Salary adjustment

So much has been said about the salary adjustment. While many people are opposed to it over the perception that it imposes higher taxes, public sector employees and teachers think that an adjustment is long overdue. For one, their salaries have been adjusted only twice — in 2008 and 2012 — since 1997, and these

Myopic taxation

The package of tax measures recently signed into law and published in the Official Gazette was characterized by a lack of any fiscal and economic vision. It does not proceed from a well-designed tax policy addressing the various gaps and imbalances that characterize our fragmented and complicated set of taxes. As we all know, our

Finally, some clarity

After deliberating for much of 2017, Parliament met in late July to ratify new taxes. The legislation then sat on the desk of President of the Republic Michel Aoun for nearly a month, while he contemplated whether or not to sign the taxes into law. In late August, he finally inked his name, briefly ending

Talking about wealth

Wealth is a contentious issue when seen through the lens of social improvement. Viewed from the position of social equality, it is a recipe for dissatisfaction and, sometimes, disaster. How does a private banker reconcile obligations to clients with social responsibility and ambitions for national improvement? Executive sat down with Jean Riachi, chairman of FFA

Rural entreprise

“Agriculture at the National Museum? No, we don’t have anything about that here.” The answer was definitive. I was visiting the museum in search of traces inscribed in stone or clay of the millennia-old relationship between Lebanon’s people and the land. As it turned out, there is not a single farmer represented in Lebanon’s National

All the makings of

It is common to associate wealth management with private banks, family offices, brokers, asset managers, and other financial intermediaries. But the structuring and transmission of wealth also touches upon many that are outside of the financial trade. Interactions between essential sectors in an economy and smaller surrounding activities are normal. Some globally significant industries, such

Program for a nation or national myth?

The egg as symbol of rebirth is powerful. It can inspire. In the case of Lebanon, the egg is more than a representation of fertility because it plays into the enduring myth that the constituents of this nation will rise from the ashes of their destruction. This myth also conceals a warning and question, however:

The anti-establishment

As a nation, Lebanon was doomed from the start. This is the unifying theme of the mainstream anti-establishment message. The country’s sectarian power-sharing arrangement spawned a cancer that prevented the growth of a national identity and crippled state institutions. Today, a “leader” in Lebanon cannot rally the nation. He can rally his community, or a

It’s about our purses

As Lebanon celebrates its recent military victory over Islamic State fighters on this side of the Lebanese-Syrian border and mourns over the recovered bodies of nine army soldiers, local politicians are again embroiled in another battle of sorts: one over taxation. After many months vacillating over whether or not to issue new taxes, lawmakers agreed

Absent leadership

The new taxes that were finally codified into law late last month have me seriously worried. Not only about the taxes themselves, but the way the issue was handled, and what it suggests. Only upon publication in the Official Gazette was the detailed list of new tax measures made public. It was too late for

Outside of the Silicon Valley bubble

In the sweltering July heat, entrepreneurs from around the world were in Beirut pitching to join the Endeavor network. Founded in 1997 as a non-profit support network for entrepreneurs (focused on Argentina and Chile), Endeavor is now assisting founders of young companies in 27 countries around the world (including Lebanon since 2011). In 2012, the

The oil & gas waiting game

On June 22, Israel’s energy ministry announced that the deadline to place bids in the country’s first offshore licensing round would be pushed back until November 2017. This is the second time the bid round, which opened in November 2016, saw its end date postponed. With the second extension, it became harder to believe the

Missed opportunities in Lebanon’s industrial sector

Lebanon’s productive sectors have been undermined since the end of the civil war in 1990. Like other marginalized sectors, the industrial sector has weakened, becoming a smaller proportion of the economy due in no small part to a history of missed development opportunities. To put this in perspective, the share of the industrial sector out

When two passions merge

While it is often said that design talent in Lebanon is plentiful, a substantial percentage of this talent could be going to waste because of the lack of free design education in Lebanon. Enter Sarah Hermez, a Parsons School of Design graduate, and her former Parsons professor Caroline Simonelli, who together founded Creative Space Beirut

Hussain Bazaza

Hussein Bazaza did not grow up wanting to be a fashion designer, although he has loved sketching dresses since he was a child. “Everyone who knew me thought I would be a great fashion designer, but I never wanted to be one,” he recalls, noting instead his interest in interior design or filmmaking. After finishing

Top