Comment articles

Plan of (in)action

If a five-year plan to modernize Lebanon’s telecommunications infrastructure announced in July is being implemented, the Ministry of Telecommunications (MoT) isn’t talking about it. There’s no progress report on the website. The MoT hasn’t publicly announced tenders for the various projects needed for an upgrade. And the ministry’s reply to repeated interview requests on the

Cleaning up and going green

Between 2011 and 2015, the overall direct investments in renewable energy, energy efficiency and green buildings in Lebanon exceeded $450 million. According to Riad Salameh, governor of Banque du Liban (BDL), Lebanon’s central bank, more than 10,000 direct and indirect jobs were created in this sector during that same period. The records of the Lebanese

Renewed dynamism

After a year riddled with difficult market conditions, dry wells and regulatory hurdles, the offshore oil and gas sector in the Eastern Mediterranean finally has good reasons to look forward to 2016. In Egypt, the August 2015 discovery of the so-called “supergiant” Zohr offshore natural gas field could not have come at a better time

Irrational drug prescription in Lebanon

Irrational use of drugs is a major problem worldwide. The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that over half of all drugs are prescribed, dispensed or sold inappropriately. Inappropriate drug prescriptions have a negative impact on quality and safety of treatment, promote drug resistance, diminish patient trust in the healthcare system and increase the economic burden

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

Time to act

Lebanon has been severely affected by the Syrian crisis that erupted in early 2011. The signs are evident everywhere, starting from a massive refugee presence, which is now more than one quarter of the population and outstrips the ratio of refugees-to-population in any other country inside and outside the region. But while refugees are fleeing

Time to wake up

Following deadly attacks such as the ones that struck Paris in November 2015, western leaders and the media largely focus on increasing security measures and closing borders in order to keep ‘terrorists’ – which to some is synonymous with keeping refugees – at bay. This policy of closing borders is not new, however, and is

Lebanon’s failing grade

Lebanon’s seasonal rains brought with them more than the usual road chaos this year. Trash that had been left on sidewalks as a result of the government’s self-inflicted garbage crisis floated down the streets, sending a stark reminder of the impending health disaster. Despite the multiple emergencies, Lebanon’s problems – like its garbage – are

Rethinking governance

The recent garbage crisis has managed to expose a myriad of problems which exist in our political system. Among these is the failure of the government not only to properly deliver a basic service like waste collection, but to decide how to deliver such a service through a transparent, collaborative process. In other words, the

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