Connecting The Dots
Assessing the Past by Addressing the Present
الماضي قُدُمًا

الماضي على مِحَكِّ الحاضِر
2018 - 2020
Supported by the Embassy of Switzerland in Lebanon

While Lebanon's civil war officially ended 30 years ago, the country still has yet to systematically and unequivocally reckon with its tumultuous past and settle issues that continue to impact and drive contemporary Lebanese problems. Although the roots of many of today's problems can be traced back to the unsettled scores and open wounds of the war era, the country has shied away from discussions about the past under the flawed notion that doing so would cause the tenuous sectarian peace to collapse. This faulty belief has become even more pronounced – and detrimental – in light of the escalation of conflict in neighboring Syria. By perpetually turning a blind eye to the events of yesterday, Lebanon continues to place its future on a precarious foundation.

Since its inception in 2005, UMAM D&R has closely monitored domestic and regional events while concurrently observing the lack of social-political discourse about Lebanon's past. Recognizing that such willful ignorance and faux amnesia only serves to perpetuate the very problems Lebanon seeks avoid, documentation and research are the primary tools of choice used by UMAM D&R to promote a "dealing with the past" agenda that will hopefully translate into public policies. These tools have proved effective, however, the heightened problems of recent years have created an exigent need for increased efforts and imaginative solutions—by both the state and its people. Thus, in seeking to help with the latter by focusing on the former, UMAM D&R launched "Connecting the Dots: Assessing the Past by Addressing the Present."