Will Lebanon's oil be Christian or Muslim?

Lebanon’s progress to cultivate wealth from its offshore oil and gas resources has left us with more questions than answers. While the country will not extract any resources for at least five years, the agreements being negotiated in the next 12 months will determine whether Lebanon gets a good deal or not.

Over the course of five days, seven leading thinkers will discuss different aspects of the resources — from avoiding environmental destruction to how to spend the new wealth — each with the aim of helping provoke awareness about what is going on in this crucial period.

For our fifth segment, legal expert Malek Takieddine discusses the danger that oil and gas will allow Lebanese politicians to maintain the failing sectarian system.


The Lebanese oil and gas resources are a greasy fetus waiting to be born.

This fetus might not know its own religion yet, but as soon as it is out of the few holes in the ground, it shall be baptized, circumcised and taught how to pray five times a day.

Most likely, however, Lebanon’s oil and gas baby will not appreciate these imposed religions, and it shall declare itself the messenger of an entirely new religion. Oil temples and gas synagogues will flourish across the country. Current Lebanese warlords will declare themselves the legitimate descendants of the oil prophet and tell the story of how their morals have been crucified on the dollar sign. Lebanese worshipers would be told that the oil prophet wants them to walk barefoot towards the oil and gas temples and to sacrifice themselves, their children and what is left of their dignity at the footsteps of the dollar sign.

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