Author Archives: Thomas Schellen

The formula to fill football seats

The formula to fill football seats

Reading Time: 3 minutes The Lebanese love for football warms my heart. The colors flying from windows, cars and street-corner stands during big tournaments like the Euro 2012 give me an emotional lift. The friendly coexistence of so many football allegiances — from England to Italy, France, Spain, Portugal and my native Germany — displayed this summer has a

Concepts of conception

Reading Time: 3 minutes Without children, there is no society. Thus any society that seeks perpetuity will support the raising of children and in some form provide toward needs such as nutrition, education and medical care. But what about financing the beginning of life when the biological method has misfired? Should artificial conception be funded by society, whether through

Short on solutions in Bahrain

Reading Time: 3 minutes By hosting a Formula 1 race in 2012, the Bahraini government was angling for attention on two fronts, positive publicity and economic benefit. Instead, they received mainly critical attention driven by human rights activism and popular outrage. Much less attention came when the International Monetary Fund (IMF) published its annual economic assessment known to market

Searching for a sense of perspective

Reading Time: 5 minutes Indices, indexes, rankings and ratings. Never have there been more measures competing for attention than today. At the end of May, two ranking reports with relevance to Arab markets were released within two days of each other. The International Finance Corporation released its Doing Business in the Arab World 2012 (DBAW 2012) report and the

A bridge to the future

Reading Time: 5 minutes In one of the more unexpected twists of the Egyptian migration to a fairer economy, collaboration of commercial and state interests in public-private partnerships (PPPs) could resurface before the end of this year to develop crucial and sorely lacking infrastructure. “If everything goes as we are planning, we will be tendering out one to two

The monster beneath us

Reading Time: 8 minutes A monster stirred under Lebanon last month. Not everyone felt it, but across the country came various reports on May 11 of buildings wobbling briefly like twigs in a breeze. The earthquake, measuring 5.5 on the Richter Scale, was only a reminder, however, for the people in Saida, Beirut and Tripoli, that the greatest potential

We’ve heard that joke before

Reading Time: 3 minutes April has the connotation of pulling people’s legs. On April 1, for example, Israel’s naval commander Major General Ram Rotenberg’s ordering of three vessels to prepare an overnight sail to Naples to commence a 10 day exercise. Reports on Israel Radio said officers and crew were not amused when they found out on Sunday morning,

Interview: Saad al-Barrak

Reading Time: 5 minutes The story of Arab telecommunications is rife with great achievements, rapid changes, sudden setbacks, and yet-to-be-realized potential. New technology, infrastructure and mass uptake have allowed the region’s information communications technology (ICT) sector to provide more exciting corporate tales than most other industries between Casablanca and Kuwait City could offer. The Arab ICT sector has also

Rooted in the roof

Reading Time: 5 minutes When people mess with botany in the design sort of way, you either get a sculpted garden or a jungle feeling. The former can be as totally enthralling as the Jardins du Château de Versailles, but at the economic cost of having to be manicured constantly and at the ecological expense of being and appearing

Views, Reviews, and Previews

Reading Time: 5 minutes The new book by Lebanese communications consultant and former ad-man Ramsay Najjar, “Views, Reviews, and Previews”, in intellectual association with Executive, is a tour de force of theories, recommendations and projections on the pivotal role of communications and journalism in the history of humanity, as well as in the unfolding of the Arab uprisings. Executive