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

Illustration by Ivan Debs

Decoding the oil deal

Parliament Speaker Nabih Berri is having trouble making up his mind. Or so it seems. On July 1, Berri and Foreign Minister Gebran Bassil struck an unexpected deal. The agreement was touted as a bulldozer clearing the final barrier that, for over three years, has blocked the conclusion of Lebanon’s first offshore oil and gas

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The rocky road from inventor to businessman

Antoine Sayah is learning how to actually build a business. Two years ago, he was an undergraduate studying architecture and working on an assignment for a design class. Students were tasked with building a product that was “useful in your everyday life,” he recalls. A Jounieh native, Sayah loves the beach. He made a foldable

Edde Sands resort, Byblos. (Photo credit: Greg Demarque | Executive)

As old as Byblos

Many essential parts of life that we perceive as “can’t do without” are quite recent. Inventions such as the elevator, motor car, air conditioning units, frozen food and of course the dreaded smartphone are between 150 and 15 years of age, at least in their modern mechanized/electronic versions, even as the ideas behind them date


The franchisor and the direct operators

It is part of human nature to be dissatisfied with what we have, always wanting and working to gain more. At the corporate level, this can manifest itself in the growth of one’s enterprise, be it in size, services provided or expansion into new markets.  Businesses in Lebanon are no strangers to growth into new

(Getty Images)

Finding the funding for big tech dreams

Aasim Saied has some unorthodox ideas about how technology entrepreneurs should fundraise and how best to structure a board of directors. Saied founded Akyumen, a self-described “digital products company committed to opening the door to innovation and advancing access to education through state of the art niche products that bring technology directly to your hands.”

An 'informal tented settlement' in Lebanon's Bekaa valley UK Department for International Development
 | Flickr | CC BY-SA 2.0

Four years and no longer counting

It is another anniversary. Four years ago this month the Syrian uprising of 2011 escalated into the civil war phase, with internal conflict officially declared in July 2012 by the International Committee of the Red Cross. Around this time, the outflow of refugees swelled to unprecedented numbers: from thousands and tens of thousands in mid-2012


Pushing for a little more equality

Titled Capital in the 21st Century, the book by French economic historian Thomas Piketty is a versatile and useful tome. Author Thomas Piketty came to pay his inaugural visit to Beirut and a repeat visit to Cairo last month as part of a promotional tour for his book’s Arabic translation, available in soft cover but

Over 100 municipalities did not clean up their waste crisis dumps (Photo: Greg Demarque | Executive)

Clearing up the mess

This article has been updated from the print edition to reflect news developments.  There’s a landfill in Lebanon people usually forget about. It’s around 15 kilometers northeast of Beirut in a town called Bsalim. It draws no ire. Nearby residents do not burn tires to demand its closure. Unlike the now-shuttered Naameh sanitary landfill southwest

Lebanon’s waste management problems are worse now than when they began decades ago (Photo: Greg Demarque | Executive)

Wasted opportunities

The lack of transparency in finding a way out of the July 2015 garbage crisis is appalling. Last August, the private sector put forward offers that would have seen modern waste solutions put in place all over the country. The volume of Lebanon’s waste being sent to landfill would have dramatically fallen (see policy story).

(Photo: Greg Demarque | Executive)

Municipality matters

May 2016 was municipal council election time in Lebanon and so, every Sunday of that month, many Lebanese headed to their area of origin and cast their vote for who would essentially be in charge of their native town’s internal affairs for the following six years. While most voters were probably primarily concerned with issues