During the 15-year Lebanese civil war, neighboring Syria had an active security presence, meddling in politics and providing support to Hezbollah. Though the war ended in 1990, Syrian forces remained and continued to play an oversized role in the country. This changed with the 2005 assassination of former Prime Minister Rafic Hariri, which precipitated massive political change within Lebanese politics. Hariri’s death sparked protests, known as the Cedar Revolution, which resulted in the removal of Syrian security forces and led to a change in governments. As factions within the country battled for political primacy, Walid Jumblatt led the Lebanese Druze, a minority religious sect in the country.
On Thursday, October 31, the Foreign Policy program at Brookings will host Walid Jumblatt, head of the Lebanese Progressive Socialist Party, for a discussion on current trends in Lebanese and Syrian politics and the relationships between religious and ethnic minorities in those countries. Jeffrey Feltman, John C. Whitehead visiting fellow in international diplomacy and former under-secretary-general for political affairs at the United Nations, will moderate the discussion. Questions from the audience will follow the discussion.
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