Hard and getting harder

Life for Syrian refugees in Lebanon is a daily struggle for survival. Their situation in 2017 has deteriorated, in terms of receiving enough aid or finding work to meet basic needs—and because humanitarian aid continues to decline as financial need rises, next year will not be better. Many Lebanese nationals have also seen their socioeconomic

Expanding understanding of human rights in Lebanon

“It’s like there’s fog across the whole town,” said Othman, a resident of Kfar Zabad in the Bekaa Valley. “We’re coughing all the time, unable to breathe, sometimes we wake up and see ash in our spit.” Othman was describing the effects of the open burning of garbage, which takes place regularly near his home.

Another year of elusive equality

Despite a constitutional guarantee of “equality of rights and duties among all citizens without discrimination,” Lebanese laws treat men and women differently. The most famous imbalance is a 1925 law decreeing that only children born in Lebanon to Lebanese men are entitled to Lebanese nationality. Activist campaigns to amend the law have been unsuccessful and

The rock and the magic beanstalk

Human rights are the rock from which modern civilization mines its values, its social contracts, and its entire portfolio of identities. Human rights are the very justification for our system of social coexistence and stratification. They are key to understanding humanity’s (mostly unsuccessful) attempts of balancing the logic of solidarity against the logic of economic

Behind the times

It’s hard to call it a good year, but staying afloat is good enough for now: This appears to be the general consensus among most luxury watch distributors in Lebanon. Despite the economic slump plaguing many sectors over the past few years, these distributors are powering through the difficult times with business as usual, and

Black clouds in the retail sky

Executive sat with Nicolas Chammas, chairman of the Beirut Traders’ Association, to discuss the retail sector’s performance in 2017, in light of continuous market stagnation in Lebanon. E   As of mid-November, how has 2017 been for the trade sector in Lebanon? This year has, unfortunately, been another bad year. The decline in the commercial

The long journey of a large retailer

Local markets have proven remarkably resilient when it comes to resisting the dominance of large retailers that offer fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) in hypermarkets and supermarkets—those behemoths of daily shopping that you enter with an empty shopping cart the size of a compact car and leave with said cart overflowing. One operator of mega-sized retail

Highs and lows

This year, consumers were bombarded with text messages announcing all the latest store sales and irresistible promotions. Those able to ignore the messages could not have failed to notice the multiple number of shopfront displays with massive red sale signs. Despite all this, most shops remained relatively empty. On the whole, it was yet another

The future is film

Lebanon’s cinema industry is improving in terms of quantity and quality, with more films being made since the early 2000s, and film industry experts agreeing that the standards of the productions themselves are much higher than before. 2017 was a good year for the Lebanese film industry, with the release of acclaimed movies, reoccurring festivals

Breaking new grounds

Entrepreneurship is about dreaming, and making those dreams come true. This has been my story for the past 20 years. I started my Dunkin adventure at the age of 20, not thinking for a second that I would still be here 20 years later, still passionate and excited about the brand as if I had

More than one way to cluster

Rabih Saba and Marwan Ayoub are the founders of Venture Group, a development and consulting group known for its hospitality clusters.The group developed Uruguay Street in 2012, followed by The Village Dbayeh and The Backyard Hazmieh. Saba and Ayoub sat down with Executive to discuss their new venture, Restos St. Nicholas, as well as their

Diversifying Lebanon’s tourism

Executive spoke with Pierre Achkar, president of the Lebanese Federation for Tourism Industries and the Lebanese Hotel Association, who says the tourism industry has learned the hard way the dangers of relying on one market. Although no single market can replace the Gulf tourists, he says, the tourism sector is developing alternative markets and new

A mature market

Lebanon’s food and beverage (F&B) industry is finally getting the kudos it deserves: Beirut was named Travel and Leisure Magazine’s Best International City for Food in 2017, and the country has recently been recommended in many global publications for its food, wine, and nightlife. The country is developing into an F&B haven, as more establishments

Predictive analytics and TMI syndromes

Too-much-information (TMI) syndrome is a chronic affliction of contemporary existence. The affliction is growing, without an app that can alert us to its threats and update us on the speed with which the disease of big data is invading ever more of our lives. Other IT buzzwords with mystifying potentials are artificial intelligence (AI) and

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