In 1971 students at the American University of Beirut (AUB) in Lebanon went on strike, occupied university buildings, and clashed with rightist students and police. This activity was triggered by the university administration’s announcement of a 10% increase In tuition fees.
Student demands included rescinding the tuition increase but quickly widened to incorporate demands dealing with political and civil rights. In the same year, students in the state-funded Lebanese University (LU) also went on strike and marched In demonstrations, making similar political demands and stressing the liberalization of the university. They, too, clashed with government security forces.
In 1972 students of the Lebanese University once again went on strike, this time for 50 days. During the strike the students held rallies, discussions and demonstrations. They pasted their demands and pictures of their clashes with police over those of candidates for election to Lebanon’s parliament.
They occupied and barricaded themselves in the building of the Ministry of Education. They clashed again with government security forces, and suffered many wounded.
In their demands and in their militant actions the students were supported and joined by secondary school students, vocational school, students and teachers’ school students in Beirut, Tripoli and Jounieh. These students also occupied their respective administration buildings and clashed with the police.
Following the suppression by government security forces using tanks and armored cars, workers and members of leftist, communist and Arab nationalist parties joined in a demonstration in April 1972 estimated at 20,000 people to protest the government actions.
During the last quarter of 1972, increasing labor unrest and strikes led to government suppression, notably against the strikers of the Ghandour Company, (1) resulting in the death and Injury of several workers. Others were dismissed from their jobs and prosecuted by the government. (2)
Beirut Arab University (BAU) students joined workers’ organizations, left-of-center parties and other progressive students to protest government oppression and demand political and civil rights.
A rally of 12,000 persons heard the president of the BAU student union call on the government “to desist encroaching on the democratic freedoms [and) the freedom of action of the Palestinian resistance.” In February 1973 BAU students and others held demonstratIons In support of the actions of Egyptian students. (3)
While the number of students involved in the February actions was small, it increased dramatically with the mass protests that followed the April 10 Israeli attack on Fatah leaders in Beirut. This increase has continued in response to the Lebanese army crackdown on the Palestinian resistance organizations.
The demands of the students included some specific to their academic endeavors and others of a more general nature. For example, in addition to calling for support of the Palestinian resistance movement and for Lebanese mobilization for defense against Israel, the students demanded that university graduates be guaranteed work and that the government take steps for the development of Lebanon’s agricultural and industrial sectors and not just services and tourism.
They have also called for a genuine national university with a full-fledged technical program, state grants and scholarships for students from lower class backgrounds, and the Arabization of the academic programs so that persons from the working classes will not be at a disadvantage in not knowing French or English.
The implications of the specific academic demands in combination with the more general social and political ones represent a significant challenge to the socio-economic and political policy of Lebanon’s government and to Lebanon’s political-economic establishment. They are revolutionary demands which if implemented would begin to bring about fundamental changes in Lebanese society.
These student activists, while they do not form a Leninist revolutionary vanguard, do seem to be constructing a militant leftist movement in support of the Palestinian resistance movement and in sympathy with the exploited workers and peasants, especially those in southern Lebanon who live under constant threat of Israeli reprisals and terror.
Current student political activism in Lebanon, as well as in other Arab countries, has some features in common with the student movement there in the fifties. The most prominent similarity is the strongly nationalist and anti-imperialist character of the movement. During the heyday of the pan Arab struggle led by Nasser, the students in Lebanon participated prominently in the fight to keep Lebanon out of the America n-sp on sore d Baghdad Pact (now known as CENTO).
The differences of the current movement with that of the fifties are perhaps more Important than the similarities. The current activists are much more clearly In opposition to incumbent governments and ruling classes. Moreover, they are not directly linked to or controlled by established political parties as was often the case during the period of struggle against colonial rule.
Today Lebanon, like many Arab countries, has a political leadership nominally committed to economic development and national independence. The educational system Itself has been greatly expanded in the last two decades, largely In response to popular demand. Why, after nearly fifteen years of relative calm, has student activism re-emerged in Lebanon? What are the underlying causes of this activism?
The thesis proposed, here is that the current prevailing political, economic and cultural conditions in Lebanon and the region which have, more than ever before, exposed the contradictory interests of the ruling classes and the masses, are the underlying causes of the student upheaval.
These condition are the determinants of the student movement’s general political orientation and its specific student demands. In addition, the educational system itself embodies and reflects many of these contradictions and contributes directly to this activism.
Lebanon’s Economic Conditions
Lebanon experienced a general economic boom after World War II which came to an end in 1966-7, with the crash of Lebanon’s largest bank, Intra, and the June War of 1967. This economic boom had been a result of two external factors which circumscribe Lebanon’s regional role.
The first was the loss of Palestine and the closure of the port of Haifa to import and oil trade with the Arab hinterland to the east, and the redirecting of that trade through Beirut. Disrupted by the 1967 war, this function may be recovering. As a contributor to the Lebanese economy, however, its future is not promising. According to- a United Nations economic study of Lebanon:
“Revenue from transit Is not likely to increase much In the future, as neighboring countries are In the process of Increasing the handling capacity of their seaports by extensive construction and are Improving their means of land transportation. Syria Is building a seaport In Tartous, with handling capacity which exceeds that In Latakia; It Is also Improving Its road network and Is building a railway that may ultimately serve transit shipments to Iraq.
“Similarly, Iraq Is planning to Increase the handling capacity of the seaport of Basrah. Kuwait, Saudi Arabia and the Arab Emirates are planning to build or expand their seaports, or both. Jordan has ambitious plans for Aqaba.” (4)
The second main source of the boom has been the development of the oil regions of the Arabian peninsula and the Persian Gulf. Vast capital from the oil areas found its way into banks in Lebanon and into real estate Investments in Beirut. This oil boom in the Arab hinterland also became the basis of a lucrative market which Lebanese merchants and middlemen exploited.
These same Arabian oil-based markets created a demand for technical and professional services which Lebanese citizens and other inhabitants of Lebanon (namely Palestinians and Egyptian and Syrian émigrés) catered to.
Additionally, those same markets generated a demand for skilled workers many of whom migrated there to earn double and triple the incomes they generally make in their home countries. This same oil wealth helped expand enormously the summer resort Industry of Mount Lebanon as thousands of desert Arabs came to spend the hot summer months in the country.
Most important of all has been the vast capital inflow which created a strong dynamism in the banking sector, a fact which contributed to the boom In the rest of the economy too. This activity finally came to a halt with the crash of Lebanon’s largest bank (Bank Intra, which reputedly owned or controlled at that time over 20% of all Lebanese economic interests) and the war of 1967. These two serious disruptions caused the flight of millions of dollars from Lebanon to European and United States banks. (5)
This, according to Azhari, Secretary of the Association of Banks, signalled the end of the laissez faire economic system of Lebanon. In fact, Arab oil capital is increasingly bypassing Lebanon altogether for placement in Europe and the United States.
A United Nations study notes ‘the increased business acumen of investors from the Gulf States has led to diversification of capital flows at the expense of Lebanon.” (6) It should be added that the competitive European and United States banking interests are now establishing branches directly at the source of oil-based capital, especially in Bahrain.
The lucrative markets of the Arabian peninsula and Gulf are becoming saturated, requiring less Lebanese middleman activity, and their governments have begun erecting various barriers against the economic activity of foreigners, including Lebanese and Palestinians.
Ever since the 1966-1967 period Lebanon has been experiencing an economic slowdown alarming enough to the government that it has earnestly initiated studies, with the help of the United Nations, concerning the feasibility of national economic development planning. Symptoms of the economic slowdown are many.
For example, Azhari reports that the volume of transactions on the Beirut stock exchange have declined drastically and progressively : from L.L. 28.9 m in 1965 to L.L. 4.7 m in 1968. (7) Capital investments in corporations declined from L.L. 304 millions in 1965 to L.L. 170 millions in 1966, L.L. 120 millions in 1967 and L.L. 49 millions in 1968. (8)
Even the export of agricultural products to the Arab oil-based markets, important in the overall balance of payments, seems to be heading for a slowdown. (9) In addition, a rapidly increasing trade and balance of payment deficit has been building up. (10) Currently, 1973, Lebanese financiers and Western bankers note that there are no investment opportunities in Lebanon.
Capital in Lebanese banks is increasingly exported to Western banking and monetary institutions as well as lent to other governments such as Algeria. (11) Thus, while there seem to be indications of some current resurgence in oil-based capital deposits in Lebanon, this capital seems to be leaving the country partly because of no investment opportunities.
Large loans have been made recently by Lebanese bankers to countries like India and Algeria, and even the World Bank. World Bank President Robert McNamara visited Lebanon recently to encourage this trend.
The lack of Investment opportunities and the generally bleak outlook of the Lebanese economy and in turn of the well being of the people are a consequence of the lopsided character of its development. In his study of the economy, Khalaf notes that between 1950 and 1966 national Income has been growing at about 7% annually.
And since the rate of population Increases Is estimated to be two per cent per annum (12), this means that per capita Incomes have been rising at an average annual rate of at least five percent. While relatively impressive, this rate of growth has not been equally distributed among the various sectors.
A brief look… Is sufficient to Indicate that on the average the ‘services’ sectors have been growing considerably faster than the goods sectors. This difference Is particularly pronounced In the case of finance, transportation and trade sectors where compounded annual rates of growth … were as high as 10.7, 9.7, and 8.5 % respectively [and] which exceeded those of agriculture (3.6%) and Industry i5.3%). (I3)
Table I shows the structure of the economy: sectors of the economy by proportion of the labor force and value of the Gross National Product (GNP). By 1966 less than one-third (28%) of the labor force was engaged In the services sector which generated 68% of the GNP. (14) In other words, two thirds of the labor force must struggle for only one-third of the national income.
More specifically, Saba points out that the lopsided structure of the economy generates a distributional pattern of Income that favors entrepreneurs and capitalists rat her than wage and salary earners. In trade, the share of wages and salaries amounts to only 10% of the total Income generated, compared with 36% In Industry and 66% In construction. The share of profits and Interest In the trade sector amounts to 85% of total Income. (I5)
Furthermore, Hudson notes the tendency among Lebanese entrepreneurs “to opt for short-run gains in their business investments at the expense of long-run benefits.” (16) Indeed, according to the IRFED Mission study, in the finance sector, national income per employed person was L.L.45,500 and in commerce L.L. 8,849 while by contrast, It was L.L. 3,500 in industry and handicraft and L.L. 1,082 In agriculture. (17)
It should be clear from the above that the lopsided economic development and the character of the trade and services sector are partly responsible for the lack of investment potential and of jobs. Perhaps the development of the services sector has reached its limits while the agricultural and Industrial sectors stagnate.
These trends mean that the material well-being of the majority of the population Is stagnating if not deterioratIng. The consequences of these trends have been especially acute in the urban areas.
Over the last two decades growth has taken place in Lebanon’s economy, but not development of benefit to the whole population. This distinction refers to the fact that a highly skewed wealth and income distribution is generated and maintained. Increases in national surplus are either consumed by a wealthy minority or exported rather than invested in local economic development plans of benefit to the whole population.
This is a typical neo-colonial relationship Which is attendant upon the collaboration of a native class of entrepreneurs and big. landlords who actively participate in creating In their own country a lopsided, dependent economic structure complimentary to that of the metropolis. (18)
The lopsided economic development of Lebanon is a consequence of its regional political-economic role. The country is a conduit not only of oil flowing from the east Arab hinterland, (19) but also for the collection and export of Arab oil based capital to the Euro-American money markets. 85% of all deposits In Lebanese banks are with foreign-owned or foreign-controlled banks operating In Lebanon. (20) Four of the five largest banks in the country are branches of foreign metropolitan banks. These capital transfers have contributed importantly to Euro-dollar holdings in Europe.
Lebanon is also a market and a center for the Importation and distribution (in the Arab East) of Western manufactured goods. The highly concentrated Import trade sector Is a major feature of the economic structure, by itself generating 31% of the GNP.
Recently the country has experienced some Industrial growth.(21) Most of the new industrial enterprises are either foreign owned (including those owned by Lebanese émigrés holding dual citizenship) or jointly owned corporations. This is mostly light industry, capital intensive, operating under license, and oriented not just to Lebanon but also to the larger neighboring Arab markets.
The central regional location of the country, its transport facilities, credit availability, its membership in the Arab common market, cheap labor, and, most importantly, the lack of restrictions on profit and capital transfers are all significant reasons for this development. In fact, government policy encourages it.
Per capita income in 1963 was $449 for Lebanese citizens and $361 for inhabitants of Lebanon, including Palestinians and Syrians. (22) While these figures compare well with those from neighboring Arab countries, they mask a highly unequal distribution. The best income distribution data available is for 1960 and comes from the IRFED Mission study.
There are no indications that in the last decade this income distribution has fundamentally changed. The indications that do exist point to an increase in the inequality. [Some] 50% of the families (a larger share of the population since lower-income families are as a rule larger than higher income ones) make below $700 per year while another 32% earn on the average a little over $1,000 per year.
In short, 82% of the families (and a higher percentage of the total population) have a very hard time making ends meet, especially in view of the high cost of living. The average per capita income of the poor ($166 in rural areas and among a large section of the urban poor) is quite a contrast to the average per capita income of the elite ($3,680). (23)
Thus, despite the seeming prosperity, the elite who earn 32% of the GNP have helped develop a highly skewed services economy which perpetuates poverty among the majority of the population.
The concrete difficulties the economic slowdown and the highly skewed income distribution are causing for all classes (other than the tiny elite), including the educated middle class, are compounded by the double process of inflation and the rapid rise of the cost of living since the mid-sixties and especially over the last two years. This is caused in part by inflationary trends in Western countries from which Lebanon imports most all it needs – food as well as machines. Al-Nahar Economic Supplement reports:
Over the last two years the cost of sugar increased 17.6%, of meat 21.5%, of butter 34%, of local-type butter 42%, of cheese 26%, of vegetables 45%, of fruit 15%… The rise in the cost of clothing ranges between 14 and 20%. 24 over a one year period, the cost of potatoes has increased 80%, onions 200%, and garlic 233%. (25)
The average consumer-spends over 33% (higher among the poorer classes) of his/her income on food. The government cost of living index increased in 1971-2 at a rate double that of the year before.
This rise in the cost of living is paralleled by a more dramatic rise in the cost of education, especially as secondary and higher education (other than liberal arts or law) are primarily private and require a considerable financial outlay by the family. Between 1939 and 1970 the total cost of education has increased 14 times while between 1960 and 1970 the rise in cost averaged 10% per year.
Even government “free schools” have experienced a 25% rise in fees in the same period. Data from a study by a government employees’ cooperative points out that the average cost of education per year in the elementary level is L.L. 240, in the intermediate level LL. 315, and in the secondary level L.L. 360 (the exchange rate is roughly L.L. 3 = $1).
Thus a family with three children (a rather small number given the average size of Lebanese families) must pay a minimum of L.L. 1000. per year, or about L.L. 100 per month for education. This amounts to as much as 50% of a poor family’s Income. (26) High costs may be a reason for the high dropout rate: 50% of the elementary level students never continue into the junior high school level.
The economic trends delineated above highlight a most significant and frustrating aspect facing everyone in Lebanon, particularly the students: the spectre of unemployment. The job shortage is apparent at all levels of skill, including among university graduates. The agricultural share of the GNP declined from 20% in 1950 to 12% in 1965 while the industrial sector increased slightly from 13% to 15%.
It has been the services sector, especially trade, transport and finance, that has expanded. And yet, all along in the services sector, much of whatever expansion does take place tends to be for short-term profits of benefit to the larger merchants and businessmen, as Saba and Hudson point out, and tends to create few new jobs.
The agricultural sector, according to government experts, is experiencing a reduction in the number of jobs while the industrial sector creates too few to accommodate the increase in the number of job seekers.
The onus of creating new jobs falls to the services sector which has recently been experiencing difficulties. Banking, commerce, communications and education as well as the nascent market. researching, media planning and copy writing had expanded the demand for Intellectually skilled manpower during the boom years In Lebanon and in the oil producing regions.
This rapid rate of increase in the tertiary sector created the beginnings of mass clerical labor in the country. Since 1965-7, however, this rate of expansion has declined and may have stopped altogether while the rapid population growth rate continues. The concentrated and lopsided structure of the services sector itself has set severe limits on the absorption of the increasing supply of labor. Hudson notes:
“Assuming that Industry can continue to open up some 4,000 jobs a year… by 1980 agriculture will have lost between 40,000 and 50,000 jobs and Industry Will have picked up 60,000 jobs, which means… that these two sectors will supply some 330,000 jobs for an active population of between 870,000 and 915,000. Can the service sector map up the difference?… The best educated guess Is that It cannot. “
The Lebanese government experts predict that by 1980 Lebanon would have 34% of the active population unemployed. (28) These unemployment figures actually do not take into consideration the problem of underemployment typical of underdeveloped societies such as Lebanon. This increasing unemployment is a source of popular disaffection that is particularly focused among the student population.
A higher birth rate among the humbler classes compounds the problem. Seventy percent of the population is under 35 years of age and over 50% is under 20 years of age. The estimated annual rate of population increase is 2.8 (3.5 for resident Palestinians).
This rapid population increase not only puts a strain on the job market but points out the great need for housing (slums are rapidly increasing), health and educational services. A rapid population increase without a commensurate social-economic expansion of the country Is bound to create stagnation, if not deterioration, in the material and psychological well-being of the people.
The “free enterprise” (29) system of benefit to the elite is unlikely to change course voluntarily, to start investing in socially relevant sectors and create the requisite number of jobs for the population at all skill levels. This is a basis for one of the student grievances.
Traditionally Lebanon has solved its population increase and lack of economic opportunity via emigration, either temporary or permanent. (30) The cash remittances have helped the resident kinsmen. While heavy permanent migration during the first quarter of the twentieth century took place as a result of the Lebanese silk trade bust of that period, temporary emigration to various parts of the world has continued into recent times.
While the rate of emigration during the decline of the silk Industry reached a high of 15,000 persons per year in the 1900-14 period, it has been less than 3,000 per year since World War II. (31) A recent United Nations study Indicates higher rates of emigration. (32)
The latest area to open up and attract numbers of eastern Mediterranean Arabs, including Lebanese, has been the Arabian Peninsula and Persian Gulf. By 1968 there were 35,000 Lebanese living in Kuwait. (33) In this and other ways, the oil producing Arab areas have been responsible for the post-War economic boom in Lebanon. However, the Arabian Peninsula area of opportunity as currently structured can hardly continue to absorb all the potential immigrants from Lebanon and other Mediterranean Arab countries.
Those job markets have become increasingly saturated, the locals of those areas have been trained, and various restrictions on immigration have been instituted by the local governments. (34) in short with the previous areas of opportunity for Lebanese emigrants limited, most Lebanese youth will be forced to make their livings in Lebanon.
The closing of this traditional escape valve will mean that pressure from the youth on the lopsided and highly stratified Lebanese social structure will mount. (35) Recent student political activism may only be the initial phase of a more widespread social upheaval.
Illiterate, semiliterate, unskilled and semiskilled rural-to-urban migrants and urban workers have no chance to emigrate out of Lebanon on either a temporary or permanent basis. Of all the segments of the Lebanese population, they are increasing most rapidly. It is from among them that the greatest pressure will be forthcoming.
The Lebanese Political System
The political system of the country which makes possible its economic role and indeed encourages its lopsided development is of benefit primarily to foreign capitalists, their domestic agents and executives (comprador bourgeoisie), domestic finance and mercantile capitalists, and big semi-feudal landlords, many of whom are turning to the development of cash crops for export.
This native capitalist class which is interlocked with and dependent upon foreign corporate interests may be termed the “dependent bourgeoisie.” (36) The structure of the power elite which dominates the society includes the twin elites of the state and the church.
The dominant foreign element in Lebanon is the United States. Its influence, which has been on the rise here since World War II, was consolidated, to the disadvantage of the French, in the 1950’s. U.S. political influence was symbolized by the landings of U.S. Marines in 1958 and American arbitration efforts between warring parties in the civil war of that year.
U.S. political influence has coincided with economic penetration. Both Aramco and the Iraq Petroleum Company own major oil pipelines and coastal oil shipping terminals on Lebanese territory-(IPC facilities were recently nationalized in Lebanon following the nationalization in Iraq itself).
Nearly all of the major American banks (Bank of America, Chase, First National City, etc.) have branches in Beirut. Most of the major New York brokerage houses (Merrill Lynch, Dupont, etc.) operate branches in Beirut directed at the vast regional oil-based capital market.
U.S. private interests own significant if not controlling shares in two of Lebanon’s biggest employers, Middle East Airlines and Trans Mediterranean Airways. The number of U.S. companies operating in Lebanon rose from 147 in 1961 to 264 in 1965. (37)
Lebanon imports over 50% of its goods from the United States and Britain, including from U.S.-owned corporations located in Britain. U.S. and. other Western corporations set up businesses and plants in Lebanon to take advantage of cheap labor and its central regional role.
They also raise most of their investment capital from local banks. Their profits are repatriated to their countries, thus contributing further to the decapitalization of Lebanon and the region. (38)
Finally, one cannot end the discussion of American influence without pointing to the American University of Beirut (AUB), which has had a profound Intellectual, cultural, ideological and even economic and diplomatic impact on Lebanon and the adjoining Arab states.
AUB takes pride in pointing out the number of presidents, cabinet ministers, and other high officials who are its graduates. A recent cabinet of “expert” ministers in Lebanon included several AUB professors or ex-faculty members.
But above all, AUB’s influence is in the ideological realm, particularly concerning the path, means and goals of economic and social development of Lebanon and other Near Eastern states. The model of socio-economic development propagated directly and indirectly at AUB— and which influences the Arab, including Lebanese, elite – is the one generated and exported by the United States. (39)
The dependence of Lebanon on Euro-American regional economic and political interests expresses itself in the country as an ideology which sees Lebanon as the economic, cultural and even diplomatic bridge between the Arab East and the West. A corollary tenet of this ideology sees the country as the bulwark of free enterprise and free trade.
These tenets reflect well the vested interest of the domestic dependent capitalists who need access to Western corporations and to the markets of the oil-rich Arabian peninsula and Gulf. Import of oil capital for Lebanese banks, export and re-export of food and manufactured products to the regional markets, and the expert services rendered to oil and other companies In the area require that there be no trade or protection barriers.
This is the lifeline not only of the foreign corporate interests but also of the Lebanese trade, banking, service specialists (auditing, insurance, consulting, design and engineering, and public relations firms), and transport (airline and trucking) interests which together generate such a large proportion of the national income.
To a lesser extent, it Is also of significance to the big landlords who are increasingly developing export cash crops. This ideology, as manifested in the government policy of a “free enterprise” economy, favors the trade and services sector and the interlocked foreign interests despite the fact that the commodity producing sectors (agriculture and industry) engage over two-thirds of the actively employed population in Lebanon.
In short, both the foreign capitalists and the domestic bourgeoisie have a strong coincidence of interests and therefore a class alliance concerned with the maintenance of the political-economic system. It is against this policy and such vested interests that the student rebels, through their demands for developing the commodity producing sectors,’have been struggling.
The Lebanese state is interlocked, and only rarely uncooperative, with the harmonious interests of both the foreign capitalists and the domestic dependent bourgeoisie and semi-feudal landlords, although occasional conflict erupts between local industrialists and big Import merchants.
Indeed, the Parliament and, in turn, most ministerial cabinets of the executive branch of the government are composed of deputies who are members of the varied sectors of the domestic dependent bourgeoisie (including lawyers retained by foreign corporations), the semi-feudal lords and their political allies. (40)
In addition to free enterprise, the ideology of this ruling class. includes the political sovereignty and independence of Lebanon from surrounding Arab territories. This ideology has become a principle slogan in support of the status quo – both the political-economic and the religious-sectarian arrangement.
Religious and sectarian divisions
The notion of Lebanon as a confessional democracy composed of socio-religious groupings or sects, each with its own elite, competing and fractured at the highest level is an ideology of the domestic ruling class, reinforced by its constant utilization in Western and Western-inspired literature to explain Lebanon’s political structure. (41)
Sectarianism in Lebanon certainly is built into many important aspects of public life. Western observers, including scholars,.in accordance with the dominant political science methodology, adopt a “value free” perspective that in effect celebrates the status quo as a unique exercise of pluralist democracy.
It is rarely if ever analyzed as a mechanism of social-political control by the ruling elite. The ideology of patriotic national unity is precisely based on these sectarian divisions : to unite the country by means of maintaining and accentuating these divisions in order to justify the existing social structure and political economy, with its overlapping sectarian and class divisions. (42)
Notables (zuama) in the ruling class tend also to be sectarian religious leaders. In turn, church clerics are political leaders in their own right. (43)
The state guarantees the sects much autonomy and important legal jurisdictions. Ecclesiastical courts control family law, including inheritance and wills, and have control over religious endowments.
In at least this respect the church, or perhaps more correctly the churches, are a legal arm of the state. With its powerful ideological and value-generating function the church wholeheartedly supports and, in turn, receives sustenance from the state.
Even the Sunni Muslim clerics (and zu’ama), who originally put up the greatest resistance to the creation of Lebanon as an entity separate from greater Syria or a greater Arab state, now strongly support the established regime.(44)
The varied churches are the staunchest supporters of sectarianism, and therefore of the Lebanese state as presently constituted, since this state structure guarantees their continued autonomous existence and strength.
Any criticism of Lebanon and its declared ideology is considered by the churches, especially of the Christian sects, as an attack on them. Unlike the Catholic church and clergy in Latin American countries, the churches of Lebanon— Christian, Muslim or Druze— have no progressive rhetoric and much less progressive action; they hardly even have a reformist stand In this they are also supported by the extensive Euro-American missionary institutions operating in the country.
The churches of the major sects own various amounts of rural and urban real estate. These holdings, along with philanthropic support coming from abroad (especially French and Italian catholic missionary and institutional help for the Christians, and Saudi Arabian and other Arab governmental and private help for the Muslims), allow the church bureaucracies to concentrate independent economic power.
Thus, the economic, political and religious interests of the varied churches of the country also coincide with the interests of the domestic and foreign capitalists — all of which coalesce around the ideology that Lebanon should be an independent, open society, a bridge with ties to East and West.
Lebanon and the Palestinian resistance
Arab nationalism, which calls for pan-Arab unity or military-political-economic links to (predominantly Muslim) Arab neighbors, is seen as a threat not only by the domestic dependent bourgeoisie (and its sectarian clerical allies) but also by their foreign “partners” in the United States and Europe to the extent that such Arab nationalism represents a revolutionary or mass-based movement which may disrupt the present arrangement.
It should be noted here that what is at stake for the United States is not Lebanon alone but Lebanon as a key state in the complex structure of political and economic control and of military strategic considerations in the Arab Middle East.
The Lebanese regime was the first Arab regime to clash directly and openly with the popular Palestinian guerrilla organizations, in 1969. This attempt to contain and control the guerrillas in Lebanon led to the Cairo Accords which gave the Palestinians a restricted freedom of action.
This was made possible for the Palestinians primarily because of the popular mass and student support they enjoyed, not only among the Lebanese but also among other Arab populations. The Palestinians became a spearhead of a more general activism among the Arab masses. This threatened the ruling regimes of many an Arab state. In Jordan. it led to the Jordanian army massacre of Palestinians in 1970 and 1971.
This setback for the Palestinians, their isolation on the pan-Arab level (since many of the regimes are intent on a so-called ‘political settlement’), and the Israeli attacks on Lebanon have spurred the Lebanese regime in 1973 to tighten further the restrictions on the Palestinian guerrillas and to try to contain them militarily despite their popular support. (45) This has created tension between the army and Palestinian guerrillas which broke out in heavy fighting in the same year.
The political pressure of the nascent left in Lebanon and its parliamentary leadership, along with pan-Arab pressure, helped calm the situation. However, the government policy towards the Palestinian resistance organizations, and the fact that it has succumbed to Israeli threats and reprisals as well as to United States pressure, have alienated large sections of the working classes and of the student population. (46) As indicated by their demands, this government policy is a major source of disaffection and of political activism on the part of the students.
Support of the Palestinian resistance movement and rejection of the political settlement (considered political surrender to Israeli-United States policies) in the Middle East is the single most important ideological issue separating the masses and students from the regime. This is so not only for Lebanese students but also for the active Egyptian, Tunisian and Moroccan students as well.
The left and the Lebanese political system
In general, the long standing pan-Arab, progressive and even revolutionary ideology of large portions of the students is directly antithetical to the Lebanese nationalist and conservative ideology, policy and practice of the ruling class and its state. This ideological contradiction is clearly another source of disaffection and an underlying cause of student activism.
Political opposition in Lebanon has been forced to take to the streets or to engage in extra-institutional means as the varied segments of the domestic dependent bourgeoisie and semi-feudal lords have monopolized control of the political institutions of the country. Until recently, politics has been nothing but the competition of segments, factions, blocs and personalities all belonging to the ruling class of the dependent bourgeoisie and semi-feudal lords.
This is called “political feudalism” (Al-Iqtaa al-Siyasi) by left-of-center groups and the more progressive students. Indeed, not until 1969 were left-of-center doctrinal parties, with alternative socio-economic platforms and representing the interests of the working classes, legalized. And not until the 1972 elections did a few of the doctrinal parties’ leadership get elected into the Parliament. Tens of thousands of votes were cast for left-of-center candidates in these most recent elections.
However, the electoral laws promulgated by the conservative parliament discriminate against such doctrinal political leadership as the voter must vote in his birthplace, not in his place of residence or place of work. Thus, it forces the mass of workers, artisans and patty functionaries who are of rural background either to vote for one of the semi-feudal lords in their rural districts or become disenfranchised.
The patronage relations in such areas and the socio-economic pressure facing the urban immigrant force him to register his city-born children as being born in the village. The laws, the gerrymandering and the economic pressures reinforce semi-feudal and sectarian relations. Politics thus takes on the form of sectarian politics and inhibits the development of working-class consciousness.
Indeed, sectarian politics helps mask class distinctions and the contradictory interests of working class peoples of all sects against those of the dependent and foreign bourgeoisie of all sects. Sectarian influences color student political attitudes toward the Palestinian resistance and its revolutionary stance. (47) “Political feudalism” tends to permit the inheritance of a political position by the child or kinsman of a political notable. The current leadership illustrates this well.
The numbers and influence of left-of-center deputies are too small to make parliamentary politics serve the genuine material and ideological interests of the masses. The parties and other organizations of the masses continue to rely on street politics and extra-institutional means. Parliamentary tokenism has not dampened student activism at all.
Popular pressure and agitation, periodic political and economic crises, and the example of the Palestinians have forced the “modernization” of the state apparatus and social service programs including rural electrification.
These were instituted by exfra-parliamentary “cabinets of experts” who were frequently liberal university professors. None of these reforms have been permitted by the conservative parliament to undermine the privileges of the local bourgeoisie and the landlords. There has been no land reform program, for example.
The educational system
The role of education, the character of the educational system and the social background of the student body are critical factors in the cluster of causes of student political activism in Lebanon. With the development of an economy so dependent on services, especially in its regional role of providing technical, managerial and professional expertise to the Arab East, higher education has become a passport to social and economic success.
This value is partly reflected in the phenomenal expansion of the educational system. The number of primary and secondary students increased from 131,000 in 1943 to 265,922 in 1959 and to 511,543 in 1967.(48)
The numerical expansion has meant an increasing number and proportion of students from working classes and disadvantaged sects. This is so despite the fact that education beyond the elementary level is primarily private and costly.
Even at the elementary level, and more so at the intermediate, secondary and higher levels, the best schools are the expensive, private schools run by religious establishments, especially the Christian ones. Thus, from the beginning, the educational system operates to perpetuate sectarian and class divisions in the society.
Since the mid fifties, rapid expansion in the university student population has taken place: 2.4 university students per 1,000 population in 1950 had increased to 8.2 students per 1,000 in 1963.(49) In absolute numbers, the increase over the decade from 1958-9 to 1969-70 was from 7,000 students to more than 35,000. (50)
Additionally, a greater number of Lebanese are going overseas to complete their education: 40% of those holding degrees in the country have studied in Europe or the United States. Most in this group come from the wealthier classes. Within Lebanon, students from the humbler classes have increased substantially. (51)
There exist three highly independent educational systems side by side: an Anglo-American system with coursework conducted in English and culminating in the American University of Beirut and Beirut University College (formerly Beirut College for Women); a French (and subsidiary Italian) system with instruction in French and culminating in the Jesuit Universite St. Joseph (USJ) and in large part the Lebanese University (LU); and a Lebanese-Arab system which is poorly and haphazardly developed and has comparatively fewer secondary schools and culminates in the Egyptian funded Beirut Arab University (BAU) and sections of the Lebanese University.
The two original universities, the American and the French, are small, with 3500 and 3000 students respectively, and expensive, utilizing a foreign language of instruction and catering primarily to the children of the elite and the upper middle class.
Developed in the 19th Century, they are basically liberal universities with small, expensive technical schools. The Beirut Arab University (16,000 students) and the Lebanese University (12,000 students), less exclusive and less expensive, are styled on the continental European system.
Despite the phenomenal increase in the student bodies of the two Arab universities since their establishment in the fifties, there has been little expansion in the facilities such as laboratory space or in the number of faculty. The quality of the faculty has also not improved. A large segment of the faculty remain part-timers, a “taxi faculty,” giving mass lectures and hurrying off to their other jobs.
BAU and LU offer only a liberal arts curriculum and law. Because of their low cost, they attract students from the middle and working classes who have no choice but to take a degree in humanities or law. (52) These old curricula with no applied disciplines may have been well-suited during a colonial era for a small elite, but hardly satisfy the needs of students from the lower classes. (53)
These students desire a more relevant and practical training in order to find and hold jobs. There has been a radical change in the social character of the student body, particularly in the state-run Lebanese University, while no serious change in the educational system or curricula has taken place.
This contradiction is an important source of student disaffection and accounts for demands to revamp the curricula and develop full technical programs. The demand to Arabize the coursework reflects not only the increasing entry of people not competent in French or English, from the working classes, but also a more politically conscious student population.
High school and university liberal arts graduates face the most difficult conditions of a constricted job market. (54) Sons of the elite of whatever -sect and whatever education are oriented and helped by their families into placement in good positions in the private and state sectors (nepotism and corruption are extensive).
The bilingual and trilingual graduates of the local foreign and overseas universities find places in Euro-American enterprises in Lebanon and in the region, or found their own. But sons of the humbler classes do not benefit as much from the orienting function of the family and must depend on their diplomas for jobs.
In this restricted job market, with a liberal arts diploma, the risk of unemployment or, at best, underemployment and low salaries is high. The student whose origin is working class is least able to forecast or guarantee his future social-economic position. This source of anxiety highlights the frustration derived from the fact that for the working classes the great panacea, education, has not paid off.
This fact contributes to the alienation of the working classes from the Lebanese regime. The anxiety, frustration and alienation of the students are further compounded by the character of the state-based educational system and the private ones linked to it.
The system is modelled on the French centralized system utilizing state examinations. Progress to higher educational levels depends on successful passage through state exams in which the rate of failure is very high, perhaps as high as 70%.
This high rate of failure is especially severe among students from the government schools and free sectarian schools, due to the poor quality of their education. The sciences and mathematics are taught in a foreign language. Large sections of the working classes of Lebanon, therefore, never progress beyond the lowest levels of the educational system. In addition to the high rates of failure and dropout, students spend many more years than are necessary, at all levels, to acquire their diplomas, trying year after year to pass the terminal exams.
Whatever educational reforms have been instituted have been brought about by the agitation and activism of progressive parties and groups and of the students themselves. The “pragmatic” policy of the government has improved the coordination of academic programs in some cases, but has done little to meet the substantial demands for a genuine national university, with technical as well as liberal programs, which would be available to the children of the poor, and would not be secondary and ancillary to institutions like AUB and USJ.
Another substantial issue is the “democratization” of education: dismantling barriers like entry exams, administrative fiats on size of class, and such. Recently, for example, the size of the entering class at the Teachers’ College was reduced from 1200 to 300, while the government was simultaneously pointing out a shortage of teachers in official government schools.
Government proposals stating the need for “planning and programming;’ education with the demands of the labor market have led to a policy of erecting barriers to control the entry of students into various programs. It seems as if the government policy for solving the dilemma of the difference in the supply of graduates and job openings is simply the reduction of the number of graduates rather than the planned economic development of the country.
The contradiction between government policy and student demands has led to a crisis in the Ministry of Education, including a series of resignations of Ministers over official subversion of attempted reforms. Within the educational system, as in the whole social structure, the crisis is long standing and fundamental, with the established system resisting any substantial change.
The activism of the students at all the universities has been led by the established and recognized student unions: the student government at AUB and the student unions at LU and BAU. All these organizations have come under the leadership of progressive students who have been vigorous in pursuing student and more general political demands and have been responsive to the ideological and material interests of the working classes.
It is worth noting that at AUB the student government was created In the 1950’s by the administration to bring student activists and proliferating student organizations under its influence. Once the leadership of the student government was captured by more progressive and activist students, the administration decreed its dissolution in 1970. This, along with the 10% hike in tuition, triggered more student activism.
More recently a student government was reestablished at AUB, although until April and May of this year its leadership was in the hands of more “moderate” elements. Following the clashes with the Israelis and later between the Lebanese army and the Palestinians,more militant activities became the order of the day.
This led to severe clashes between progressive student groups and reactionary Lebanese nationalist student groups attached to some right-wing parties. At LU, too a quiescent period was broken by Palestinian-related events of this spring.
The contradiction between the changed social character, size, needs and aspirations of the student body and the present structure of the educational system and the university system in particular takes on a greater political significance as the state, interlocked with the interests of the dependent bourgeoisle and semi-feudal landlords, is reluctant to institute fundamental change in education or the economy. It is this official inertia which is at the base of student disaffection and activism.
The dependent bourgeoisie, its semi-feudal allies, and the linked foreign corporate interests, along with the highly skilled professionals, are prospering while the masses experience material deterioration. The bureaucrats struggle to preserve there petty interests while the small merchants, shopkeepers and renters are afraid that serious social change may shut off the tourist and summer trade as has happened in the neighboring states of Syria and Egypt.
The dominant class and its state seem unwilling and unable to do much about the dilemma of the masses. Additionally, because of the ideological contradictions between the privileged ruling classes and the masses, Lebanon’s working classes are becoming more alienated.
Many middle class professionals, both Lebanese and resident Palestinian, enter the political-economic establishment while an increasing number, underemployed and unemployed, enter the ranks of the progressive and revolutionary left along with the students. Even some highly educated children of the native bourgeoisie are joining revolutionary groups.
Student action by itself is not sufficient to bring about fundamental social change in Lebanon or other Arab countries. It is a political force which can contribute to a revolutionary movement only in conjunction with mass-based movements of the working class in Lebanon and the Arab world.
1 Ghandour is one of the oldest and largest Lebanese-owned industries, specialising in food processing and the manufacture of candy and baked goods.
2 See the running account of these events and their consequences In AN-NAHAR, November 1972 -January 1973.
3 See MERIP REPORTS no. 17, May 1973.
4 United Nations, “Prospective Growth and Development of the Lebanese Economy,” STUDIES ON SELECTED DEVELOPMENT PROBLEMS IN VARIOUS COUNTRIES IN THE MIDDLE EAST, 1970,p.13.
5 Azharl, N. LIEVOLUTION DU SYSTEME ECONOMIQUE LIBANAIS, Paris, 1970, p. 128.
6 United Nations,” Prospective Growth p.2.
7 Azharl, p. 128.
9 United Nations, “Prospective Growth…,” p. 11.
10 Ibid., p. 2.
11 See AN-NAHAR, Economic Supplement, December 24,1972, P. 12; see also AN-NAHAR, December 22,1972, p. 7 and December 28,1972, p. 7.
12 This’ Is really rather low. Kingsley Davis and others, Including the United Nations, estimate the rate of population Increase at closer to 3% per year.
13 Khalaf, N. ECONOMIC IMPLICATIONS OF THE SIZE OF NATIONS, Leiden, 1971, p. 164.
14 Saylgh, Y. and M. Atallah, A SECOND LOOK AT THE LEBANESE ECONOMY (in Arabic), Beirut, 1966, p. 14.
15 Saba, E.S. “The Implications of the Foreign Sector In the Lebanese Economy,” MIDDLE EAST ECONOMIC PAPERS, Beirut, 1962, p. 152.
16 Hudson. M.C. THE PRECARIOUS REPUBLIC, Now York, 1968, p. 66.
17 L’Institut International do Recherche at do Formation on vue do Developpernont Integral at harmonise (I RFED) Mission, BESOINS ET POSSI 01 LITES DE DEVELOPPEMENT DU LI BAN. Beirut, 1960, p. 33.
18 For an analysis of the appearance of such ‘distorted’ bourgeoisie In Syria and Lebanon In the nineteenth century. see F. Qazan. “The Economic Situation and the Evolution of a Distorted Bourgoolsio In Lebanon and Syria during the Nineteenth Century (in Arabic).” In AT-TARIQ. No.4, April 1972.
19 Apart from the IPC (Iraq Petroleum Company) pipeline and terminal, nearly 40% of Aramco’s (Arabian-American Oil Company) oil is pumped through the pipeline whose terminal Is In Lebanon. Other foreign oil companies have refineries serving the local markets.
20 Kishil, M. ABOUT THE CAPITALIST SYSTEM AND THE LEFT IN LEBANON (in Arabic), Belrut. 2967, P. 28.
21 See Khalaf.
22 Hudson, p. 84.
23 United Nations, SOCIAL WELFARE PLANNING IN THE CONTEXT OF NATIONAL DEVELOPMENT PLANS, 1970, P. 14.
24 AN-NAHAR, Economic Supplement, May 28,1972t.p. 4-5.
25 AN-NAHA R, December 28, 1972, p. 7.
26 Above figures are taken from “The Octopus of Inflation, the Educational’Sphere,” In AT-TARIQ, November 1972, p. 126-125.
27 Hudson, p. 69.
28 These calculations are based on the questionable assumption “that by 1980 Lebanon will have eliminated about 60 per cant of the foreign laborers (mainly Syrians)…and that these jobs will be filled by Lebanese. Otherwise 38 per cent of the Lebanese active work force would be unemployed by 1980 (Hudson, p.84).11 This figure, in turn, does not take Into consideration the 300,000 Palestinians In residence in Lebanon and who compete for jobs, albeit mostly menial jobs.
29 This laissez falre policy of the government is slowly changing as the government increasingly Intervenes through monetary and fiscal policies, and through medium term capital expenditure program In the public sector. See also Azhari.
30 On the other hand, Immigration Into Lebanon has been comparable with the outflow : Armenians came In during and after World War 1, Palestinians during and after 1948 and repatriates and others from Egypt, Syria and Iraq during the 19601s.
31 IRFED Mission, p. 49.
32 United Nations, Economic and Social Council, “The Outflow of Trained Personnel from Lebanon,” OUTFLOW OF TRAINED PERSO,NNtL FROM DEVELOPING TO DEVELOPED COUNTRIES, 1970, p. 31.
34 Libya may be able to absorb some although the Levant Arabs face competition from Egyptians. This Is more so with the political union recently established between Egypt and Libya.
35 United Nations, Economic and Social Council, p.43.
36 FAD of the United Nations says the following : “Fiscal policy has…been conducive to the promotion of trade, tourism and othbr services …. The pattern of government expenditure Is likewise reflective of greater concern for trade and services than for agriculture and Industry. This Is best Illustrated by the nqture of the development projects receiving the greater share of public expenditures” (FAO, 1960, 1, p. 6-7; also cited In Hoss, S.A., “Economic Concentration in Lebanon,” MIDDLE EAST ECONOMIC PAPERS, Beirut, 1963, p. 69-70).
Addltionally,”…the high degree of monopoly power which economic concentration has placed at the disposal of a relatively small number of businessman In certain lines of Imports Is capable of being exercised, and has on occasion been applied, to suppress an established local manufacturer or to discourage a would-be competitor from starting a local manufacturing business” (Hoss, p. 69-70).
37 Hudson, P. 63. Some set up plants In the country : Merck, Sharp and Dohme (as Frosst); Proctor & Gamble; Kleenex; beverage companles such as Seven-Up, Pepsi, etc.; Esso fertilizers. Others, such as Johns-Manville, own shares In local Industries (e.g. Eternit). Many an Industrial company Is owned by entrepreneurs who hold dual citizenships and who have businesses In both countries. They are (or are sons of) Lebanese emigres who are not strictly domestic capitall sts. The Edward Nasser group Is a recent example.
38 This dominant political-economic position the United States has developed In Lebanon Is at the expense of the traditional Influence of Fr:nce and French economic Interests. Nevertheless, the Impact of Fr nce politically, economically (airline, cernept and banking Inter. ests, etc.) and especially culturally (missionary, philanthropic and welfare activity; schools and a major university) Is still formidable. In addition, much of the Lebanese armed forces ordnance Is also of French manufacture.
39 Such an Intellectual and Ideological tradition Is an expression of the Interests of the metropole, and has had the consequence of maintaining dependence and underdevelopment In the satellite countries. See Frank, A;G., LATIN AMERICA: UNDERDEVELOPMENT OR REVOLUTION, Now York, 1969; Johnson, D., “Dependence and the international System.” In J.D. Cockcroft, et al., DEPENDENCE AND UNDERDEVELOPMENT, Garden City (N.Y.), 1972; Dog Santos. T., LA CRISIS DE LA TEORIA DEL DESARROLLO Y LAS RELACIONES DE DEPENDENCIA, EN AMERICA LATINA, Santiago, 2968;
40 Baaklini, A., LEGISLATURES AND POLITICAL DEVELOPMENT: LEBANON 1840-1970 (unpublished PhD dissertation), SUNY/ Albany, 1972; Thabet, J., ‘.’Class and Sectarian Background of the Electoral Systpm In Lebanon”(In Arabic), In AT-TARIQ, No.4, April 1972.
41 See, for example, Binder, L.,ed., POLITICS IN LEBANON, Now York, 1966; Hudson; etc.
42 G. Deeb, a young Lebanese Intellectual, writes the following The [ideology of] patriotic unity on the one hand Is an acknowe’dgement that sectarianism Is the only division In the country, and on the other hand a method of governing based on this sectarian difference and the claim to avoid Its dangers. Thus we see that the philosophy of the national unity Is there to divide the country on sectarian basis and to unite It on evervthing else; It divides the country for the Interest of the regime and It unites the country also for the Interest of the regime.” Deeb, G. , “The Political System and the Citizen In Lebanon,” THE PREFERRED POLITICAL SYSTEM FOR DEVELOPMENT, Beirut, 1971, p.27, as cited In Baaklini, p. 178. See also Joseph, S., “A Precarious Balance : Problems of Social Integration In Lebanon,” Paper given at the Third Annual Meeting of the Middle East Studies Association, Toronto, Canada, 1969; Thabet, 19.72.
43 In addition to clerics being In Parliament, the best example of the Importance of the clergy Is the role and Influence of the Maronite Patriarch. During the 1958 civil strife which was essentially a conflict between different factions of the ruling notables. the Patriarch came out against the government zu’ama and In support of the rebellious opposition zuama. While this act of the Patriarch was supposed to have helped keep the 1958 conflict from turning Into a sectarian war, according to the literature, It was an act which helped restore Lebanon to the status quo ants In which traditional elite all had a share In the power structure. It also helped stop the drift towards a pro-Western partisan policy course that the Chamoun regime had set Lebanon on.
44 For example, Hassan Khalld, the Sunni Mufti (highest religious cleric) of the Lebanese republic had the following to say In a speech during the Palestine Commando-Lebanese Government conflict of 1969 : “Each one of us hould feel that he Is for Lebanon. and that this duty Is to protect Lebanon from all possible harm, by exerting all our energy, understanding, thinking, faith and knowledge. We should guard It so It remains strong and respected; we should guard It as a shield for our strong and powerful Arab nation.” Quoted In Rabbat, E., MEDIATION IN LEBANESE CONSTITUTIONAL LAW (in Arabic) Beirut, 1970, p. 472 and cited In Baaklini.
45 Israel’s strategy of reprisals, devastation and selective terior Is designed to create conflict between the Lebanese and the Palestinian resistance movement. In doing so, Israel hopes to activate both the Lebanese Government and the conservative and reactionary Lebanese forces to crack down on the Palestinians and on all progressive forces who support them. Israel’s strategy Is not altogether unsuccessful In Lebanon. Conservative political leaders have called on the Palestinian guerrillas to ‘eliminate their presence from Lebanon.’ Rightist Irregulars and militia have on several occasions clashed with elements of the guer. rilla organizations. Rightist student groups as well have clashed with progressive students who support the guerrillas.
46 The popular support for the Palestinians In Lebanon Is Indicated by the 250,000 people who marched In the varied funerals deriving from the Israeli commando raid on Beirut, April 10, 1973. This Is over one fifth of the city. Additionally, a general strike In support of the Palestinians and censuring government inactivity took place soon after the funeral.
47 Barakat, H., “Social Factors Influencing Attitudes of University Students In Lebanon Towards the Palestinian Resistance Movement,” JOURNAL OF PALESTINE STUDIES, Vol. 1, No. 1, Autumn, 1971.
48 1 RFED Mission, p. 62; United Nations, “Demographic Characteristics of Youth in the Arab Countries of the Middle East : Present Situat Ions and Growth Prospects, 1970-1990,11 STUDIES ON SELECTED DEVELOPMENT PROBLEMS IN VARIOUS COUNTRIES IN THE MIDDLE EAST, 1970, p. 82.
49 Hudson, p. 78.
50 United Nations, Economic and Social Council, “The Outflow…,” p. 37.
51 Indirect evidence for this comes from a survey on attitudes toward the Palestinian Resistance Movement among university students In the country. Among the randomly selected students, those whose parents earned L.L. 5.000 or less per year constituted 10% of the Arab student body at the American University of Beirut, 7% at the University of Saint Joseph, and 25% at Lebanon University. In addition, 17% at A.U.B., 14% at U.S.J. and 26% at L.U. had parents who earned between L.L. 5,000-10,000 per year (Barakat, p. 98). it should be noted that both A.U.B. and U.S.J. are facing budgetary crises that will probably force cutbacks In their size and concentration of facilities In fields such as app lied sciences. U.S.J. may cease to exist altogether. These developments will only accentuate and contribute to the developing crisis in the educational system that we are describing here.
52 Enrollment at the Lebanese University Is 47% In law, and the rest primarily In literature, while 50% Is In literature In the Beirut Arab University and 16% In law. U.N.,”Outflow of Trained Personnel…” p.42.
53 While English-using AUB has developed very limited programs In medicine, engineering and agriculture, the French-using Jesuit university has small professional programs In medicine, pharmacy and dentistry. BAU and LU have hardly any technical or professional programs, although they were established more recently, In the 1950’s.
54 Hudson notes: “Ironically, even though Lebanon Is deficient In administrative skills, liberal arts graduates do not find government jobs easily available because of the lack of positions. a situatlon aggravated by the allocation of posts according to sectarian considerations.” Pp.66-7.