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Comm(Unity) Weekly: The Beirut Explosion and Lebanon’s Crisis

AUGUST 17, 2020

In this edition of Comm(Unity), we bring you a recap our event on Beirut’s explosion, explore the disruption of U.S. foreign policy and comment on the fate of all those abandoned office plants.

Weekly Episode

A Special Conversation — What does it look like when a state collapses? Recap our conversation with Dr. Steven Cook, Foreign Policy, Council on Foreign Relations, to discuss the economic and political challenges that have haunted Lebanon, where the country stood before the explosion, and how this tragedy threatens Lebanon’s future.

Moderated by Megan Clark Torrey, CEO.

Stream Now.

Read more about the underpinnings of Lebanon’s current crisis in “Lebanon as We Know It Is Dying” by Steven Cook.

Weekly Article Roundup

Follow along with the CTWAC staff on this week’s article roundup (with some special recommendations!):

Richard Haass, President of CFR and upcoming CTWAC speaker, writes that American foreign policy has been effectively “unmade”
Read more about why ‘disruption’ is an appropriate word for this administration

A historic peace deal has been brokered between the UAE and Israel that would prevent Israel from declaring sovereignty over the West Bank
What will this mean for the Middle East and Israeli relations moving forward?

Bolivia is facing oxygen shortages as well as deferred elections as a result of the global pandemic – can elections solve the mounting crises?
The legacy of overthrown socialist president Evo Morales lives on

The government has shut down the Internet as Belarus witnesses the latest global protests in response to corrupt elections
Millions of people are without Internet or cell service, according to Wired

One year after India decided to revoke Kashmir’s autonomous privileges, the region remains largely ignored, according to Foreign Policy
India’s stated goals to boost Kashmir’s socioeconomic status remain unseen

Weekly Entertainment


Zainab Salbi’s father was chosen as Saddam Hussein’s personal pilot when she was eleven. Read this recounts of her experiences of survival


Shakespeare on the Radio

Stream this free four-part broadcast of William Shakespeare’s Richard II, a play with resonance in our modern world


Statecraft: The Bush 41 Team

Examine George H.W. Bush’s presidency and his foreign policy team’s approach to navigating global crises


Stop Disasters!

The UN Office for Disaster Risk Reduction presents an online game that teaches the risks of natural disasters and how to protect local populations


Elotes Mexicanos

Mexican street corn (elotes mexicanos) is one of the most popular street foods in Mexico. Learn how to make this authentic, easy and adaptable, recipe for your next cookout!

Global Good News

96-year-old student graduates after surviving WWII and now a pandemic

At 96, Giuseppe Paterno has faced life trials like child poverty, World War II and the COVID-19 virus, but none of this stopped him from getting his degree in History and Philosophy at University of Palermo in Italy (with honors, no less).
Read More.

Weekly Cartoon

Check in next week for another CTWAC exclusive cartoon:

Courtesy of Caroline Schaefer

We know you are wondering what our MUN students are up to – especially given the unprecedented circumstances surrounding their return to school this fall. We look forward to sharing some of their experiences and goals for the future in the upcoming weeks! Stay safe and healthy.

Nicole Struth
Education and Special Projects Director

Image Credits:

[1] Lebanon Explosion: LLs via Wikimedia Commons
[2] President of Belarus Alexander Lukashenko: silverrebel via Wikimedia Commons
[3] Statecraft: still from Statecraft via PBS
[4] Elote: Charbel Barker via My Latina Kitchen blog
[5] Giuseppe Paterno: Guglielmo Mangiapane for Reuters
[6] Cartoon: Caroline Schaefer
[7] Nicole Headshot: Caroline Schaefer

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