Author Archives: Yasser Akkaoui

No more lies

No more lies

Reading Time: 2 minutes It’s only during crisis that truth comes to light. As everyone scrambles into new positions, reality is revealed. Each time the Lebanese equation changes, players let their masks slip in their bid to defend their slice of what remains. The violations that are perpetrated in the process are often so flagrant that forgiveness seems impossible. 

Time to rise above

Reading Time: 2 minutes Executive has been shouting over and over again for change in this country, calling the bluffs of successive governments in our more than 20 years of coverage. At times, it seemed as though we were screaming into the void. Ignored by the policy-makers, targeted by threats and lawsuits, and resigned to the lack of reaction

Le monde du plus fort ou du plus fou

Reading Time: 2 minutes French anthropologist Marc Augé coined the phrase “non-lieu” (non-place) in the mid-1990s to describe places where considerations of history and identity were erased—think shopping malls or airports. Listening to him speak in Lebanon earlier in September got me thinking, Lebanon is the antithesis of a non-lieu. Every space in Lebanon is linked to our history

A plane in the sky

Reading Time: < 1 minute You can no longer live in denial, just clicking on what interests you in this fake voyeur world. Stop looking the other way, reality is now upon us. Swiping left is no longer an option. The drums of war have been resonating closer and stronger from the Persian Gulf, Yemen, Iraq, and Syria adding to

It is about credibility

Reading Time: 2 minutes The concluding statement of the IMF’s Article IV consultations includes the following sentence: “Rebalancing the economy in the current framework of an exchange rate peg requires strong implementation of a large and credible fiscal adjustment and ambitious structural reforms.”  Here at Executive this sentence sparked cynical jokes. We sensed from the reaction from our politicians,

Groundhog Day

Reading Time: 2 minutes Some repetitions have become part of our routine; it is amazing what human beings can learn to accept. We have become used to daily power cuts, as the electricity switches back and forth between state supply and generator, and to water shortages in the summer and waiting for private companies to refill the tanks. We

Best case scenario?

Reading Time: 2 minutes After missing self-imposed deadline after deadline, our cabinet has finally agreed on the terms of the reformist budget, passed to Parliament on May 30 for more bickering. Never mind that it is now June, and we still have no budget set for 2019. Nor that projected rate of reduction of the budget deficit seems more

Trust in nature

Reading Time: 2 minutes The government’s latest push toward reforms has uncovered just how incompetent our political class truly are. It almost makes you wish they had not even started. Before, the Lebanese had hope that one day their politicians would be backed into a corner and forced to make the necessary changes for the good of the country.

A trap of their own making

Reading Time: 2 minutes It has been a year since Lebanon agreed on a path out of its crises, promising to undertake serious reform efforts in exchange for the $11 billion pledged by the international community at CEDRE. The nine months after CEDRE were primarily spent on political bargaining and government formation, all built on the hope that these

Dismantling privilege

Reading Time: 2 minutes A friend of mine, an ex-minister, once told me, “The Lebanese system works perfectly, like clockwork—but in all the wrong ways.” The money pledged by the international community at CEDRE requires long overdue structural reforms on our part. Take the deficit caused through subsidizing the failing public utility Electricité du Liban (EDL). To actually fix

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