Author Archives: Executive Editors

Finally, teeth

Finally, teeth

Navigating Lebanon’s streets during the height of rush hour traffic is certainly simpler than cutting through uncharted jungle territory, yet the dangers are just as great. Drivers not observing road safety rules, because the police look the other way, have turned the roads of this country into backwater territory where anything goes. It is chaos,

Throw open the doors

There’s a glaring contradiction between the privately owned plots on the cadastral map of Beirut and legislation regarding ownership along the coast. A 1925 decree — still in force today — says that the coast is public property. It defines coast, or “maritime public domain,” as the “seashore until the farthest distance that the wave[s]could

Hungry for change

Food safety has become a national spectacle over the past several months. While there have been no recent foodborne epidemics, Health Minister Wael Abou Faour has incessantly reminded us that much of what we eat “violates health standards.” Yet despite this cringeworthy thought, it is refreshing to see the minister taking food safety so seriously

Light a fire

Lebanon is far from a bastion of fast and cheap internet. But stacked next to bumpy disorganized highways, intermittent electricity and a recent proliferation of private water companies that distribute water of questionable quality when the state runs out, internet infrastructure is probably the best infrastructure that the country has aside from air and seaports.

A prescription of order

When word broke earlier this year that physicians and pharmacists have been treated to new prescription forms by order of Health Minister Wael Abou Faour, the matter seemed pale — perhaps even byzantine — when compared with the minister’s flashier preoccupations. Who wants to bother with discussing some bureaucratic, procedural reform when there are so

Enough talking

In fact, it could be a lot faster immediately, at very little effort or cost. A new state of the art network of fiber optic cables has been installed connecting some 350 central offices around the country (where international capacity is delivered before it reaches the end users), to many heavy users — such as

The blame game

[pullquote]The one capital error that we must eradicate above all is to blindly blame one crisis on the other[/pullquote] Lebanon’s two current crises will not evaporate anytime soon. Our economy is struggling and GDP growth rates are too low for the needs of an emerging country. Our cities and villages are confronted by a refugee

Closing the gap

Imagine that you are thrown into a fist fight against a fully abled opponent, but one of your hands has been tied behind your back. Your ability to compete would be reduced by at least half making your chances of winning pretty slim. This analogy, with Lebanon as the fighter, illustrates the difficulty of having


Typically, not much thought is given to trash once it’s removed from the home — out of sight, out of mind. Not so in Lebanon. The problem of garbage disposal in the country has become a chronic and pressing issue. Every couple of years, the issue comes to a head: for one reason or another,

Dear Ms. X

We in Lebanon love to complain about traffic. But when we tire of bemoaning our clogged roads, we often move on to another popular gripe: the poor state of the country’s information and communications technology (ICT) infrastructure. Internet speed is slow, mobile data connections come and go as you move, and calls drop with annoying