On Revolution, Uprising and Resistance: Lebanon - Iraq - Syria

“Tomorrow the revolution will rise up again,clashing its weapons,
and to your horror it will proclaim with trumpets blazing: I was, I am, I shall be!”

– Rosa Luxemburg –
Beirut, Roger Asfar
Baghdad, Miriam Younes
Beirut, Doha Hassan
Baghdad, Miriam Younes
Beirut, Doha Hassan
Baghdad, Miriam Younes
Beirut, Doha Hassan
Baghdad, Miriam Younes
Beirut, Doha Hassan
Baghdad, Miriam Younes
Beirut, Roger Asfar
Baghdad, Miriam Younes
Beirut, Roger Asfar
Beirut, Roger Asfar
Baghdad, Miriam Younes
Beirut, Roger Asfar
Baghdad, Miriam Younes
Beirut, Roger Asfar
Beirut, Roger Asfar
Beirut, Roger Asfar
Beirut, Roger Asfar
Baghdad, Miriam Younes
Beirut, Roger Asfar
Baghdad, Miriam Younes
Beirut, Roger Asfar
Baghdad, Miriam Younes
Beirut, Roger Asfar
Baghdad, Miriam Younes
Beirut, Doha Hassan
Baghdad, Miriam Younes
Beirut, Doha Hassan
Baghdad, Miriam Younes
Tripoli, Doha Hassan
Baghdad, Miriam Younes
Beirut, Doha Hassan
Baghdad, Miriam Younes
Beirut, Doha Hassan
Baghdad, Miriam Younes
Beirut, Doha Hassan
Beirut, Doha Hassan
Baghdad, Miriam Younes
Beirut, Doha Hassan
Baghdad, Miriam Younes
Beirut, Doha Hassan
Baghdad, Miriam Younes
Beirut, Doha Hassan
Baghdad, Miriam Younes
Beirut, Doha Hassan
Baghdad, Miriam Younes
Baghdad, Miriam Younes
Baghdad, Miriam Younes
Baghdad, Miriam Younes
Baghdad, Miriam Younes
Baghdad, Miriam Younes
Baghdad, Miriam Younes
Baghdad, Miriam Younes
Baghdad, Miriam Younes
Baghdad, Miriam Younes
Douma, Al-Gelaa Street, Summer 2015: Tea vendor Abou Kasim shortly before he was killed in a cluster bomb attack that hit his small store.
Douma, Winter 2018: A child holds a loaf of bread in front of his face – a little bit of bread is a little bit of happiness.
Mesraba Souq, Summer 2017: Shortly after, early 2018, the Souq was completely destroyed.
Ain Tarma, Eastern Ghouta, Fall 2016: Abou Mahrous makes bread from barley after he lost his wheat crop during the siege of Ghouta by the regime forces.
Douma, Al-Quwatli Street, Summer 2017: Houssam sells corn from a vending cart to support his family.
Douma, the Great Mosque: Abou Mahjoub is selling juices made from dried fruits that he stored before the siege of Eastern Ghouta.
Frontline of the National Highway Damascus-Homs, Ramadan 2017: Abou Mohammad, a fighter of the Free Syrian Army, sits on the spot where that marks the borderline to the Syrian Regime forces.
Frontline of the National Highway Damascus-Homs, Ramadan 2017: A meal prepared for four fighters of the FSA.
Frontline of the National Highway Damascus-Homs, Ramadan 2017: A meal prepared for four fighters of the FSA.
Douma, Al-Quwatli Street, Winter 2016: Abou Mahmoud is making tea, sitting on the street under shellings of cluster and vacuum bombs. His son was killed in the beginning of 2018 during the last attack on Douma. His whole family suffered burn injuries from napalm bombs dropped over the city.

In Lebanon and Iraq, people have taken to the streets in mass protests since October 1st, 2019. While these movements share important structural similarities, they remind us of the uprisings of 2011/2012 that swept across many countries in the MENA-region. In Syria, this protest movement has developed into a full-blown civil war that has been raging on ever since.

Media coverage of the conflict has mainly been focusing on the narratives that violence and war dictate, and as a result, waves of social mobilization and crucial revolutionary moments have been overlooked. This year’s uprising in Lebanon and Iraq has gained only limited coverage by English and German Media. We, therefore, dedicated a special section on our website to gather information and shed light on past and present protest movements in Lebanon, Syria and Iraq. This includes Chronicles of the Uprisings in Lebanon and Iraq, Visual testimoniesWritten testimonies and Articles.

Photo: Roger Asfar

Timeline of the Uprisings in Iraq and Lebanon

Since October 1st, 2019 until the present day, mass protests take place both in Lebanon and Iraq. Both movements did not only break out nearly simultaneously, the people on the street express also similar grievances and demands: against the dominant political system and against the dominant political elite, against confessionalism, clientelism and corruption, against political violence and arbitrariness, against neoliberal and capitalist politics, against the established political system and regime, and therefore for a reinvention of political practice and system in both countries. Media coverage in English and German on the current protest movements in Lebanon and Iraq is rather scarce. This timeline therefore offers an overview of the most crucial events and dates, seeking answers to some of the most important issues within the protest movements: Why are people taking to the streets? Who are they? What are their demands? And how are the governments handling the protests?

Editorial Staff: Miriam Younes,Mohammad Blakah and Katharina Borlinghaus | Rosa-Luxemburg-Stiftung Beirut Office

Revolution in times of COVID -19 – testimonies from Iraq

In March 2019, the Iraqi government had imposed a countrywide lockdown due to the spread of the COVID-19 virus in the country. In April 2020, about 1500 cases suffering from COVID-19 were reported in the whole of Iraq. Due to limited testing the estimated number of unknown cases are probably much higher. Since the beginning of the pandemic the protesters in Tahrir Square took their own precautionary measures, as the manufacturing and wearing of facemasks, the disinfection of tents and the decision that only 20 % of the protesters are to remain in the square. Moreover, many political and social activists started initiatives to support people in need since the lockdown led to increasing unemployment, poverty and an economic recession due to dropping oil prices. Since the end of April, protesters launched the hashtag “we promise the revolution will return”, meaning that after the end of the lockdown protesters will return to the streets to demand their political, social and economic rights and the fall of the political system. We asked several political activists and protesters to describe to us diverse impacts of the corona-virus on the current situation in Iraq.

Conceptualization: Mohamad Blakah/Miriam Younes - Interviewing: Mohamad Blakah - Editing and Subtitling: Mohamad Blakah

Visual testimonies

Nadia Mahmoud - Academic Researcher and feminist activist

Defection statement - Idleb Countryside
December 2012

Videographer: Mohamad Blakah

Sami Adnan From “Workers against Sectarianism”

Frontline - Aleppo
December 2012

Videographer: Mohamad Blakah

Written testimonies

Beirut, October 29th, 2019: 18-years old Roula is experiencing protests for the first time. The university student from Beirut is happy to see protests sweeping across the country, because she "never thought that

Marj Bisri, November 2nd, 2019.Jean works in an electronics store in Jounieh Together with other activists, he spent two nights in a tent in the Bisri Valley, demonstrating against a new mostly World-bank financed

Sour, November 8th, 2019: Mohammad, 22 years old, has been skipping his classes at University since the beginning of the revolution. Instead he’s going to the protests in Sour in the South of

Articles

What kind of groups are you working with, and how did you meet?
I work with a group of independent young men and women. We have no political affiliations and are not members of any party; each of us

An interview with HS*, conducted by Miriam Younes and Mohamad Blakah

The November protests

How would you describe the

Lebanon witnessed its last big protest movement in 2015. Where do you see continuities and differences between the previous and current movements?

There are many people who are trying to delegitimize the