Tripoli is Lebanon’s second largest city and is emerging from 40 years of intermittent conflict. In a long road to economic recovery and peace, the metropolis has been marred by extreme poverty, political sectarianism, marginalization by the state, and redefined by regional factors such as the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, Syrian refugee crisis, and networks of radical Islamic groups. The perceived end of the city’s internal conflict in 2015 has unleashed new optimism for a post-conflict reality as the state, international aid system, and the private sector accelerate their efforts for sustainable change. On a local level, there is a proliferation of civil society actors, burgeoning social entrepreneurship scene, innovative arts-based peace building initiatives, and an enthusiastic youth base determined to revitalize Tripoli.
A wide network of actors in Tripoli have expressed keen interest and conveyed support in engagement with the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy. Stakeholders include civil society actors, entrepreneurs, local residents, local and international NGOs, UN agencies, universities and research institutes.
Lessons from participation in Tripoli’s revival, drawn from an in depth and multidisciplinary approach, could help understand and formulate policy towards other cities in the region, like Aleppo, Homs and Mosul, which contain similar post-conflict elements.
Why the Fletcher School?
The Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, Tufts University houses several research institutes specializing in fields central to the city of Tripoli including human security, economic development, technology, international business, humanitarian response, environment and resource policy, maritime studies and peace building. Tripoli’s growing international significance, rich interdisciplinary landscape, and need for augmented research offers overwhelming possibilities for substantive and timely engagement with the Fletcher School.