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

4.2.1 Conceptual issues of policies for the arts

 According to the current Lebanese Minister of Culture Mr. Tammam Salam "culture is an active and emerging sector that represents Lebanon's identity and personality". However, he believes that “the private sector bears the greatest responsibility in this area. But there is a role for the official sector represented by MOC. This shows that the MOC interest in the cultural policy does not match that of the private sector. 

According to the Minister of Culture the problem is that "Culture needs distinctive support, and we’ll work together to secure an adequate MOC budget now that we have, within a short period, managed to start this process through the legislative power by issuing three laws that have been waiting for 12 years and that will help us achieve the MOC objectives in training and sponsoring the whole cultural work in Lebanon" (Minister Shatah discussed the draft budget of 2009 with the Minister of Culture).

Meanwhile, the private cultural activities also lack financial support and have to take funding from the budgets of other cultural activities, which are already modest compared to the billions spent on other developmental projects. However, donors consider these budgets relatively large compared with the funds allocated to cultural activities in other countries such as Egypt, Morocco, or elsewhere.

Other problems, which typically face the cultural sector in other countries, include: the decline in the sales of books; lack of cultural programs; and the absence of theater, cinema and commited songs (Interview with Iskandar Habash).

Chapter published: 07-04-2016