Journalists quit Lebanon paper over anti-protest stance

Lebanese school students take part in a protest in the southern city of Sidon (Saida) on November 5, 2019, during ongoing anti-government protests. (AFP)
Updated 06 November 2019

Journalists quit Lebanon paper over anti-protest stance

  • One journalist announced her resignation last week, another on Monday and two more followed suit on Tuesday
  • Al-Akhbar ,is among the most read and respected newspapers in Lebanon, threw its weight behind the movement

BEIRUT: Four journalists have resigned from Lebanon’s pro-Hezbollah newspaper Al-Akhbar over the daily’s stance on an unprecedented wave of anti-government protests.
One journalist announced her resignation last week, another on Monday and two more followed suit on Tuesday, explaining their decision on social media.
One of them, leading economic journalist Mohammed Zbib, said he “resigned to protest against the newspaper management’s attitude toward the uprising.”
Since October 17, hundreds of thousands of Lebanese have taken to the streets to demand better living conditions and a wholesale change of Lebanon’s corrupt and sectarian political system.
Al-Akhbar is among the most read and respected newspapers in Lebanon, including by those who do not share its political leanings.
Over the years, it has consistently produced pioneering coverage of the economic hardships faced by Lebanon’s least privileged, a key driver of the ongoing protests.
When the protests erupted nearly three weeks ago, initially over a proposed tax on phone calls via messaging apps, Al-Akhbar threw its weight behind the movement.
However, protesters’ grievances swiftly grew to demand the resignation of the entire ruling elite and a complete overhaul of a system that has returned the same politicians to power for decades.
Hezbollah’s powerful leader Hassan Nasrallah faced unusual criticism, including within his own strongholds, and criticized the protest movement as reckless and manipulated by the West.
Al-Akhbar’s initial enthusiasm for the protests gave way to a stance cautioning against the government’s resignation and the emergence of a political vacuum.
Prime Minister Saad Hariri, a Hezbollah rival in the governing coalition, eventually bowed to street pressure on October 29 and announced his cabinet’s resignation.


UAE launches global tolerance initiative for youth

Updated 14 November 2019

UAE launches global tolerance initiative for youth

  • The initiative aims to create “tolerance rings” in the digital space
  • The minister unveiled a commemorative stamp issued by Emirates Post

DUBAI: A new online initiative that seeks to encourage tolerance through dialogue among youth in the UAE, the region and around the world was announced during the second day of the World Tolerance Summit in Dubai on Thursday.
The Tolerance without Borders initiative was announced by Sheikh Nahyan bin Mubarak Al-Nahyan, the UAE’s minister of tolerance, during his keynote speech.
The initiative aims to create “tolerance rings” in the digital space, giving youth a platform for peaceful dialogue that extends beyond religious, cultural, linguistic and spatial barriers.
“We hope to see the youth of the UAE at the forefront of this initiative, engaging in communication that’s based on tolerance and acceptance with their peers here at home and around the world,” said Al-Nahyan, who is also chairman of the board of trustees at the International Institute for Tolerance.
He added that the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al-Nahyan was the pioneer behind the UAE’s prosperity, and had built a “space for coexistence and tolerance” that has helped the country’s peaceful development.
“We’re proud that we, a country in which all human beings live, with real love and genuine tolerance, live and work together to build a future for children without fear of intolerance, hatred or discrimination … based on color, religion, sect or race,” said the minister.
He added that positive relations and tolerance between all cultures and beliefs is a pre-requisite to eradicating poverty, discrimination and disease.
“Our presence together at this World Tolerance Summit is a strong declaration that we all have a duty and a responsibility in the constant pursuit of building successful relationships and partnerships across cultural frontiers,” he said.
The minister unveiled a commemorative stamp issued by Emirates Post in collaboration with the Supreme National Committee for the Year of Tolerance.
The summit hosted more than 70 speakers and over 3,000 participants from more than 100 countries.