Author Archives: Yasser Akkaoui

The New Middle East

The New Middle East

With the announcement of the creation of SolidereInternational, Lebanese entrepreneurship can once again holdits head high. Again, it has proved its credentials anddemonstrated that it can grow well beyond its borders evenwhen it is burdened by internal crises and politicalinstability. For international investors know that Lebanesebusiness acumen is resilient and operates outside mainstreamMiddle East rhythms

The Middle East roundtable

The recent World Economic Forum was held under the banner“Putting Diversity to Work.” For in the Arab world,diversity is a tool for conflict. This was borne out inspades at one particular session at the WEF when two panels,one made up of a Saudi, an Iranian and another comprising aPalestinian, an Israeli and two Americans (one

An honest man, badly drawn

While corporate governance continues to be the hot topic ina region with a still-evolving corporate culture, it isinteresting to note that even the supposed arch-exponents ofthe practice sometimes fall foul of the standards theyimpose. George Bush-appointed World Bank chief and noted neocon,Paul Wolfowitz, appears to have been a victim of a campaignto discredit him over

The new realpolitik

And so to another Arab summit. There was a time when the Arab street would shrug and say “so what?” The most we hoped for was that our leaders would not embarrass us, especially those who used the occasion to showboat and who would leave any feelings of national duty—assuming they had any in the

Keeping the baby and the Baath water

In 2005, the US and its allies, would have liked, by putting as much pressure on Bashar Al Assad, an internally-inspired regime change in Syria. Part of this strategy was the passing of UN resolution 1559, the architects of which were France, Saudi Arabia, the US and, exerting as much influence as they could, their

The last dance

Last month saw the cream of the world’s leaders, businesspeople, economists and experts meet at the World Economic Forum in Davos to discuss today’s most pressing issues. And they are plentiful as they are urgent: poverty, climate change, trade barriers, famine and disease, to name a few. But as the world works together against malaria,

Tailoring a dream

Qatar can look on its hosting of the recent Asian games as a job well done. But the Genesis of the nation’s rise to prominence from being a Gulf backwater is predicated on a vision in which it deliberately chose to differentiate itself from its glitzy neighbor Dubai and Singapore, with its thick seam of

A year of tumultuous change and reversals

Lebanon is still a wildcard in the Syrian deck. The Syrians know it and the Lebanese know the Syrians know it, so they will only have themselves to blame if they allow Damascus an entrée back into Beirut because of their inability to get along. Imagine the shame of being ruled—either directly or by remote

Statement of intent

When it was announced that we were expanding Executive’s content to cover the MENA region “from Morocco to Iraq,” many people asked if we were “evacuating” to Dubai. It must be made clear that this was never our intention. Executive is a Lebanese magazine that will develop around journalism, not advertising – and Lebanon has

Against infection and war

A Clinton strategist famously coined the phrase, “it’s the economy, stupid.” His boss was commander-in-chief of the strongest army on the planet. No economy within a truly democratic system can thrive without security guaranteed by an independent army with no political allegiance. This month, Executive looks at what is needed to restructure Lebanon’s increasingly threadbare