Author Archives: Zak Brophy

Fall of the factories

Fall of the factories

Lebanon’s economy is dominated by banking, services, tourism and real estate, but there are scores of firms working in the productive sectors that are fighting to hold their own in circumstances that can at best be described as challenging. High operating costs, decrepit infrastructure and a dysfunctional body politic are assured burdens for Lebanon’s captains

Q&A: Nicolas Nahas

Buffeted by crises at home and abroad, the Lebanese economy stuttered in 2012 and closed the year unsteadily. Many laws currently stuck in the processes of  government could possibly bolster the country’s business environment and right the ship, but problems abound in passing them through Parliament, let alone their implementation. Executive met with Minister of

A cold, harsh year

It was never going to be an easy year for Lebanon. The economy entered 2012 with the International Monetary Fund pegging growth at only 1.5 percent for the previous year, war and economic crisis flanked the country, and among the only indicators rising in the face of falling growth was inflation. Now as the year

Offshore ineptitude

Lebanon entered 2012 with the resolute promise to tap “huge wealth” from offshore hydrocarbons. Determined to ride in the new year on a wave of applauding headlines, the Minister of Energy and Water Gebran Bassil announced the creation of the Petroleum Administration, paving the way for the sector’s evolution.  In January the ministry announced that

Mapping Syria’s armed opposition

To explore the armed opposition groups within Syria is to open a Pandora’s box in which hundreds of militias, battalions and brigades operate. The relations between the different players are fluid, dynamic and oftentimes opaque. As such this map cannot be considered comprehensive, exhaustive and exact, but rather a snapshot revealing the main forces that,

Syria’s workhorse dies with Aleppo

A dozen men stand in silence watching as others brick up the shattered storefront of an industrial hardware shop. A mortar strike blew apart its façade only hours ago in this northeastern section of Aleppo, and three hundred meters down the street fighting continues to rage between government forces and opposition fighters of the Free

Collusion over our heads

Protesters burning tires on the airport road and the tit-for-tat kidnappings gripping the nation’s attention may justly be blamed for diverting planes and visitors away from Lebanon. However, protectionism and expedient political maneuvering may be responsible for a more insidious affliction in the country’s civil aviation, and the saga at Beirut airport surrounding one relatively

Recalibrating for Ramadan

The holy month of Ramadan affects every aspect of a practicing Muslim’s personal and communal life. Business is no exception. And yet while companies and employers clearly need to adapt to accommodate the spiritual needs and obligations of their Muslim workforce, does this necessarily have to amount to a decrease in productivity? “Maintaining productivity during

Q&A – Ghazi Aridi

The Minister of Public Works and Transportation Ghazi Aridi is in charge of everything from the road networks to the aviation sector. What is more, he is one of three ministers representing the man who is tentatively holding the ruling coalition together: Walid Joumblatt. Executive met with the minister on August 13 for a sit

Pandering to the penny pinchers

The vitality of Lebanon’s economy is intrinsically linked to the annual influx of tourists laden with their foreign coin. It is little surprise then that the vagaries of this temperamental sector play a large role in determining the national mood. And yet while income from the tourism trade roughly constitutes a fifth to a third