Author Archives: Yasser Akkaoui

License to steal

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

Recourse to reform

I can remember hiding from the bullets and bombs in the bathroom with my mom and brother. My father was out trying to earn a living, and the worry that he would not make it home made me sick to my stomach on a daily basis. We lived in hell as militias destroyed this country

Free minds of Lebanon, unite!

Our economy is in tatters, and we lack uninterrupted basic services like electricity, water and waste management. There is no acceptable explanation for why our country is near ruin. Fixing these problems is simple, and 2017 is our last chance to change course. There are plenty of free minds in this country that understand how

Starting afresh

While 2016 was full of surprises, in our own backyard the year’s developments simply helped reconfirm what we already know and once again exposed the extent of our vulnerability and dependence. Our region’s fate is in the hands of superpowers, influenced by any number of special interests except, of course, the best interest of local

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