Opinion articles

It hurts

It hurts

It hurts to see our politicians ignorant of the history and evolution of this great country that they are supposed to lead. It hurts that because of this ignorance we have lost opportunities. It hurts to remember that in 1973, the first oil boom was about to explode just as Lebanon was beginning its slide

Now I am mad

There I was, at Orchid beach in Jiyyeh, when I saw our finance minister eating a salad (perhaps to demonstrate that our ministers stay in shape while putting our country to right). He was sitting with the resort’s developer and extolling the glories of the modern Lebanese tourist industry. Where else, the minister asked, could

Capitalizing on defeat

We business journalists are often invited to dinners and lunches along with many heads of private sector companies. Without fail, we are asked about the outlook for the economy, as if, in our opaque world, the press has its own special-issue, X-ray glasses. The answer is normally a variation on a rather depressing theme: that

Heaven via hell

They say the people know best. It is possibly why we have the concept of democracy. When the extension of the presidential mandate was bullied through parliament and the UN passed Resolution 1559, the word on the street was that things did not look bright for Mr. Hariri. The Syrians will get him, people whispered.

Sovereign Deficit

Once again it appears that Lebanese history is being written with the blood of our fellow journalists. May Chidiac was marked for death not for who she is, but for what she represents: the free spirit that quenches the thirst of those of us who rejoice in the diversity, openness and enlightenment that is present

Agreeing to disagree

Given that, in theory at least, with our new political order we are now in a position to pick our own high-ranking civil servants and also given that the people the new government picks for the top non-security jobs like EDL, the NSSF, Casino du Liban et al, will be scrutinized for their suitability (or

The road to Damascus

There are dark and worrying signals coming from Damascus. This month we have seen trucks stranded at the Syrian border under the pretence of security measures. We have heard of Lebanese nationals being expelled from Syria and there is even talk of Damascus issuing the order for a mass pullout of its workforce in Lebanon.

Hit list vs. reforms list

At George Hawi¹s funeral, nearly everyone in the front pew of the church had lost a loved one to murder or assassination. The list included Giselle Khoury, Walid Jumblatt, Solange and Amine Gemayel, Saad and Bahia Hariri and Nayla Mouawad. One could not help but wonder whether each of them had been reminded once again

Animal farm

The revolutionary animals in George Orwell’s Animal Farm, once they have evicted the tyrannical farm owners, slip into the status quo, one that sees the leaders, in this case the pigs, emerge to perpetuate a system similar to the very one they worked to overthrow. In an earlier age, the arch-schemer Machiavelli might have smiled:

Grow up

With the rate of political assassinations slowing, life is returning to our city. The Lebanese have proved that they have little time for bad memories and even less interest in a propensity to save. We are big spending, short-termists who have learned to live for the moment, but with such a precarious lull in the

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