Author Archives: Yasser Akkaoui

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

On your own

If you moved back to Lebanon after the civil war during your late 20s with the dream of rebuilding the nation—and of course, haven’t held any public office—we predict you’re going to be working until you drop dead. Yes, Lebanese are known to be successful entrepreneurs—it’s a reputation that a few outliers have given us—but

On the frontlines

The worst kind of despair is the type that creeps in over time and contaminates our behavior, our character, and our life, becoming routine. We have survived wars, but never have Lebanese felt as exiled from the world as during the last seven years, and this has created an anxiety that manifests itself in how

Trickle down trash

The destructive nature of the Lebanese never ceases to bewilder. While we claim to be the most civilized nation in the Levant, we have managed to slowly hollow out our mountains, toxify our rivers, turn our seaside into landfills, and contaminate our air with heavy metals and cancerous fumes—and we do not even care. With

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