Faysal Itani is the director of the Human Security Unit at the New Lines Institute for Strategy and Policy, and an adjunct professor of Middle East Politics at Georgetown University and George Washington University. He grew up in Beirut, Lebanon and lives in Washington, DC. He was part of the magazine’s launch team, who formerly served as a deputy editor.
Latest from Faysal Itani
"Diplomatic objectives must fully reflect the desires and priorities of the president. I took for granted Obama’s commitment to comprehensive peace without the benefit of due diligence — a major error on my part."
While some foreigners find it interesting when I mention that I’m from a Sunni Muslim and Orthodox Christian family, the Lebanese almost always react with pity. Most believe that I must be “confused” or that my extended families are mutually hostile — or at least more mutually hostile than they would have otherwise been as Lebanese families. It doesn’t help that I am an “Itani” — bearing the name of a family synonymous with Sunni Islam in Beirut.
The Lebanese had managed to destroy their country in 1975 without Syrian help. Still, the Syrian occupation in Lebanon, a prolonged obscenity in itself, helped to thoroughly corrupt Lebanon’s institutions, public life, public servants, and ultimately all Lebanese, even as it shaped the fate of the country’s politics and factions.