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Beirut Under Fire: Political and Personal Perspectives

Webinar (video): August 14, 2020

On Tuesday, August 4, a massive blast rocked downtown Beirut. In minutes, over 200 lives were lost, thousands of people injured, and 300,000 left homeless. In the wake of the explosion, people have poured into the streets, calling for government reform and an end to the corruption that many argue was directly responsible for both the blast and years of economic and political crisis.

Six days after the incident, the government resigned and protests continue. In this webinar, Cornell faculty and students talk about the political, economic, cultural, and personal dimensions of the events in Lebanon—and the implications for the future of the state and civil society.


  • Ross Brann, Milton R. Konvitz Professor of Judeo-Islamic Studies and Stephen H. Weiss Presidential Fellow


  • Rima Majed, Assistant Professor of Sociology, Anthropology and Media Studies at American University of Beirut
  • Mostafa Minawi, Associate Professor of History and the Director of the Ottoman & Turkish Studies Initiative
  • Amanda Rizkallah, Assistant Professor of International Studies, Pepperdine University
  • Kevork Lochkajian, Professional Student in Cornell’s MBA of the Americas Program
  • Alexandra Blackman, Assistant Professor in the Department of Government
  • Joseph Moukarzel, Graduate Student at Cornell’s M. Eng in Engineering Management
  • Dina Bishara, Assistant Professor of International and Comparative Labor

This webinar was hosted by Global Cornell, Mario Einaudi Center for International Studies, and the Office of Global Learning.