Author Archives: Executive Editors

The first 13 days

The first 13 days

Reading Time: 11 minutes Day 1: Thursday, October 17 Protests erupt across the country Protests begin in Downtown Beirut around 6 p.m., triggered by media reports earlier Thursday that cabinet had agreed on new taxes for the 2020 budget, including a tax on Voice over Internet Protocols (VoIP) that would have cost up to $6 per month for those

The lasting change from Lebanon’s mass protests

Reading Time: 10 minutes A proposed levy on WhatsApp might have been the trigger for the October protests, but its backdrop was years of mismanagement and corruption that have brought the Lebanese economy to the brink. The outburst of popular protests occurred throughout the country, unifying Lebanese from across socioeconomic divides. Unseen in previous protests was the breakdown of

Lebanon’s uprising has potential ripple-on effects

Reading Time: 8 minutes As the aftermath of the Arab Spring saw the Levant descend into another iteration of political posturing and advantage seeking of what in earlier times was often derogatorily called Levantine behavior, Iraqi-Lebanese journalist Husain Abdul-Husain shared his dismay. In a story published five years ago, he drew as his conclusion from a decade of Iraqi,

Lebanese investors must stay alert to opportunities

Reading Time: 3 minutes In today’s Lebanon there are two biases. Let us call them the phoenix bias and the shithole bias. The first is the narrative of an indestructible culture, a country and haven of wealth that has never defaulted on its financial obligations and where no depositor of wealth has to fear the disappearance of a single

Lebanon needs a long-term solution to its trash woes

Reading Time: 3 minutes Lebanon on the precipice of another trash crisis, with its own garbage floating in the sea, lining the streets, and forming a mountain in Tripoli. All this not even five years after the last crisis that, in 2015, saw mounds of garbage pile up on the streets of Beirut and Mount Lebanon. In the north,

Transport is transforming and Lebanon must keep up

Reading Time: 6 minutes When compared to political revolutions, it has never been exactly clear what economic revolutions entail nor how long they take. But it is clear that these economic revolutions combine multiple change and adaptation processes, whether one talks of periods of fundamental economic transformation as “revolutions,” beginning with the first agricultural revolution in the fertile crescent

A potentially important step toward a new social contract

Reading Time: 11 minutes As a democracy, Lebanon has a sovereign. This sovereign—which the constitution affirms to be the people of Lebanon—has, for the longest time, appeared remarkably unconcerned over a very specific dereliction of duty by its public officials. The dereliction in question was the government’s serial failure to produce a sane, credible, and timely budget, and the

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