Jonathan Lahdo is a sophomore at the University of Pennsylvania studying business and international studies.
Just over a year ago, Michel Aoun was elected president of the Republic of Lebanon, ending a 29-month presidential vacuum in the Middle Eastern nation. Under Lebanon’s complicated sectarian system of government, the presidential position is reserved for a Maronite Christian, and it can take much deliberation in parliament before a consensus is reached as to who shall assume the post. Nevertheless, Aoun’s election marked the first time since the end of the country’s civil war that a Maronite Christian leader with a popular support base was elected president. 
Since then, Lebanon has seen a period of relative stability. Aoun’s close ties to Hezbollah have served well in the fight against ISIS, though they were not viewed favourably by Saad Hariri, the Prime Minister. The position of Prime Minister is reserved for a Sunni Muslim, and the appointment of Hariri, a vocal opponent of the Shiite Hezbollah, represented not only a concession on his part, but also a reduced role in Lebanese affairs played by one of his greatest supporters in the region, Saudi Arabia.