Tag: Leb2020

31st July 2015 Beirut, Lebanon

Tom Fletcher

by Tom Fletcher

British Ambassador to Lebanon

So…Yalla, Bye

Tom Fletcher

Dear Lebanon, Sorry to write again. But I’m leaving your extraordinary country after four years. Unlike your politicians, I can’t extend my own term. When I arrived, my first email said ‘welcome to Lebanon, your files have been corrupted’. It should have continued: never think you understand it, never think you can fix it, never […]

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9th May 2014 Beirut, Lebanon

Tom Fletcher

by Tom Fletcher

British Ambassador to Lebanon

Engagement is Not Just About Cute Cats and Hashtags

I joined three events in the last week on power in the digital age. The first was with online activists and entrepreneurs, with @AUB_OC at the American University #SMCL2. I had first met them shortly after arriving in Beirut in 2011, and talked about riding the digital tiger, and tips for twiplomats. Two years on, […]

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7th February 2014 Beirut, Lebanon

Tom Fletcher

by Tom Fletcher

British Ambassador to Lebanon

DIVA DIPLOMACY – ‘ONE LEBANON: UNITED FOR TOMORROW’

Last Saturday, twenty Lebanese stars performed together in a powerful rejection of divisive politics and sectarianism. Pop idols, divas, comedians, sportsmen, rappers and actors put on the best possible display of the real Lebanon – talented, resilient, and proud of their country. It was an extraordinary night. The charismatic Anthony Touma got the largest screams, […]

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21st November 2013 Beirut, Lebanon

Tom Fletcher

by Tom Fletcher

British Ambassador to Lebanon

Dear Lebanon: An Open Letter

Tomorrow I’ll hand a letter from Prime Minister Cameron to President Sleiman, with formal congratulations on Lebanon’s 70th anniversary. The wonderful people at Rag Mag also asked me to write an open letter to mark the day. This is a tough and precarious assignment, and it will annoy or anger some people. But I’ve had […]

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8th February 2013 Beirut, Lebanon

Tom Fletcher

by Tom Fletcher

British Ambassador to Lebanon

Beirutopia

Diplomats hate making predictions. Churchill once said that you could ignore every other page of Foreign Office advice, because it tended to be in the form of ‘on the one hand’ and ‘on the other hand’. The files are full of pre-election telegrams that hedge their bets. There are good reasons for this. We don’t […]

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12th December 2012 Beirut, Lebanon

Tom Fletcher

by Tom Fletcher

British Ambassador to Lebanon

Thank You for The Days, Those Endless Days…

This has been a fortnight of International Days. Disability Rights Day, Anti-Corruption Day, Human Rights Day. Probably more that I’ve missed. In each case, the issues at stake are too important for Lebanon, and the rest of us, to be ignored. So, on Disability Rights Day, I teamed up with Fadi El Halabi, the inspirational […]

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16th March 2012 Beirut, Lebanon

Tom Fletcher

by Tom Fletcher

British Ambassador to Lebanon

Reconciliation and coexistence: five ideas for Lebanon from Northern Ireland

Yesterday, I joined an inspirational conference on reconciliation and coexistence, led by interfaith NGO Adyan. It reminded me of the great Margaret Mead line – ‘Never underestimate the power of a small group of committed people to change the world. In fact, it is the only thing that ever has.’ Beirut is of course the […]

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30th January 2012 Beirut, Lebanon

Tom Fletcher

by Tom Fletcher

British Ambassador to Lebanon

Lebanon 2020

There is a joke that does the rounds in Beirut. Q: ‘What’s the definition of Lebanese long term thinking?’ A: ‘See you tomorrow’. Like many Lebanese jokes, there is  truth in this. Of course, a focus on the short term is understandable, given the conflicts of the past, the volatility of the region, the interference […]

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