Opinion articles

Sri lankans still opt for Lebanon

Sri lankans still opt for Lebanon

Sharjah International Airport looks exactly like you would expect for an airport in the United Arab Emirates: drop boxes collect money for your favorite Islamic charities and Qur’anic societies; security checkpoints have separate rooms for women to preserve modesty during frisking; and more than half of the airport is “under construction,” an adequate description of

The last dance

Last month saw the cream of the world’s leaders, businesspeople, economists and experts meet at the World Economic Forum in Davos to discuss today’s most pressing issues. And they are plentiful as they are urgent: poverty, climate change, trade barriers, famine and disease, to name a few. But as the world works together against malaria,

The year that brought globalization to the Arab World

Since the current wave of global change accelerated after the end of the Cold War, mention of globalization has tended to upset Arabs. However, 2007 could be the year that the Arab World really moved closer to the rest of the globe. Politically, this was evident in the Annapolis conference, where — under watchful American

Saddam Hussein: 1937-2006

In February 1991, former Indian Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi, visited Tehran and met with Iran’s president, Ali Akhbar Rafsanjani. Neighboring Iraq figured high in the conversation. The US and its allies had just launched the ground war to liberate Kuwait from Iraqi occupation forces, this coming three years after the end of the disastrous Iran-Iraq

Days of decision for damascus

Few Syria observers ventured a guess at the New Year as to what the coming 365 days may hold for the country. The region’s topsy-turvy politics is the primary reason, but so is a trait unique to Syria: its seeming inability to set targets and meet them. The final date of the June 2005 Baath

Myth busting n Beirut

Reporting on the Middle East for Brazilian viewers is no easy task. The world has been fed so many half-truths from this region that I spend most of my time having to concentrate on the other halves. So, when my report is about Iran’s wish to enrich uranium, I must explain to my TV audience

Smooth as silk

The world economy was until recently a cozy club of the countries of the Organization of Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD – a grouping of 30 of the world’s biggest and more prosperous states) and of the multilateral organizations that they largely finance and control, including the World Bank. However, that coziness could now be

War is not the answer

When the current political impasse is resolved and the ongoing restoration of Beirut resumes, the Lebanese government – whichever one ends up being in charge – should turn a cluster of the most distressed remaining buildings from the 1975-1990 civil war into a living museum. To hell with the cost. Somewhere along the Sodeco-Monot axis

Hariri’s legacy continues

There were few more poignant and telling indicators of the impasse that has befallen Lebanon in the past two years since Rafik Hariri’s assassination than the shuttered shops, restaurants and cafés and empty cobble-stoned streets of the downtown district during this holiday season. The Solidere-run city center was regarded as the jewel in Hariri’s reconstruction

Learning a thing or two from Qatar

Twenty years ago, I arrived at an airport in the middle of a desert peninsula in the Persian Gulf. The arrival hall was basic, not one to remember, and the duty free consisted of one room with items piled up on the floor. The passport control officers were unfriendly and the customs agents scrutinized every