File - An aerial view of the Beirut stadium used as an ammunition supply site for the Palestine Liberation Organization during a confrontation with the Israelis. (Wikimedia commons/Phan Robert Feary)
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In a corner shop in Al-Tariq al-Jadideh whose walls were lined with precariously balanced towers of pomegranates and oranges, Khaled Lababidi was talking history and politics.Exactly 25 years after the much-awaited peace deal to end Lebanon's 15-year Civil War was signed in Saudia Arabia in 1989, ordinary Lebanese dismiss the Taif Accord as having had little practical effect on Lebanon's fundamental flaws due to its uneven implementation. Down the road from Lababidi, in a sparkling clean fast-food kitchen called Tabaq Lebanese Cuisine, the employees were all of one mind: Taif was a flop.There is a whole section in Taif dedicated to the abolition of confessionalism, which the accord calls "a fundamental national objective".Standing under the shade of a tree outside a residential building off Sassine Square, Walid Qmair said that Taif should have gone further, and voiced something never heard in political circles: he disagreed with the tradition of giving the presidency to a Maronite Christian.
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