Lebanon/ 4. Current issues in cultural policy development and debate  

4.1 Main cultural policy issues and priorities

Culture in Lebanon is related to the necessities of human existence and multi-sectarian coexistence in a country having seventeen sects. Every activity reflecting the need for self-stability will be interpreted into spiritual inspirations among the members of a Lebanese sect between them and the members of other sects. All of it can be classified under cultural activities.

In Lebanon, it is also believed that culture, just like freedom, inspired from the human not from the public authorities.

One of the cultural policy priorities in Lebanon is to educate a citizen who depends on individual initiative and enjoys expression and speech freedom, and also immune with an advanced education and ideology. The MOC did not have a priority to enable the Lebanese citizens to promote their country abroad, especially after the civil war that involved people in the sectarian complexity since allegiance in Lebanon is to the sect rather than to the homeland.

Lebanon can establish its cultural and scientific position by highlighting the role of the Lebanese community like what George Karam said “taking initiative concerning the necessary cultural, scientific and technological production and practice”. In order to adopt such approach; the starting point shall be the private education and cultural organizations in addition to attaching importance to human science alongside pure sciences.

Isn’t it time to apply pressure to double the number of research centers and stop the brain drain to incite our researches to return to Lebanon? Isn’t it time to develop our production tools and allocate resources for expenditures, research and development? Isn’t it time to activate cooperation with foreign contractors to discuss the idea of research labs to embrace our scientists and researchers? 

The consideration according to the Danish example of 2002 is that the economic logic of the cultural policy and the new orientation may remain part of the “experimental economy” in the policy of encouraging artistic creativity. Therefore, depending on the presentation of the Danish report on cultural policies pattern, the common agenda of the cultural, commercial, political and industrial policies was developed. This consolidates the concentration on the economic potentials of culture, arts and handicrafts production and prioritizes vocational arts policy and improves the conditions of talented artists. 

Chapter published: 07-04-2016