#LEBANON: first ever civil marriage in Lebanon produces first ever sect-less child. Interesting times ahead.
Lebanon’s confessionalist system, which apportions high-ranking offices and seats in parliament between the country’s sects, was designed to ward off sectarian conflict between Christians, Sunnis and Shias. The system was codified in 1989 as part of a resolution to end the country’s 15-year civil war between Christians and Muslims, in which more than 100,000 people died.
The result has been a fragile political balance led by the president, who must be a Maronite Christian, the prime minister, a Sunni, and the speaker of parliament, a Shia. Sectarianism has been the dominant characteristic of Lebanese democracy ever since, and civil society activists say politicians merely pander to their sects rather then strive to lead the entire nation.