the fire these times

22. Building Mutual Aid in Lebanon

This is a conversation with Ayman Makarem. He’s a Lebanon-based writer and filmmaker who recently wrote essays on mutual aid in Lebanon for The Public Source.

One of the themes of The Fire These Times is to promote mutual aid for the 21st century so I was really looking forward to speaking with Ayman about this. In addition to reading his essay, this has been a topic that we’ve been discussing since Lebanon’s October 2019 uprising.

We both found that there were structures that were lacking within revolutionary settings in Lebanon that could allow for a much longer-lasting movement, and the same could be said for most of the rest of the world. Mutual Aid is simply voluntary reciprocal exchange of resources and services for mutual benefit. Most of us already practice it with family, friends and/or our communities without really feeling the need to label it anyway.

The problem starts with the fact that Mutual Aid is seen as something that arises out of a state of exception. For example, as we go through an ongoing pandemic more people everywhere around the world have been reported to be willing to adopt ‘exceptional’ societal measures such as a guaranteed temporary monthly income, temporarily canceling rent or forgiving debt, depending on the country and situation.

But what those of us arguing for Mutual Aid argue for is that we shouldn’t need a state of exception to think of ways to build a fairer society, and we obviously believe that Mutual Aid is one way of doing that.

You can follow the podcast on Twitter @FireTheseTimes.

If you like what I do, please consider supporting this project with only 1$ a month on Patreon or on BuyMeACoffee.com. You can also do so directly on PayPal if you prefer.

Patreon is for monthly, PayPal is for one-offs and BuyMeACoffee has both options.

Music by Tarabeat. Photo is a modified version of a UN photo posted on Unsplash.


Relevant links:

One reply to “22. Building Mutual Aid in Lebanon

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this:
close-alt close collapse comment ellipsis expand gallery heart lock menu next pinned previous reply search share star