Author Archives: Yasser Akkaoui

From Pax Ottomana to Pax Persica, and everything bloody in between

From Pax Ottomana to Pax Persica, and everything bloody in between

While 2017 began with promises that Lebanon was entering a new era, the year ended with proof that our political culture has not advanced a millimeter in hundreds of years. This land is still ruled through entitlements. Wannabe regional  supreme leaders choose our politicians, and in return, they demand veneration and tribute from appointees. We’re

Enough empty promises

Their crimes must not be forgiven again. For 11 years, Lebanese politicians spent some $130 billion without an audit. To pass the 2017 budget, our lawmakers defied the constitution by promising the audit will come next year instead of now. I’m not holding my breath. Let’s not lie to ourselves: Audits can be manipulated. We

McLaren lands in beirut

September saw the launch of the supercar brand McLaren in the local market with a new showroom in Downtown’s 3 Beirut complex, with its vehicles on sale for the first time in the country. Executive sat down with Chief Executive Officer of McLaren Automotive Mike Flewitt to talk about the relatively young brand and their

License to steal

The Ottomans taught us too well. In exchange for a minimum level of freedom, the rulers of the Empire empowered (and armed) local leaders and tasked them with collecting taxes. Policy makers and stability maintaining were the domain of the central government in Constantinople. This worked brilliantly for the Empire, but in the case of

Absent leadership

The new taxes that were finally codified into law late last month have me seriously worried. Not only about the taxes themselves, but the way the issue was handled, and what it suggests. Only upon publication in the Official Gazette was the detailed list of new tax measures made public. It was too late for

Growing pains

As they campaign for re-election, our politicians are trying to capitalize on the economic mess we’re in, which they created. We need growth, the leaders of various parties keep insisting. We need jobs. We need support for the youth. Seriously? Do they have a target based on a comprehensive economic policy? Have they devised key

Thanks, but no thanks

The long-awaited electoral law is out. And it’s rigged. The law that was supposed to be our hope for a better future was designed to keep our political class in power. Our democracy is in jeopardy, and we must fight back. Our political class is comprised largely of killers and thieves. They destroyed this country

Backstabbing bastards — ROUND 5

The political whisper campaign against Riad Salameh and the gross mishandling of his term renewal by our political class put our monetary and economic stability in jeopardy. Salameh is the last of a post-war cohort that — love them or hate them — were truly faithful to the concept of nation building. Everywhere else, the

The donkey strategy

A scantily clad singer belts out another frivolous song, and not only does her video clip get banned, she has her travel privileges revoked. A university blogger dares to criticize the system only to find himself officially ostracized and harassed. As this is taking place, a former head of Lebanon’s telecommunications company, himself under investigation

The devils must go

This year’s Arab Summit was particularly painful to watch. The pompous grandiosity of the congregated Arab leaders was nothing short of nauseating. What do they have to show for it? Collectively, these leaders are at the helm of nearly 400 million Arabs. What are their KPIs? The World Bank estimates a collective GDP of $2.56

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