Confined to misery

Executive visited ZaZoo City in Hazmieh disguised as tourists in order to collect photographic evidence of the conditions of the animals held captive there. What we found was appaling: ducks lying in a waterless pool, a tiger trapped in a shade-less cage and a fox asleep next to litter and a pile of its own

Photo: Greg Demarque | Executive

Trash and the towns

Lebanon’s garbage crisis predates independence. Case in point, the country’s first sanitary landfill was built in the 1990s even though the technology emerged around the 1920s. Despite repeated policy failures by successive governments, however, the situation could be turning around. Their own devices By law, municipalities in Lebanon have the authority to handle their own

Illustration by Ivan Debs

Wasting time

There, blocking the right-hand lane of traffic, was history repeating itself. Four days after the municipality of Bourj Hammoud blocked access to a temporary waste storage facility on August 24, uncollected garbage was spilling onto the Mirna Chalouhi Road in an eastern suburb of Beirut. If the latest pile-up of trash on the ground suggests

Animal City only recently registered as a zoo with the Ministry of Agriculture (Photo credit: Greg Demarque)

Lebanon’s wildlife villain

In the shade the temperature reached 34 degrees celsius as Executive met Samir Ghattas at Animal City for an interview in early August. “I turned this place into nature,” he said, “the zoo is my baby.” Executive had visited the zoo two weekends prior to this meeting, first posing as tourists in order to photograph

A recent cabinet 
decision will limit 
trafficking and improve captivity conditions for big cats like this lion, held at Animal City zoo. (Photo credit: Greg Demarque)

Animal rights activists to the rescue

When the August 2015 death of a lion cub finally made news this past July, one could tell that Lebanon’s perception of animal welfare had changed. Not in recent memory had one animal’s death made so profound an impact on the country, the public’s outrage harnessed by activists demanding new rules for their protection. Late

Lions, like this one at Animal City, need open spaces and shade to escape the sun’s heat (Photo credit: Greg Demarque)

More work needed

Two new rules regulating animal businesses and the ownership of big cats are a welcome step forward, but alone they are not sufficient. Lebanon needs a law governing if and how all types of animals can be brought legally into the country, the conditions in which they’ll be kept and prescribing how violators of such

An architectural rendering of the new U.S. embassy premises in Awkar. The new project will cost approximately $1 billion, according to the US Ambassador to Lebanon David Hale. (US Embassy, HO)

Picking a proxy

Lebanon’s economy only grows when the country is given a geopolitical purpose bigger than its size. This country’s first “Golden Era” was arguably ushered in during the presidency of Fouad Chehab. The US loved him and – up until 1967 – viewed Lebanon as a key partner in the fight against Communism in the Middle

(Photo: Greg Demarque | Executive)

When nostalgia meets luxury

Ask almost any Beirut resident about Summerland Hotel & Resort and they will get a misty eyed look before recounting a childhood memory involving the waterfall “cascades”, clubbing at the hotel’s legendary nightclub or celebrating a wedding on the private sandy beach. The list of memories of this historic resort goes on and on. Opened

MP Joseph Maalouf drafted the proposed anti-corruption law for the oil and gas sector

Anti-corruption law needed for oil and gas

Almost a year has passed since Executive first reported on a new draft law aiming to stamp out corruption at various points along the life cycle of an oil and gas project. It is an understandable delay given that parliament has only ratified emergency laws and, after an over three year wait, cabinet has yet

Walid Nasr, head of strategic planning at the Lebanese Petroleum  Administration

Legislation in progress

Recent news that rival political parties agreed on a vision for Lebanon’s oil and gas sector was met with worried optimism – an over three year wait for pending decrees to move the first offshore licensing round forward may be nearing an end. Until early July it seemed that oil and gas would continue to

Executive August issue cover (Illustration by Ivan Debs)

A disappointing win

Three years ago, we asked then Minister of Energy Gebran Bassil about how millions of dollars made from the sale of oil and gas data were being managed as part of our coverage of the governance of the nascent industry. He told us it wasn’t important. When we ran an article suggesting such secrecy is


Another red flag

On Friday, July 1, two men walked toward a microphone to speak as representatives of their respective political parties, but not in their official capacity as ministers. Following a closed-door meeting, they declared the end to a three-year feud. A bilateral deal had been reached concerning the nation’s potential hydrocarbon resources. Lebanon was set to

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