Special Report articles

Abed Mahfouz

In 1982, Abed Mahfouz starting working with his sister designing evening gowns and got his first taste of creating his own designs that way. In 1995, he decided to branch out with his own brand. While Mahfouz initially showcased his collections locally through fashions shows at venues such as the Al Bustan Hotel in Broummana,

Georges Chakra

Georges Chakra initially began his studies in interior design during the Lebanese Civil War, but decided to switch to fashion design because, he says, he wanted to do something “out of the ordinary.” Studying fashion design was uncommon at the time, and Chakra says even his parents were not very accepting of his choice. It was

Beirut a fashion capital

“It’s an exciting time to launch a fashion design program in Lebanon because of what is happening in design. Whether it’s Mar Mikhael’s little boutiques, or the designers who are just starting out with unpredictable, yet exciting futures ahead of them, or the young Lebanese designers whose names are shining abroad, there’s an energy and

Questions of design

Design is like Lebanese politics. These days, both are somehow involved in everything. And like good policy making, a dose of good design is needed in every nook and cranny of the Lebanese economy. As opposed to most things political, however, stakeholders in design since 2010 have made valiant efforts to nurture an ecosystem of

The power of tourism

Prior to 2012, it was a common sight to see wealthy tourists — mainly from the Gulf — and even some Lebanese shopping in Beirut’s luxury brand stores that dot the expansive streets of Downtown Beirut and the high-end sections of Lebanon’s malls. During the past five years however footfall in many of these international

Undogmatic thinking

It is not every day that a world-renowned economist touches down on Lebanese soil, but it should not surprise that such a formidable economist could deliver a presentation less than 24 hours after arriving in Beirut for the first time in his life. It might be expected that he would start with an exercise in

Banking on reason

Pushing loans onto consumers has become the fashion among financial service providers — a fashion hardly more concerned with reason and logic than proposing the existence of prefabricated tears and holes around the knees of a new pair of jeans. But, while the latter insanity is only a serious detriment if you want to use

Better direction for Lebanese banks

Finding yourself immersed among a gaggle of high-profile Lebanese bankers at a conference or social get-together can be a mildly frightening experience. When almost everyone in your vision is a banker or economist, what do you say to soften this phalanx of professionals? Which is the best buzzword to break the ice? The answer, personally

Changes from abroad

“Part II of this legislation is coming”, US House of Representatives Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Ed Royce said in his opening statement at a committee hearing entitled “Attacking Hezbollah’s Financial Network: Policy Options.” The United States alleges the Party of God is a global crime syndicate and has designated Hezbollah as a terrorist organization. The hearing,

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