Author Archives: Yasser Akkaoui

Bin Laden’s last laugh

Bin Laden’s last laugh

On May 2nd, television cameras broadcast around the worldimages of jubilant crowds at ‘Ground Zero’ in New York, in front of the WhiteHouse and across the United States celebrating the killing of the figurativeleader of Al Qaeda in Abbottabad, Pakistan. While many Americans may view thedeath of Osama bin Laden as an emotionally cathartic ‘closing

We are under attack

Whether or not the accusations against Lebanese Canadian Bank are true, whether or not there is substance to the rumors that there is a list of banks yet to be targeted, we have to assume that doing business in Lebanon is now fundamentally different than it was just months ago. And not only is the

Time to boycott failure

It is a measure of how far Lebanon has come in recent years that a new roof is being placed on the synagogue in the Beirut Central District. It is also a reflection of Lebanon’s unique multi-faith make-up and the country’s tolerance for all religions. But tolerance alone does not make a strong state. It

Oblivious to oblivion

It doesn’t take a massive intellect — just common sense — to realize that the link between security and prosperity is inextricable. In the Middle East, one might have thought that experience would have borne this out, and yet many nations still don’t calculate the effects of the increased risk — the “value at risk”

A bane unto ourselves

Why is it that we Lebanese fall into the same trap every time our instincts take control? Since 2005 and the outrageous assassination of former Prime Minister Rafiq Hariri, we have seen Lebanon’s hard won equity eroded by political killings, instability, full- scale war, economic decline and civil unrest. During this period, Lebanon has lost

The silver lining of crisis

It’s that time of year again, but this time the party hats and horns are being distributed with a bit more caution than in previous years. Depending on who you listen to, the world is sinking into an economic crisis that could match the great depression that followed the Wall Street crash of 1929. Certainly

Seven times destroyed, seven times rebuilt

Last month’s so-called election of a Lebanese President must have seemed to international onlookers an event drenched in degradation, an example of both how low Lebanon’s politicians have sunk and allowed themselves to be manipulated by those who claimed to be their friends — and those the politicians vowed to fight because they sought to

Diversity within identity

January may be upon us and stretching out blue and gray. But, to generate some cheer, it is worth reflecting on the positive impact of Christmas in the Middle East. Despite the contradictory motifs of snow and cosy Victorian cheer, the Christian tradition was born in Bethlehem, Palestine. However it is also worth remembering that

A different focus

This year’s Executive Facts and Forecasts has picked three nations in the MENA region that it believes best represents its economic heartbeat: an emerging Sudan, a thrusting UAE and a Lebanon that is in transition but which has potential in abundance. One of the exciting stories of the past years has been the resurgence of

Value before reality

I recently witnessed at the house of a Polish friend a card game that went on for hours and during which 20 players around the same table had to wait longish periods for their turn to play. I noticed that when the players were not “in” the game, they were deep in furious discussion. “What

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