Author Archives: Yasser Akkaoui

It hurts

It hurts

It hurts to see our politicians ignorant of the history and evolution of this great country that they are supposed to lead. It hurts that because of this ignorance we have lost opportunities. It hurts to remember that in 1973, the first oil boom was about to explode just as Lebanon was beginning its slide

Capitalizing on defeat

We business journalists are often invited to dinners and lunches along with many heads of private sector companies. Without fail, we are asked about the outlook for the economy, as if, in our opaque world, the press has its own special-issue, X-ray glasses. The answer is normally a variation on a rather depressing theme: that

Me, Myself & I-Mate

When it comes to PDAs I am a virgin user. So far, they held little attraction. I am a minimalist kind of guy I suppose. For me a cell phone is for making phone calls. I don’t use the camera neither the alarm nor reminder functions and I don’t really send text messages. My one

Heaven via hell

They say the people know best. It is possibly why we have the concept of democracy. When the extension of the presidential mandate was bullied through parliament and the UN passed Resolution 1559, the word on the street was that things did not look bright for Mr. Hariri. The Syrians will get him, people whispered.

Sovereign Deficit

Once again it appears that Lebanese history is being written with the blood of our fellow journalists. May Chidiac was marked for death not for who she is, but for what she represents: the free spirit that quenches the thirst of those of us who rejoice in the diversity, openness and enlightenment that is present

Agreeing to disagree

Given that, in theory at least, with our new political order we are now in a position to pick our own high-ranking civil servants and also given that the people the new government picks for the top non-security jobs like EDL, the NSSF, Casino du Liban et al, will be scrutinized for their suitability (or

The road to Damascus

There are dark and worrying signals coming from Damascus. This month we have seen trucks stranded at the Syrian border under the pretence of security measures. We have heard of Lebanese nationals being expelled from Syria and there is even talk of Damascus issuing the order for a mass pullout of its workforce in Lebanon.

Hit list vs. reforms list

At George Hawi¹s funeral, nearly everyone in the front pew of the church had lost a loved one to murder or assassination. The list included Giselle Khoury, Walid Jumblatt, Solange and Amine Gemayel, Saad and Bahia Hariri and Nayla Mouawad. One could not help but wonder whether each of them had been reminded once again

Animal farm

The revolutionary animals in George Orwell’s Animal Farm, once they have evicted the tyrannical farm owners, slip into the status quo, one that sees the leaders, in this case the pigs, emerge to perpetuate a system similar to the very one they worked to overthrow. In an earlier age, the arch-schemer Machiavelli might have smiled:

Watching the belly dancer

Never have the events that led to the civil war of 1975 been so clear. The subject that would ignite a Byzantine quarrel has been demystified by the events following the February 14 blast and put an end to the endless finger pointing. A vulgar assassination with a ton of explosives, a series of bomb

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