KSU Researching the Fight Against Economic Stagnation in Lebanon
Dr. Volker Franke and Isaac Andakian, PhD Student, travel to Lebanon for research
KENNESAW, Ga. (Dec 12, 2019) — Professor Volker Franke and Isaac Andakian, INCM PhD student, visited Lebanon for a week in November to set up their research project about the future of Lebanon in light of the ongoing revolution, which has seen more than 1.5 million demonstrators take to the streets to protest against economic stagnation, endemic corruption and a lack of basic public services. Franke and Andakian intend to use a survey to measure the attitudes of protesters and ask them about their hopes and fears for the future of Lebanon.
During their visit, they met a number of Lebanese politicians, prominent scholars, journalists and representatives of INGOs operating in the country, including Member of the Parliament, President of the Armenian Parliamentary bloc and Secretary General of the Tashnag Political Party his Excellency Mr. Hagop Pakradonian; Member of Parliament his Excellency Mr. George Okais from the Lebanese Forces Political Party; Minister and former Member of Parliament his Excellency Mr. Elie Marouni from the Lebanese Phalanges Political Party; a prominent Lebanese-British scholar and attorney Professor Chibli Mallat; a prominent Lebanese scholar and attorney Dr. Fares Zaatar; representatives of “World Vision” in Lebanon, including Mr. Hans Bederski, WV’s National Director, Dr. Ziad Fahed, WV’s Chair of the Advisory Council, and Ms. Diana Rhayem, member of the Advisory Council; and Al Arabiya TV journalist Mr. Mahmoud Choker. They also had an appointment with the Vice Speaker of the Parliament his Excellency Mr. Elie Ferzeli, which got canceled the last minute due to roadblocks and demonstrations on the roads leading to his residence.
The meetings were extremely helpful for Franke and Andakian to develop the survey, as they provided valuable insights into the events. The survey is being finalized in both English and Arabic and Franke and Andakian expect to disseminate it online before the end of the year.
Professor Volker Franke and Isaac Andakian with M.P. George Okais in Zahle - November 24, 2019.
Image captions top right:
(top) Professor Volker Franke and Isaac Andakian with M.P. Hagop Pakradonian in Beirut - November 26, 2019
(bottom) Professor Volker Franke and Isaac Andakian in Beirut at the Martyr’s square, where the “Revolution” is currently taking place. Professor Franke is raising his fist (the motto of the revolution) in solidarity with the Revolution. . The “Revolution Fist” can be seen in the background of the photo. November 22, 2019.