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This discussion seminar was held in partial fulfillment of a British Academy ‘Arab Spring’ Award to CBRL to investigate rural transformations leading up to and during the Arab Uprisings. Its main feature was the screening and associated discussion of a documentary film by Ray Bush (Leeds University) and Habib Ayeb (Université-Paris 8) on their fieldwork in Tunisia and Egypt in 2013 funded by the same award. The seminar brought together a group of researchers investigating agriculture, labour and environment, to provide feedback on the first cut of the film, as well as to share their own research experiences.
The symposium on "Food, Farmers and Revolutions" was held at the American University of Beirut on 22nd of January 2013.
Five presentations by Dr. Ali Kadri, Dr. Rami Zurayk, Dr. Martha Mundy, Dr. Habib Ayeb and Dr. Ray Bush were given in two sessions each of which was followed by a discussion with the public.
In ever more alarming terms over the past decade, international organisations have documented shortfalls in food production and hence in the ‘food security’ of populations of the Arab region. Their reports indicate clearly that the region has the greatest food ‘deficit’ of any region of the world. However valuable such reports are in conveying a sense of the global problem, they are necessarily restricted in analysis to existing statistical sources, notably those .....
This project held a first workshop on June 24-25th 2011 to develop a network of anthropologists, economists and agronomists concerned with the problems faced by the agrarian sector, source of food and workers for the Arab economy. The region that was the cradle of agriculture exhibits today the greatest food insecurity in the world. Its stark dependence on imported food is not infrequently treated as a technical problem arising from natural aridity exacerbated by climate change, from population growth, or, less commonly, from macro-economic policy. All are critical factors.