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Lebanon explosion hits nation already on its knees

Lebanon explosion hits nation already on its knees

Disaster was awaiting Lebanon, its finances in tatters. Now a huge chemical explosion has compounded the crushing challenges facing the tiny but pivotal nation. Beirut’s port after the explosion, 5 August 2020 (EPA-EFE/WAEL HAMZEH) It is hard to imagine a...

Students see headlines all day long and have a good sense of the big news events around the world. But when something happens far away, they don’t always understand why it matters to them, because they are young and also because harried real-time news outfits don’t always connect the dots. When a chemical explosion tore through Beirut in August, media organizations around the world flashed photographs, videos and headlines capturing the anguish and destruction. In 900 words, Alistair Lyon goes further, taking readers through Lebanon’s dire circumstances and explaining why it matters to all of us. No region of the world is more complex or more important than the Middle East, and Lyon — a former Middle East diplomatic correspondent for Reuters — offers an exemplary synthesis of the tangled forces at work in the volatile region.

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