Author Archives: Yasser Akkaoui

Hope is not a plan

Hope is not a plan

They say ignorance is bliss, so let’s indulge. Let’s ignore that global temperatures are rising — albeit at a slower pace since 1999. Let’s ignore that springtime snow cover in the northern hemisphere has dropped 2 percent per decade since 1996. Let’s also ignore the possibility that an El Niño event this winter could make

The East’s hour

Yves Meylan is the director of international retail for luxury Swiss watchmaker Jaeger-LeCoultre. Executive caught up with him to get the latest trends in high end watches, from design to the sales floor.   Tell me a little bit about yourself. Your job is a big responsibility during these very volatile times, especially since 2000,

Kings and comedians

There’s something wrong here. Protesters are supporting Palestinians in London, Paris, Berlin and even Santiago while the streets of Arab capitals are mostly quiet. Meanwhile, the American — and Jewish — comedian Jon Stewart is expressing more outrage over the accumulating atrocities in Gaza than all of the Arab leaders combined. What is it they

A tourist is leaving his hotel in Raouche after the explosion at Duroy Hotel

The momentum was building

When the World Cup kicked off last month, it felt like a good summer was in the offing. Bars and cafes were full. The Gulf countries had lifted their travel bans, and we could already see tourists and expats on the streets. Hotels were finally reporting decent occupancy rates — with the tourism minister even

The Spinneys store located in Jnah in the 1970s

The real bad guys

When Lebanon was on its descent into civil war in 1975, some militia bosses sicced the ‘poor’ upon the ‘rich’, telling their followers to loot the Spinneys store in Ramlet el-Baida. I remember watching the riot from our balcony — the first to drive up to the deserted store were the warlords and their top

Neither Geagea nor Aoun can heal Lebanon

In modern economies, governments should have two fundamental priorities. The first is to decrease unemployment and the second is to develop the country’s human resources in order for citizens to become more efficient and valuable, thus contributing to growth. One of the prerequisites of this is a healthy population, well-served by their healthcare system. Clearly,

Ignore farcical Cabinet policy debate

If the rather outdated saying “you can’t live with them, you can’t live without them” were to be applied to Lebanese governments, it is today perhaps more valid than ever. We waited eleven months for our political classes to negotiate a new government, as vicious infighting and polarization allowed the country to drift rudderless towards

Nada Abi Saleh

Advertising success

Last month Leo Burnett was named Network of the Year at the MENA Cristal Festival; the Beirut office won two Grand Prix, five gold, three silver and nine bronze awards and was named Agency of the Year for the third consecutive year. Executive took the opportunity to congratulate Nada Abi Saleh, Leo Burnett Beirut’s new

The deepest of ironies

As we prepared to launch our new website last Thursday morning, the tranquility of the Executive office was disrupted by a gruff man clutching a bunch of papers. He was, he assured us, from the judicial palace. Gebran Bassil, Lebanon’s former energy minister and new foreign minister, was suing us. The article of concern —

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