Editorial articles

Trickle down trash

The destructive nature of the Lebanese never ceases to bewilder. While we claim to be the most civilized nation in the Levant, we have managed to slowly hollow out our mountains, toxify our rivers, turn our seaside into landfills, and contaminate our air with heavy metals and cancerous fumes—and we do not even care. With

Pursuit of excellence

The vicious survival cycle that Lebanese corporates are stuck in comes at a price. To sustain their existence, they have to constantly bend the rules and outsmart the system, while suffering the inefficiencies and lack of vision that come from the absence of the state. In short, corporates adhere to a short-term management style, winging

Break the chains

Watching the fifth masquerade of national elections since my return to Lebanon, I cannot help but recall Amin Maalouf’s masterpiece, “The Rock of Tanios.” In Maalouf’s tale there is an Ottoman sheikh of a mountain village who collects taxes and recruits the able to fight the empire’s wars. In return for his allegiance to the

L’espoir fait vivre

On March 27, before addressing an auditorium filled with our best scholars, academics, researchers, journalists, intellectuals, and experts who have dedicated their lives for this nation, I asked if any of them was granted access to or had seen or even touched one page of the Capital Investment Plan (CIP) CEDRE project—the answer was a

Mother Lebanon

Beirut is depicted as a woman by many renowned artists, like Palestinian cartoonist Naji al-Ali, who—during the 1982 Israeli invasion—drew a caricature of his iconic character Handala offering a flower through a hole in the wall to a woman that he named Beirut. She is the patient carrier of our painful history, she is the

A tale of two worlds

Lebanon’s election season has begun. With it comes hatred, spite, segregation, animosity, and the most vicious deception imaginable. Desperate to sway votes in their favor, our narrow-minded politicians have one strategy in their playbook: isolate and manipulate. Playing on ignorance and fear, they further divide our already fraught communities. Last month we witnessed just how

Enough empty promises

Their crimes must not be forgiven again. For 11 years, Lebanese politicians spent some $130 billion without an audit. To pass the 2017 budget, our lawmakers defied the constitution by promising the audit will come next year instead of now. I’m not holding my breath. Let’s not lie to ourselves: Audits can be manipulated. We

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

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