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Lebanon

Defying Religious Conflict, Lebanon's 'Romeo And Juliet' Bet On Happy Ending

Kholoud, a Sunni, and Nidal, a Shiite, got married in a civil ceremony, a first for Lebanon where sectarianism warns against loving the "wrong" neighbor. Now they have a baby boy.

Being together in Beirut
Being together in Beirut
Luis Lem

BEIRUT — One thing is sure: They were born to be together. Kholoud and Nidal shared a common taste for the unconventional. They also shared similar difficulties when it came to finding their place in the madness of Beirut. As soon as they met, these two youths — who both arrived from the Beqaa Valley a few years apart, him first, then her — felt drawn to each other.

But an obstacle, at first glance insurmountable, soon made its appearance: the strict veil without which Kholoud never left the house. Imagine the scene: Nidal, a handsome and charming young man, taking his first steps into Beirut’s nightlife, accompanied by this girl from the countryside hiding behind her hijab. Imagine his friends’ and cocktail-serving waiters’ sarcastic remarks. The looks of disdain on the customers' faces, as shame and doubts began to seep in the young man’s mind.

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Ideas

Ukraine Has Exposed The Bankruptcy Of Germany's "Never Again" Pacifism

A group of pro-peace German intellectuals published a letter asking the country not to deliver heavy weapons to Ukraine, but they're missing the point completely. Germany needs to reinvent itself in order to face today's challenges — and threats.

The Bundestag, or German federal government, meets at the Reichstag building in Berlin.

Sascha Lehnartz

-OpEd-

BERLIN — When even the brightest minds — some of whom have shaped the intellectual life of this republic for decades — suddenly seem at a loss, it can mean one of two things. Either the clever minds are not as clever as we were always led to believe. Or the times have changed so brutally that old pieces of wisdom are suddenly no longer valid.

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If you don't want to give up your childhood faith in the Federal Republic of Germany quite yet, you can settle on the second option.

Alexander Kluge, one of Germany's most versatile artists, founded a television production company, proving that there can even be television for intellectuals. Journalist and prominent feminist Alice Schwarzer has done more for the liberation of women in this country than anyone else. Yet Schwarzer and Kluge, along with another two dozen intellectuals, have written an open letter that basically recommends Ukraine to submit to Vladimir Putin for the sake of the authors' peace of mind.

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