Author Archives: Yasser Akkaoui

Groundhog Day

Groundhog Day

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?

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

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

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

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

Here we go … again

We have a new government and even the most skeptical among us is relieved. Of the 30 ministers, a handful are promising, young, dedicated men and women who have honorable records. It is our hope that these new faces will be able to maintain their untarnished reputations and demonstrate their ability to deliver what is needed in

Turning point

In its 20 years of reporting, rarely has this magazine witnessed a Lebanon that feels as vulnerable as it does today. It seems that the Lebanese citizen has totally surrendered under the weight of seven long years of geopolitical turmoil, which has depleted our self-confidence and enthusiasm along with our economic resources and infrastructure. The

You can’t handle the truth

Our naive and simple minds have proven time and time again to be susceptible to transparent excuses. They shield us from accepting the facts on the ground and allow us to orbit in an imaginary reality instead—one that suits our ambitions and aspirations. Sometimes reality is so unacceptable, it needs to be absorbed and digested,

Going it alone

The conventional wisdom of the Lebanese real estate market, and I’m sure the readers of this magazine have heard it a million times, is: “The value of real estate never goes down.” Making it the undisputed bulletproof investment or saving tool that we have adopted through generations. Our real estate industry is accustomed to riding

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