Author Archives: Sami Halabi

Driving us mad

Reading Time: 3 minutes Inching along amid a cacophony of horns in one of Lebanon’s estimated 1.6 million vehicles leaves a driver with ample time for reflection. As the clock on the dash ticks past another hour and the feet maneuver endlessly from gas to brake, how the country reached this point inevitably comes to mind.  For the sixth

The ugly side of man

Reading Time: 3 minutes Misogyny is the vulgar indulgence of ignorant men, and it is a shame upon this nation that the men who head our government so openly display this flaccid form of intellect. They began to give it expression early in their term, by forming a cabinet devoid of women, and continued through their denial of nationality

Make your own militia

Reading Time: 3 minutes On the side of a busy street Abu Imad stands in front of his warehouse that appears much the same as any other. Inside, the air is humid and Abu Imad’s products are stacked in boxes from floor to ceiling. Just inside the entrance is a display area for customers who wish to view the

Avoiding collateral damage

Reading Time: 9 minutes A friend in need is a friend indeed, or so the saying goes, but when sticking up for your confidante means you find yourself in a heap of trouble, companionship can be more of a liability than an asset. The accord between Lebanon and Syria, as with any old couple, has seen its ups and

Why the government is paralyzed

Reading Time: 3 minutes How many Lebanese members of Parliament does it take to make a mockery of the people they supposedly represent? At most 128 (the number in parliament), but it usually takes only two: one to propose and the other to oppose. When that happens, the country’s carpenters’ ears perk up, knowing that they will soon be

Nothing left to offer

Reading Time: 3 minutes Arabs across the Middle East and North Africa took action for social, political and economic change in 2011; the Lebanese, meanwhile, largely stood silently by as their country continued to revel in sectarianism and a sham ‘democracy’. No more can we claim to be more enlightened or forward thinking than our Arab brethren. What has

Energy short of solutions

Reading Time: 6 minutes Lebanon has spent enough money to build enough nuclear power plants to power the country several times over and still suffers from chronic power cuts and losses. According to the energy ministry, this year the country should lose around $3.9 billion from inaction in the electricity sector, or almost 10 percent of our economy’s estimated

Charged with tragic comedy

Reading Time: 3 minutes Lebanon’s political theater played out another scene last month with a host of government actors trying to elbow their way to centerstage, propped up by a supporting cast of journalists and media figures. Entitled “Utterly Missing the Point”, the plot of this tragic comedy pitted these two groups in a mischievous conspiracy against the Lebanese

Electricity: Crumbling Behind the Country

Reading Time: 11 minutes Officially charged with powering the nation, Electricité du Liban (EDL) is today perhaps the epitome of Lebanon’s political ineptitude, and one that nearly pulled the plug on the fledgling cabinet last month. EDL started with promise in the mid-1960s when architect Pierre Neema modeled headquarters in East Beirut’s Mar Mikhael district in a ‘Brazilesque’ architectural