war had already been agreed at the end of 2018, but without this being carried out due to mutual distrust.

The exchange had now been preceded by “complex, months-long negotiations” “until each side was satisfied with a list of who released whom,” says Ritz. “It was about individual names for days.” While the negotiations were being conducted by the UN special envoy, the Red Cross was responsible for implementing the exchange.

The Yemen War is described by the UN as the greatest human-made humanitarian catastrophe. In the country, Houthi rebels and supporters of President Abed Rabbo Mansur Hadi, who fled Sanaa, face each other. Saudi Arabia is directly involved with Hadi’s air force and leads a military coalition against the Houthis; the Houthis are indirectly supported by Iran.

Muhammed Abdul Salam, a spokesman for the Houthis, said that with the exchange on Thursday and Friday, hope for further peacebuilding measures increased. A statement by the anti-Houthi coalition stated that “the political and military leadership wants to work to ensure that all prisoners of war can return home”. Both sides present the exchange as a victory.

Corona film spots in the planes

The exchange of prisoners is further complicated by the uncontrolled Covid-19 pandemic in Yemen. The Red Cross distributes protective equipment in front of the flights and ensures that the physical distance is also maintained on the flights. “To do this, we sometimes needed double the capacity of the buses and aircraft used,” explains Ritz.

Specially shot film spots are running in the aircraft, which are intended to educate the released prisoners about Covid measures. “We hope that this not only cleared up the trip itself, but also helps people to protect themselves and their families after they arrive home,” says Ritz.

On arrival, the freedmen were extremely enthusiastic, she says. “Many lay down on the ground and hugged the ground, there were large reception committees and music and very emotional scenes with people who had not seen each other for a long time. It was a festive mood, ”says Ritz.

“We are relieved that it went so well so far, because the negotiations and implementation were anything but easy,” she says, adding: “We are just glad that this time there is good news from Yemen”.

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The Lebanese sickened by the descent into hell of their country

REPORT – A year after the start of the “revolution”, the unity of the demonstrators demanding the departure of the ruling class is crumbling and some are radicalizing for lack of hope.

Anti-government protesters in front of a metal sculpture with the word
Anti-government protesters in front of a metal sculpture with the word “revolution” topped in flames near the Port of Beirut. MOHAMED AZAKIR/REUTERS

Special envoy to Beirut

A year after the popular uprising of October 17 and its procession of demonstrations in Beirut, the country of the Cedars is plunged into disarray. The movement failed to translate the aspirations of the Lebanese who recognized themselves in it. The Covid-19 virus, the economic crisis and its procession of bankruptcies, the collapse of the Lebanese pound, which has become a monkey’s currency, and the explosion of the port have dampened enthusiasms.

The withdrawal into oneself is de rigueur for a large part of the population whose main concern is survival. It is often accompanied by a disillusioned look at a “revolution” marked over weeks and then months by the absence of leading figures, the intrusion of thugs into the ranks of protesters, political infiltration and emergence. of religious differences between demonstrators while its strength was to transcend the currents. The Sunnis in Tripoli were demanding to support the Shiites in southern Lebanon.

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New allegations against Israel’s prime minister: submarines could sink Bibi

Israel has bought German submarines from Thyssenkrupp. The deal went to court – now Prime Minister Netanyahu could also be investigated.

In the submarine for a demonstration against Prime Minister Netanyahu, Tel Aviv on October 14th Photo: Oded Balilty / ap

JERUSALEM taz | “We are putting pressure on an investigation into the submarine affair,” says Yossi Zamir and points to his T-shirt: “Investigation now!” by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. It is surrounded by hundreds of cars, many of which have a self-made submarine dummy on the roof. The convoy set off in northern Israel on Wednesday morning; in the evening he was to arrive at the Supreme Court in Jerusalem.

This must decide whether to initiate an investigation against Netanyahu in the so-called submarine affair. The case first came to light in 2016 through a report by investigative journalist Raviv Drucker. It is about the purchase of three nuclear weapons-capable submarines for 1.5 billion euros and rocket ships for 430 million euros from the German weapons manufacturer Thyssenkrupp. To make the business possible, bribes should have flowed.

Several people close to Netanyahu have already been charged with bribery, fraud and money laundering, including Netanyahu’s lawyer and cousin David Shimron and ex-Thyssenkrupp representative in Israel, Miki Ganor. Netanyahu himself, who is also on trial in three corruption cases, has not yet been investigated in this case. The court could change this now.

The car convoy was organized by Roi Peleg. The former officer has little to do with the image of an anarchist that Netanyahu paints of the demonstrators who have been demanding his resignation for months. “The submarine affair,” says Peleg, “is arguably the largest arms corruption scandal in the history of Israel.” Like so many, Peleg suspects that Netanyahu himself is involved.

Military staff considered the submarines superfluous

They see indications, for example, in the fact that the submarines were bought even though the Ministry of Defense, military staff and the Navy agreed that Israel did not need any further submarines for defense. In addition, the purchase price was extremely high. According to media reports, however, Netanyahu pushed for the deal and replaced the then defense minister, who was against the purchase, with Avigdor Lieberman. In 2016, the government approved the purchase.

Ganor, the representative of Thyssenkrupp who is said to have initiated the deal, is also said to have brought his legal advisor Shimron with him to the negotiations, who is said to have received a high commission. The explosive thing about it is the family relationship between Shimron and Netanyahu and that Shimron was also Netanyahu’s lawyer.

Investigations could also get Netanyahu into trouble over another cousin, Nathan Milikowsky. Netanyahu held shares in his company Sea Drift (later GrafTech). Explosively, the company had supplied Thyssenkrupp with steel, which may have been a serious conflict of interest for Netanyahu.

Netanyahu could have made the equivalent of several million euros with the deal and put it in his own pocket, according to Blue-White boss Benny Gantz. In the past election campaigns, this suspicion was central to Gantz’s former opposition alliance. Now, however, Blue-White is in a coalition with Netanyahu, and the Knesset voted against the establishment of a committee of inquiry in August. Blau-Weiß abstained from voting.

By Thursday, the attorney general, the prime minister’s office, the defense ministry and the police have to tell the Supreme Court whether they approve of an investigation. Then the court will decide whether to initiate an investigation. Time is of the essence: In November it will be ten years since Netanyahu sold his GrafTech shares – after that no further investigation can be initiated in this case.

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John Achkar, revolution through reconstruction

Located in the heart of the Geitaoui district in Beirut, a disused gas station has become the headquarters of the volunteers. Under its rickety awning, sofas, chairs and trestle tables have been placed to help distribute aid. The back of the store has been transformed into a kitchen and a sort of huge pizza oven has just arrived. On a fabric banner, John Achkar and his friends wrote the name they gave to their gathering place: “Nation Station”. Because “If we can rebuild a building on our own, without the State, then we will have shown that we can also rebuild the country”.

Before the explosion of August 4 which devastated the port of Beirut and several districts of the city, including Geitaoui, this long blond young man, aged only 29, was already playing on several tables: business consultant and manager of the A family business of gadgets and toys, he is also an actor and has become known through his stand-up shows.

→ REPORT. Beirut: in devastated neighborhoods, life is timidly resuming

Since then, he has added strings to his bow: co-founder of “Nation Station” and coordinator of two projects born there, in the first hours of the disaster, “Génération Nylon” to cover the windows and gutted windows with plastic, then “ Rise Up Lebanon ”to help small businesses reopen their stores.

Nylon generation

On the very evening of the explosion, he came to visit Josephine and Mazen, a couple of childhood friends who had stayed in the neighborhood a few miles away, to ask them what they needed. They asked for tarpaulins. “Several of us struggled to find funds and, in four days, we provided plastic sheets to 4,000 families”, tells John Achkar between two devastated shops.

“Our parents laughed at us and called us ‘Generation Nylon'”. And it was when he saw his hairdresser uncle, completely dejected in front of his shop, that he realized the need to target artisans and traders as a priority, many in this mixed and rather popular district of central Beirut.

Most of the volunteers who work at “Nation Station” did not know each other a month ago. But many have already worked with NGOs, during the influx of Syrian refugees in 2012-2013, even – like John himself – as early as 2005, to help the victims of the Israeli-Lebanese conflict.. “We have the methods”, assures the young consultant, passed by several foreign universities.

Find an income-generating activity

The general distribution of food during the first few days has given way to a « audit » specific needs, based on “Vulnerability criteria” (number and age of family members, existence of income, etc.). The long talks with each one are also a way of listening to the afflicted, of helping them to envisage the future.

Everyone is invited to find an income-generating activity, even the oldest who can “Make canned goods or yogurt, which we will ensure an outlet in the neighborhood grocery stores”. “We must succeed in creating a sustainable ecosystem”, sums up the young man, surrounded by sorting bins rather rare in Lebanon.

“To prove that another system is possible”

As much as in Martyrs Square, where they have participated in most of the demonstrations since October 17, John and his friends are convinced they are ” the revolution “. “A revolution perhaps more important still: to prove that another system is possible, that there is an alternative to corruption and confessionalism”, he says.

To succeed, John Achkar gave himself without counting. One evening, drunk with fatigue, he fell asleep at the wheel and his car sped into the ditch. “Everyone has burned out. I am the only optimist, he laughs. Having said that, yesterday I stayed at home to write reports: I was not well. “

The ground and the work in common keep those who remain. But today is the hour of truth. A large part of the student volunteers have returned to their homes, and are preparing to resume classes.

For a month, John Achkar’s consulting firm continued to pay him his salary, out of solidarity. But now, the calls of the foot are more urgent. “Will I find an employee to replace me or rather continue? he asks himself. We can’t let go now. He faut show the neighborhood that we can get results. “

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His inspiration: “The experience of corruption woke me up politically”

“My parents always warned me against politics: in their eyes, it is the cause of the country’s ills,” says John Achkar. When I was in master’s degree, I came to do an exchange at Sciences-Po Paris and then an internship at Unesco. One of my professors, Lebanese, knowing that I wanted to return, warned me by warning me: ‘Either you join the system, or it expels you’. Back in Lebanon, I saw by working with international NGOs, which go through local partners, how they are caught up in the system of corruption and confessionalism. And when I took over the family toy business, many of which are imported from China, I had to pay 3 million Lebanese pounds just to get my container back. There, I really woke up politically. “

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42% of young Arabs dream of emigrating

► Which countries are most affected by the desire to emigrate?

The 2020 edition of the “Arab Youth Survey”, an annual survey of Arab youth, draws a very dark portrait. For the first time, its authors have introduced a question on emigration: the answer is edifying. 42% of the 200 million young people living in the Arab world are thinking of emigrating. Among them, 15% “Actively prepare” they leave, and 25% just think about it.

Ten years after the outbreak of the “Arab Spring”, this study, conducted by the public relations agency Asdaa-BCW (based in the United Arab Emirates) among boys and girls aged 18 to 24 living in the 17 Arab States, testifies to their disillusionment. In the absence of prospects in their own countries, it is no longer there that they plan to build a better future for themselves, but abroad.

The young candidates at the start are 63% in the countries of the Middle East: Lebanon comes first with 77%, followed by Iraq, Palestine and Syria. They are 47% in the Maghreb countries, 69% in Libya, and 52% in Tunisia, the only country where the political transition still gives real hope.

► What are the reasons for emigration?

Corruption remains, again and again, at the heart of the concerns of young Arabs: 77% consider it endemic within their government, particularly in Yemen and Iraq. The lack of security and freedom in their country is also among their reasons for leaving. But a quarter of them cite above all ” economic reasons “, exacerbated by the Covid-19 crisis. While their debt load has increased markedly this year, 20% say a family member lost their job during the pandemic.

→ READ ALSO. The fight against global corruption wins

The search for a job or a training only seems possible to them abroad. Only the rich Gulf countries escape this desire to leave. A sign of the need in which they find themselves, many of the young people questioned are considering a temporary expatriation, the time to earn enough to meet their needs: 60% would like to return home one day, (only 51% of those living in the Near East). East).

“The main challenges facing young Arabs – the corruption of their government and the creation of jobs – appear to be both very pragmatic and recurrent. These are not revolutionary slogans, but calls for greater opportunity, decent government and more dignified lives ”, notes Afshin Molavi, researcher at American University Johns Hopkins, commenting on these results for the journal Arabian Business. “ The Arab uprisings have brought down several leaders from their golden thrones, but the basic demands of the time are still not met ”.

The United Arab Emirates still lead the preferred destinations, followed by the United States and Canada, then Europe (United Kingdom and Germany in particular). Very often cited in the 2012 and 2013 surveys, France left the top of the ranking.

► What reforms do young Arabs want?

Unsurprisingly, the young people interviewed for this survey affirmed themselves as fervent supporters of the protest movements underway in Lebanon, Algeria or Iraq at the time of the survey. But while the Iraqis are mostly optimistic about the changes that could result (the vast majority of talks were conducted between January and March), the Algerians and even more the Lebanese are more cautious.

Asked about the reforms that could allow their countries to break the deadlock, these young people, fond of social networks and who admit spending a lot of time watching films and music on their smartphone, logically cite the fight against corruption and creation jobs. As well as ” fight against terrorism “ and the “Resolution of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict”.

Some of their answers are not lacking in paradox: when asked about what founds their identity, they put forward from afar “Their religion”. But two questions later, two-thirds do not hesitate to assert that “Religion plays too big a role in the Middle East” and “The Arab world needs to reform its religious institutions”.

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in Jerusalem, ultra-Orthodox defy containment

REPORT – The police have decided to close their eyes while the festivities have not stopped in the district of Méa Shéarim.

By Samuel Forey

A couple of undercover police arrested, on October 5, an Orthodox activist who braved confinement to celebrate Sukkot, in the district of Méa Shéarim, in Jerusalem.
A couple of undercover police arrested, on October 5, an Orthodox activist who braved confinement to celebrate Sukkot, in the district of Méa Shéarim, in Jerusalem. AHMAD GHARABLI / AFP

The truck, equipped with powerful speakers and projectors of all colors, enters Méa Shéarim. And suddenly, the narrow, austere street, the center of this ultra-Orthodox Jewish quarter of Jerusalem, turns into a huge nightclub track. On the platform of the vehicle, dancers, in full parade costume, golden Damascus silk caftans and sable fur hats – shtreimel -, are unleashed on traditional Eastern European music swollen with deafening beats. At their feet, men, barely teenagers or not yet adults, crowd and jump in great bursts of laughter, covered in sweat.

The rest of Israeli territory has been confined since September 19, but Méa Shéarim blatantly ignores it. In the empty and silent city of Jerusalem, the district, built in the XIXe century by Ashkenazim before the creation of the State of Israel, sparkles with a thousand fires. It celebrates the Jewish holiday of Sukkot (“Huts” in Hebrew), which closes

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