Author Archives: Nadim Houry

Lebanon’s failing grade

Lebanon’s failing grade

Reading Time: 3 minutes Lebanon’s seasonal rains brought with them more than the usual road chaos this year. Trash that had been left on sidewalks as a result of the government’s self-inflicted garbage crisis floated down the streets, sending a stark reminder of the impending health disaster. Despite the multiple emergencies, Lebanon’s problems – like its garbage – are

Police brutality in Lebanon

Reading Time: 3 minutes The images of police and soldiers violently repressing demonstrators gathered in downtown Beirut on August 22 to protest the garbage crisis and political corruption sent shock waves through Lebanese society. Security forces beat unarmed protesters, turned water cannons on journalists, and fired rubber bullets towards fleeing crowds. The security forces even shot live bullets into

(Un)happily ever after

Reading Time: 3 minutes All couples hope their marriages will work out and they will live happily ever after. But the truth is that many relationships end in divorce and Lebanese couples are no exception. According to a 2012 study by the Lebanese Central Administration of Statistics, there were almost 6,000 divorces in 2010. The issue for these couples

Time for an anti-discrimination law

Reading Time: 4 minutes Lebanon is presented with the most serious challenges it has faced in the past decade. The economy is struggling, the internal security situation  deteriorating and the country’s neighbors pose real threats. Yet amidst everything, there are opportunities — not just in newfound offshore oil and gas but also within the country’s ingenious population. As we head into

An unnecessary tragedy

Reading Time: 3 minutes Alem Dechasa-Desisa’s death at age 33 would have probably gone unnoticed — like that of so many other migrants — if not for a widely circulated video showing her being physically assaulted by a man, later identified as labor recruiter Ali Mahfouz, at the gates of the Ethiopian consulate 20 days prior. Dechasa-Desisa had come

Anthony Shadid

Reading Time: 2 minutes Anthony made reporting look so easy. His writing was always fluid, transforming even the scariest of situations into the perfect setting for a good anecdote. I first met him in Tyre during the hot days of the July 2006 war when the Israeli air force was pounding southern Lebanon. Most journalists and NGO-types had gathered

Stagnating in stability

Reading Time: 3 minutes I never thought I would say it, but Lebanon was one of the most stable countries in the Middle East this past year. Many commentators and politicians expressed regret that Lebanon failed to capitalize on this to attract capital escaping the tumult of Cairo, Damascus and Tripoli. My regret is that Lebanon failed to use this

Syrians’ flight from harm

Reading Time: 3 minutes   We are on a mountain path, crossing from Turkey into northeastern Syria to meet some of the displaced camping near the border fence. The hike over the mountain is beautiful, with pine trees and a shimmering lake in the valley below, but the destination is far from serene. Around 10,000women, men and children have

Assad’s dungeons

Reading Time: 3 minutes Marwan had trouble sitting down during our interview. He had bruises all over his body and bandages on his head from the beating security officers subjected him to during his two-day detention by the Amn Al Dawla — one of Syria’s notorious mukhabarat, or secret security services. His crime was participating in a peaceful protest