Opinion articles

Worse than weapons

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

The ABCs of the 123s

Finance is a complicated topic to understand. The jargon and math don’t help. Top employees of Lebanese lending institutions have admitted to Executive that even some bankers cannot define an annual percentage rate (APR). Look it up on Wikipedia, and you’ll no doubt be researching more new terms (such as nominal APR and effective APR)

Syrian crisis: a new approach

For nearly five years the conflict has dragged on; yet the world is only more daunted by the magnitude of the humanitarian crisis. Here in Lebanon the challenges are numerous – from the strained economy and infrastructure to health care, education, politics and security. All aspects of life have been affected. But we cannot afford

A 5,000-year opportunity

“This Agreement… aims to strengthen the global response to the threat of climate change, in the context of sustainable development and efforts to eradicate poverty, including by: (a) Holding the increase in the global average temperature to well below 2 °C above pre-industrial levels and to pursue efforts to limit the temperature increase to 1.5

One drop at a time

Growing populations, rising demand on resources and mounting environmental pressures are putting an increasing global strain on water resources. In the Middle East in particular, stressed river basins shared by countries are increasingly experiencing problems, and global climate change will only exacerbate this. December’s landmark Paris Agreement on climate change was not primarily about water-related

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

Recycling history

We are being governed incompetently. 2015 proved that. Not only did the government’s handling of waste management allow one of the country’s worst environmental disasters to unfold, but it is replicating bad decisions it made nearly 20 years ago. In 1997, the cabinet gave one local company a monopoly on most of the nation’s waste

Surviving the slump

The real estate market is the subject of much speculation, usually the negative kind. There are very few optimists who still see it as a lucrative sector. Yet the reality is not so bleak. Demand exists but only for the right product at the fair market price. Prices have started to adjust but effective drops

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

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