Author Archives: Nabila Rahhal

Nicholas Chammas assesses 2012

Nicholas Chammas assesses 2012

In September, Executive sat down with Nicholas Chammas, head of the Lebanese Traders Association (LTA), to discuss the retail sector’s weak performance following the events this summer, from the warnings against travel to Lebanon by Gulf states, to the kidnappings of foreign visitors and the closures of the airport. Given all this, it was no

Retail’s year of the bargain

"The dropping numbers of tourists, the decline in the country’s financial inflows and the plunging consumer confidence have placed the Lebanese fashion retailers in a critical situation,” says Jamal Rayess, general manager of Hamra Shopping and Trading Company. “Confronted with these challenges, we were compelled as usual to think outside the box and improvise ways

Dealing with trauma and depression

Life in Lebanon means regularly dealing with the unexpected, and often the unpleasant. From the civil war in 1975 and moving to the consistent bouts of armed conflict that strike the country every now and then, the Lebanese have become accustomed to living with the unacceptable. Less dramatic, though also stress-inducing, are how simple acts

Szechuan in style

Driving down the highway from Antelias into downtown Beirut, one cannot but notice several huge billboards advertising the latest Asian cuisine restaurant, Chenbao — the Chinese word for castle. Curiosity aroused, Executive decided to pay a visit. Chenbao is the newest conception of the Kazzami group, which brought us the high-end sushi restaurant Osaka and

I’m not buying it

Social buying seemed like such a wonderful concept at the beginning when my friends started talking about it three years ago. But it seems to me that after the novelty has worn off, so did a lot of the interest in such sites. It is one of the standard arguments of these sites that ‘everybody

Junkyard tapas

What do you do with your plot of land waiting for a delayed permit from the Ministry of Tourism to build a new restaurant on it? Options vary from converting it into a parking lot to watching the weeds grow as the space goes unused. Mario Junior Haddad and Chef Tomas Reger, respectively owner and

House of Stone

Anthony Shadid’s remains were scattered under the olive tree in the garden at his house in Jdeidit Marjeyoun, South Lebanon. He was not buried in the United States where he was born and raised, but in the home he had chosen as his own. This home, or bayt, as Shadid refers to it, is the

Nicolas Chammas under the cosh

There seems to be little end to the litany of woes Lebanon’s economy has been suffering this year, brought on by regional unrest and internal instabilities mushrooming across the country. Many industries have felt the impact. For a closer look at the implications of this soured environment on the country’s traders, Executive sat down for

Retail and the economic crisis

After the hotels and restaurants, it is the retail industry that is feeling the effects of the current economic strain,” says Nicholas Chammas, head of the Lebanese Traders Association. The retail industry in Lebanon depends heavily on Arab tourists and has suffered the effect of their decreased numbers this summer. “During the good summers, we

Starved for business

With so many foreigners and expats altering their vacation plans to avoid Lebanon this summer, it is no wonder the hospitality sector, which relies heavily on tourism, is struggling.   According to statistics by the Ministry of Tourism, the number of tourists entering the country this year, until July, had decreased 12 percent in comparison to