Author Archives: Yasser Akkaoui

The Uni-leader

The Uni-leader

When Lebanon-based Fattal Holding, agents and distributors for numerous global brands in six countries of the Middle East and North Africa region, celebrated the 80th anniversary of their partnership with consumer goods multinational Unilever, the occasion was auspicious enough to bring Unilever Chief Executive Officer Paul Polman to Beirut. Executive used the rare opportunity to

The good old days

Love him or hate him, Rafik Hariri had a skill set that worked for Lebanon. He was good at amalgamating the competing interests of Lebanon’s various groups and defending this country on the international stage with a unified vision of what Lebanon was and where it was heading. He also had foreign connections he could

Inside a corporate nation

Three of the world’s top five companies by market value – Apple, Microsoft and Google – today run like nations unto themselves. Each has a utopian headquarters – home base for an army of employees with global reach and influence. Their aim is wealth creation both for employees and shareholders, but their products also help

The blue appeal

For many Lebanese travelers, Air France is not just any airline but an institution of memories. When times were tough, flying from Beirut to Paris represented a lifeline connection to personal safety, not to mention savoir vivre and commerce. Today, the links between Lebanon and Europe are numerous and airlines have to win over travelers

Worse than weapons

The war years in Lebanon were particularly ugly near the end. I was 16 years old when the bottom fell out from under the lira, and the currency collapse changed everything. People lost their jobs. Wealth vanished. Desperation reigned. We were used to being terrorized by bombs, bullets and ever-accurate mortar shells. Financial terrorism proved

Resolutions for 2016

The magazine proposes a few resolutions for 2016. And we’re starting the year by practicing them. First, we call on the best and brightest Lebanese minds to seize the potentially lucrative opportunities that the Paris Agreement on climate change will afford. This is why we’ve put climate change on our cover. Our second, and most

The will to prevail

In 2015, many of the reasons behind Lebanon’s built-in logjam came to the surface. The garbage crisis is the case in point that best illustrates how the whole system is rotten to the core. Beyond our government’s inability to preemptively devise solutions to imminent perils, we watched as priorities were often confused and demands articulated

Guerilla entrepreneurship

That our politicians got us into an absolutely avoidable waste crisis they have been unable to extricate us from for over three months is simply embarrassing. It’s not about garbage any more. It’s about turning Lebanon into a distressed asset.It has become obvious that our institutions, which have been running on an ad hoc basis

Real change is in our hands

The social contract between the state and the people is broken. It had been crumbling for a long time. We’re reminded of the state’s failures every month when we pay two electricity bills and every summer when we pay two water bills. For decades we’ve made concession after concession, the worst being acceptance of the

Lebanon at a crossroads

There is nothing more humiliating than watching our political class continue with its usual dirty business while young people are being beaten and shot at in the street. The complete disrespect for our health, future and nation is so vulgar and in our face that we simply cannot, and should not, take it anymore. What’s

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