“Colors of a New Lebanon” recreates the history of the UFA, a former Beirut. The Nasrid Dynasty built the UFA in a garden on a corner of what was then the world’s largest stock market, the World Trade Center. A war broke out and it was the Nasrid that lasted the duration of the conflict. The Nasrid died, leaving the world without an iconic building that stood as the symbol for the values of tolerance and peace.
“Colors of a New Lebanon” follows the life of the UFA through the perspectives of its various occupants. Two contrasting groups vie for the ownership of the World Trade Center site: Hezbollah, a group headed by its president, which wants to use the UFA as a weapons factory; and the president of Dubai, who desires to turn the UFA into a luxury hotel. The two forces vie for control over the UFA, which sits perched in the crossroads between Syria and Israel. One group, Hezbollah, is made up mainly of fighters who have received training and weapons from Iran and some members are from Afghanistan. It is estimated that some five hundred to six hundred people have been killed in fighting between Hezbollah and the Israeli army in the occupied Golan Heights since the Israeli forces began securing the Golan Heights. The United Nations, which is in charge of the peacekeeping mission in the Golan Heights, has found that Hezbollah has used human shields, abducted civilians, killed civilians, summarily executed prisoners, and terrorized large numbers of homes, businesses, and places of worship.
The president of Dubai, similarly, has his own reasons for wanting to convert the UFA into a luxury hotel. Like many of the nations surrounding Dubai, Russia also has strong nationalistic tendencies. The former leader of ufa, Bashkortostan was a prominent nationalistic leader and military commander who had previously fought against western encroachment in Chechnya and other parts of the USSR. In 1994, after a bloody revolution, he turned against the Russians and declared war on them. After the withdrawal of most of his troops from Chechnya, he allied himself with the Chechen independence movement. Currently, he serves as a delegate to the UN General Assembly and has publicly called for the withdrawal of all foreign military personnel from Chechnya and other Russian republics.
The current leader of ufa, the mayor of the city center, along with several representatives from the nearby districts, met with representatives of the Israeli military in the city center in mid-November. After the meeting, it was decided that a meeting would be held between the leaders of ufa and the Israeli military later in January at the same location. The exact location of the meeting has not yet been disclosed. The next meeting between the two sides will take place in early 2021.
The currency market in Russia is very closely connected to the state’s economy and a major component of its foreign trade. The ruble has lost significant value since the onset of the global financial crisis and many experts believe that the US dollar will become the new international currency that replaces the Russian ruble. The recent depreciation of the ruble has forced the Russian government to change the conversion rates on its own currency and this will have a very negative impact on the domestic economy. It is highly doubtful that the Russians will start to exchange their UFAs for other currencies, as they have already demonstrated their willingness to do so in the past.
The future of ufa is dependent on the state of the ruble and how rapidly it can recover. If the economic situation in the country worsens it is highly unlikely that the national currency will strengthen, which could hinder the growth of the ufa industry. However, it is also possible that the weakening of the ruble will force the government to reintroduce the ufa convertible into another national currency. One thing is for sure, the authorities in Russia are taking precautions and have started to accumulate foreign currency reserves in order to protect the national currency from the effects of economic turmoil. As things stand currently, there is no clear indication as to where the ufa market will head, but it is safe to say that the prospects are poor.