Lebanese-US director Ziad Doueiri said Friday he was willing to face jail to film his award-winning movie "The Attack" in Israel, flouting Lebanon's laws against entering the neighbouring Jewish state. Describing the production there as a "crazy trip", he told an audience at the Frankfurt Book Fair that it still bothered him that the movie, released this year, had been banned in the Arab world.

Sitting on a street corner about 60 feet from the Salam Mosque in the Al-Mina district of Tripoli, 21-year-old Yasser looked sorrowfully into the distance. His head and left hand were wrapped in bandages. A line of dried blood snaked its way down from his temple to his chin. Fragments of glass and small chunks of concrete covered the concrete around him next to a pile of tomatoes rotting under the summer sun. Further up the road surrounding a crater, about ten-feet in diameter and six-feet in depth, the carcasses of burnt out cars lay at unnatural angles across the tarmac.

Iran, whose relations with Ankara have been strained due to the Syrian crisis, aims to punish Turkey by dealing a blow to Turkish soft power in Lebanon, as Ankara has suspended its cultural and commercial activities in Beirut after a Turkish Airlines (THY) captain and co-pilot were kidnapped by gunmen last week. Turkey's contact with the Lebanese Shiite group Hezbollah, a key ally of Tehran, on Thursday as part of efforts to secure the release of the two Turkish pilots, raised question marks in some minds over an Iranian link in the pilots' abduction.

August 16, 2013

With the bloodbath in Egypt, ongoing carnage in Syria, and gruesome bombings in Iraq, another explosion in the Middle East might hardly seem like news. But the importance of the blast that rocked Beirut’s southern Shia-dominated suburbs on August 15, killing around 20 people and wounding hundreds more, should not be diminished. It could spell the beginning of the end for Hezbollah, the dominant political-military actor in Lebanon and one of the United States’ most powerful nemeses in the region.

The young culinary student learned paella thanks to exchange cooking classes put on by UNIFIL’s Spanish contingent in south Lebanon. The five-week course seeks to broaden the culinary expertise of a dozen or so hospitality students in addition to teaching some of the Spanish UNIFIL members Lebanese dishes.

Seventeen women from six Arab countries discussed challenges and new trends in diplomacy during a weeklong seminar organized by the Italian Foreign Affairs Ministry in association with leading research center The Italian Society for International Organization (SIOI).

“At a time when the United States seems very much in need of public diplomacy in the Middle East, in cases such as these, scholars, the host countries and the American public are all losers,” said Maurice Pomerantz, a Fulbright scholar who’d planned to spend the year teaching comparative literature in Lebanon but was relocated to Jordan because of the State Department’s security concerns.