Author Archives: Joe Dyke

Public healthcare on the brink

Public healthcare on the brink

“I don’t know how no public hospitals have shut down until now. I am very surprised they are all still open.” So says Walid Ammar, director general of Lebanon’s Ministry of Public Health (MoPH) for the past two decades. He argues that the scale of the Syrian refugee influx in the past two years —

Lebanese politics show cut short in protest over media freedom

A leading Lebanese TV channel has cut short its flagship politics show over a perceived crackdown on media freedom. LBC News cut off its normally one-hour Nharkom Saeed (meaning “Have a Good Day”) politics show after just seven minutes on Friday after the host Dima Sadek repeatedly sarcastically cautioned her guest – political analyst and blogger

Beirut traffic: The prisoner’s dilemma in action

The prisoner’s dilemma is a classic game theory example that is used to show how logical individual actions can be deeply illogical for a group and/or society as a whole. In it, two members of a criminal gang are arrested and held in separate rooms, with no information about the other. The cops have limited

‘The startup cycle is finally taking off’

Omar Christidis is the founder and CEO of ArabNet, the leading online platform for everything startup and tech in the Arab world which hosts annual events in Dubai, Riyadh and Beirut. In anticipation of the ArabNet Beirut conference that will be held next week from March 4 to 6, Christidis spoke with Executive on ArabNet’s

PayPal is not coming to Lebanon

A year ago in Beirut, the then general manager of PayPal Middle East Elias Ghanem stood up at the Lebanese branch of the tech festival ArabNet and made an announcement that brought the conference to life. Egypt, he said, would have PayPal within months. Lebanon would have it before the end of 2013. The crowd was

What does $3 billion buy these days?

Lebanon’s president could barely contain his joy. Speaking only a few days after Christmas, Michel Sleiman announced a late present to the Lebanese in a year that had brought little to celebrate. Speaking live on the major television networks Sleiman announced that Saudi Arabia had agreed to invest in the Lebanese army to the tune

Lebanon’s futile stimulus package

When Riad Salameh, the governor of Banque du Liban (BDL), Lebanon’s central bank, announced in November $800 million for a new stimulus package to help the economy grow in 2014 — he was perhaps guilty of overstatement. While there will be $800 million made available, what Salameh neglected to mention was that $468 million of

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