Author Archives: Sami Halabi

Smiling through our pain

Smiling through our pain

Reading Time: 3 minutes An economy that can serve the interests of all our people requires confidence. The necessary conditions for that economic confidence are both security and straight talk from those who are entrusted to protect our nation’s growth. That is why it is so damaging that no one called out the president or the prime minister for

Lebanon’s latest strike misses the point

Reading Time: 3 minutes It is dubious whether any good will come of the strikes today by various public sector unions, called in response to the Lebanese cabinet’s intransigence and delay tactics in passing the new salary scale law. On the one hand, if the unions get what they are asking for, the government will be even more broke,

Nukes and Netanyahu

Reading Time: 3 minutes By Mitt Romney’s own admission he has already lost some 47 percent of the vote in the race for the United States presidency to those who believe they are “entitled to healthcare, to food, to housing,” and that the “government has a responsibility to care for them.” So if the Republican candidate is to muster

Can the cabinet

Reading Time: 3 minutes Imagine how Lebanese parliamentarians feel when they are sworn in for the first time. Their hearts must flutter with joy as they take the oath they will likely not keep. After all, who would refuse to be inducted into a club that allows one to get away with doing practically nothing, get paid for it,

The oil importers’ albatross

Reading Time: 6 minutes The perception of Lebanon’s oil importing companies as a cartel of money-making executives feeding off the backs of the people is an easy one to buy into, especially in an import-driven economy such as ours. But as any journalist knows, there are at least two sides to every story, if not many more. “We are

Schooled in success

Reading Time: 4 minutes There was a time during the civil war when the Lebanese American University (LAU) did not know if it would have enough money to pay its staff at the end of every month, according to its president Joseph Jabbra. That is hardly the case today. For the past several years the university has been increasing

Please General, do your job

Reading Time: 3 minutes In most nations civilian rule of the army is hallowed political ground; it ensures that the power of the gun cannot be used to overcome that of the ballot box. Yet in a country such as ours, where the army is neutered by the executive, our parliament holds virtually no power to implement the laws

No right to laugh

Reading Time: 3 minutes It is the proper application of law that separates anarchy from order, suppression from representation, people from slaves and fosters a society with a respect for the structures of governance. The opposite is just as true, where it is the selective application of law — for example when charges are conjured up to suppress freedom

Sweet offerings

Reading Time: 2 minutes Patchi International (Patchi), the family owned Lebanon-based chocolatier with operations in over 29 countries, is planning to offer up to 49 percent of its ownership to a strategic partner in the next two years, its Founder and Chairman Nizar Choucair tells Executive. “We believe that we cannot continue by ourselves,” says Choucair. “We are not

Parched policies

Reading Time: 3 minutes As Lebanon edged closer to war in the early 1970s, an ambitious project to provide irrigation and drinking water to South Lebanon was launched. At the time what came to be known as the ‘Litani River Project’ (also known to water experts as the Canal 800), was to be the most expansive undertaking to tap

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