Author Archives: Benjamin Redd

Chart: Net effect of presidential contenders on economy

A president for Lebanon’s economy

Reading Time: 5 minutes As Lebanon’s politicians continue to horse-trade behind closed doors over the country’s next president, it is worth considering the views of perhaps the most regularly forgotten set of people in the country — its citizens. Executive, together with polling agency Ipsos, carried out a survey of 1501 citizens from across the country on whom they

Microsoft is trying to encourage Lebanon's government to adopt cloud computing

Cloudy skies ahead

Reading Time: 5 minutes Visiting Microsoft’s glass-walled office — overlooking Beirut to one side and a panoramic Mediterranean to the other — one can easily forget the enormous challenges looming on the company’s horizon. “It’s the nicest Microsoft office anywhere,” boasts Hany Morcos, the company’s public sector cloud technologies director for the MENA region. But reality jolts quickly back

A map of Mar Mikhael’s bars

Reading Time: < 1 minute The Mar Mikhael district of Beirut is undoubtedly the city’s most fashionable right now. Its rise has been so rapid that it can be a challenge just keeping on top of all the latest bars. For that reason we present below a map of the bars, restaurants and cafés in the area. You can even

Knocking back the sanctions

Reading Time: 4 minutes Unlawful. Such was the UK Supreme Court’s verdict on sanctions against Iran’s Bank Mellat this June. And by ruling the UK Treasury’s actions illegal, the court hinted at a deep vulnerability within the international sanctions regime against Iran — such restrictions may not be compatible with Western respect for justice. “The Supreme Court has really

Homosexuality is not an illness, Lebanese scientists decide

Reading Time: 2 minutes Homosexuality is not an illness and cannot be ‘cured’, two leading Lebanese mental health organizations have agreed in a landmark ruling. The Lebanese Psychiatric Society (LPS) and the Lebanese Psychological Association (LPA) declared that gay people could not be treated as it was not abnormal, the first time scientific organizations had made such statements in

Lebanon’s inflation falls to two percent

Reading Time: 2 minutes Lebanon officially recorded two percent inflation from July 2012 to July 2013, new figures from the official Central Administration of Statistics (CAS) have shown. The numbers are a steep decline from the last year in which inflation has been between eight and 10 percent. The reason for the decline is one of methodology, not actual

Destination Lebanon

Reading Time: < 1 minute During the first year of the Syrian uprising, relatively few refugees registered with the UNHCR, the United Nations’ refugee agency. By the end of June 2012, only 25,000 had registered and they were largely concentrated in North Lebanon. Since then, the numbers have soared. By the end of the year, the count had quintupled and

Cranes over Beirut

Reading Time: < 1 minute At any given time, Beirut’s skyline is a kaleidoscope of chaos. While the economy may be struggling, in the city center luxury developments rise up with mesmeric frequency. In a country where long-term urban planning is woefully lacking, dozens of skyscrapers emerge every year — towering over the city’s ancient buildings. We decided to capture

‘Lebanon’s statistics are unreliable’

Reading Time: 3 minutes Despite serving 25 years with the International Monetary Fund (IMF), Mounir Rached bucks the stereotype of the cosseted economist for whom statistics are sacrosanct. Although his new office in the Ministry of Finance is littered with economic studies and proposals, he gives the impression of distrusting most of them. Searching through stacks of papers, he