Author Archives: Youssef Zbib

Unbinding the books

Unbinding the books

A modest two-story residential apartment building in the city of Saida houses a Lebanese publisher far more optimistic than others in the industry these days; that the company is also a software firm and owns no printing presses is indicative of the fundamental transformation underway. Sitting in his quiet office, surrounded by bound tomes published

Staying close to the nest

Lebanese abroad are often heard to say that they would return home if only they could find a job that satisfied their professional aspirations. Matching to two can be hard, especially in the limited market that Lebanon represents, but for those able to seize the opportunity, it is possible.    This option is exactly what

What makes a wage?

“Everything foreign ranks first,” is an old Lebanese proverb that seems befitting of the salary scales on offer in the country. In any conversation with a recruitment agent, human resources consultant, or even aspiring executive, the word ‘multinational’, or simply ‘ajnabiyeh’ — Arabic for “foreign” — will come up more often than not when attempting

Hoping to get hooked

After each global economic downturn or financial crisis, the Lebanese engage in a time-honored head count to see who has lost his or her place in their host country and who has not.  However, ‘head counts’ by Lebanese embassies in Gulf capitals showed that the expected reverse exodus of Lebanese expatriates during the financial crash

A lost cause?

The talk of labor nationalization in the Gulf Cooperation Council — ‘Saudization’, ‘Emiratization’, ‘Qatarization’, etcetera — has dominated national policies and development plans for the past 20 years. Qatar’s national vision for 2030, for example, explicitly mentions “increased and diversified participation of Qataris in the workforce” as a goal for human development.  Qataris have not

Q & A – Zafiris Tzannatos

The nationalization of the private sector is at the center of the Gulf Cooperation Council governments’ employment policies. Executive asked Zafiris Tzannatos, advisor for the Arab states at the International Labour Organization (ILO), to discuss this endeavor. E  Is the private sector in the GCC creating enough jobs? Employment in the private sector in the GCC

The downside of uprising

When you walk into Al Haidari sweet shop in Khaldeh, 20 kilometers south of Beirut, employees will greet you with a smile and free baklawa, but the forced cheer belies a grimmer reality. “We have 70 employees in our branch in Syria, but we had to make up for the huge losses we’ve suffered; this