Reading Time: 5 minutes From farming to hospitality
Sama Hospitality Ventures (SHV) started off as an idea to make commercial use of co-founders’ Ali and Omar El Mais’ late father’s land in Bekaa where the two brothers grew up. “We had to look for a higher return alternative than planting wheat or just leaving the land idle,” explains Ali who comes from an investment management background and completed his MBA at INSEAD.

Full interview with investment expert Romen Mathieu

Reading Time: 10 minutes In the context of Lebanon’s existential crisis, Executive inquired about the country’s new economic and social barriers – a mountain of problems formed around a nexus of poverty, unemployment, and colossal need for investment, that at first (and second) sight appear impossible to scale. In seeking to chart financial and economic pathways across this agglomeration


Reading Time: 2 minutes The discourse of the reformist groups has changed after the massive August 4 explosion. The depth of hatred, spite, corruption and incompetence we are dealing with, embodied by our so-called political establishment, is beyond the most horrific, dystopian imagination. Never have I come across so many frightened eyes as since the Beirut blast. Eyes that

The untold story of the last 12 months

Reading Time: 4 minutes Lebanon is not a country by any easy definition. Whatever your preference in terminology, when talking about a community of people in terms of country or nation there are classic denominators involved that are either geographic, or social and cultural, but always framed as coherent and continuous. But Lebanon? Territorially, linguistically, historically, religiously, ethnically, even

Boosting the Lebanese Food Industry to Preserve and Create Jobs

Reading Time: 3 minutes The Lebanese food industrial sector is capable of supplying most of the basic products that were imported into Lebanon before the onset of the 2019/2020 crisis. The sector’s output encompasses a wide variety of products, ranging from poultry and processed meats, to the whole range of dairy products (except butter and processed yellow cheese), jams,

Industry: Its role and perspective in Lebanon’s economic growth

Reading Time: 4 minutes The manufacturing industry is a core engine of economic growth for developed and developing countries; a fact reconfirmed by recent studies. On this premise, it is natural that the Association of Lebanese Industrialists (ALI) play a major role in economic and social policy. As Lebanon faces the worst economic crisis in its history, ALI is

The Knowledge Economy

Reading Time: 5 minutes When I was appointed Minister of State for Investments and Technology (MSIT) in February 2019, I was thrilled to champion the most promising and vibrant economic sector in Lebanon. Technology is often reduced to mean “iPhone” or “app”, but the term can also refer to a rocket, a vaccine, a driverless car or a smart

Five imperatives the new government will need to tackle to create jobs

Reading Time: 4 minutes A second wave of Covid-19 is now battering Lebanon, a country reeling from an unprecedented financial and economic crisis, and still grappling with post-port explosion realities. As a result of these compounded calamities, Lebanon’s economy is likely to end up a fifth smaller by year’s end, as the International Monetary Fund (IMF) had estimated it

Politics and the labor market

Reading Time: 5 minutes I first came to Lebanon in the late 1990s to lead a development organization’s mission on labor and social protection. Since then, a lot has happened: in 2000, Israel pulled back from southern Lebanon to the international borderline; in 2005, prime minister Rafik Hariri was assassinated, and many others were murdered before and after him;


Reading Time: 3 minutes Executive Magazine is honored to present our readers with a special report on the issue of Lebanon’s labor market, job creation, and the policymaking and financing solutions needed to boost the domestic job market. What emerges in these pages is a mosaic of job preservation and creation opportunities, where even the smallest saved or newly


Reading Time: 2 minutes People who not long ago were comfortably middle-class urban dwellers, find themselves thrown into poverty this year, to the point of relying on NGO-provided food aid. From the old to the very young, the faces of poverty may be depressed or smiling, but the underlying realities are the same. Urban poverty has been expressing itself

Q&A with Philippe Lazzarini

Reading Time: 15 minutes Human catastrophes are inextricably interconnected to each other through the basic sharing of suffering and human compassion. The Palestinian catastrophe in this sense can neither be ignored nor excised from the intensity of the Lebanese experience. To gain a perspective on the Palestinian dimension of the crisis in Lebanon, and on the magnitude of the

Winter is coming to crisis-hit Lebanon

Reading Time: 4 minutes For Neji*, the two-room apartment he shares with seven other men was supposed to be a refuge. Six years ago, he fled his home in Syria to escape the bombings that haunted ordinary life there. Last month, he narrowly survived the shockwave from Lebanon’s largest explosion as it tore through his neighborhood a mere kilometer

Lebanese poverty rates swell across income groups

Reading Time: 6 minutes Over the past year, Lebanon has experienced an onslaught of multiple growth shocks including a banking and exchange-rate crisis, an outbreak of COVID-19, and an explosion that has claimed large swathes of Beirut’s commercial centre and a bulk of trade facilities. These new shocks add to the longer-standing economic and financial crunch that have swelled