Archive for April 2011
My report for Esquire on the time that Sam Tarling and I spent in Egypt during the country’s revolution ran in the March edition of Esquire Middle East. It’s a snapshot of three days of the revolution, as the carnival atmosphere of Tahrir Square was wiped away by violence, fear and paranoia. Amid the chaos, I even managed to work in a Ke$ha reference.
Apologies for the long absence from the blog. I took a much needed vacation to Asia for part of March and have been busy with work as events here in the Middle East continue.
At the beginning of March I wrote an article for The International Herald Tribune on Palestinian work rights in Lebanon. While August 2010 legislation passed by the Lebanese government was supposed to finally grant Palestinians working rights in Lebanon, more than six months later, little has changed.
BEIRUT — Lebanon hands out and renews hundreds of thousands of work permits every year to people from Africa, Asia and other Arab countries. But until now, only a handful have been given to the country’s large Palestinian refugee population.
Six months ago, the Lebanese government was internationally applauded for passing legislation granting the Palestinian population the right to work. But real changes remain to be seen.
On Feb. 22, the caretaker labor minister, Boutros Harb, signed a decree on carrying out the August 2010 labor law amendments. Final approval by the Shura Council, the country’s highest court, is now awaited. Meanwhile, questions about the potential effectiveness of the legislation and the employment situation of the refugees linger.