Comment articles

Financial barriers stand in the way of breast cancer screening

Financial barriers stand in the way of breast cancer screening

Reading Time: 5 minutes “If I am diagnosed with breast cancer, my husband would need to sell our house to pay the medical expenses,” says Hanaa, a 52-year-old woman from Abba, south Lebanon. Hanaa worries about not being able to afford the cost of breast cancer-related tests and treatment. Likewise, Zeina, a 45-year-old from Mina, north Lebanon, says, “We

The impetus for change

Reading Time: 6 minutes Shareholder activism has experienced a revival and is now growing in influence globally as an effective tool to transform companies by unlocking share price value and improving their strategic vision and governance tactics. The phenomenon of shareholder activism is not new. When it started back in the 1980s, it sparked numerous controversies due to the

A long time in the making

Reading Time: 4 minutes The PPP law, formally known as Law 48 Regulating Public Private Partnerships, was first proposed as a draft by Cabinet in 2007. It was not until September 2017 that it was passed by Parliament and published in the Official Gazette. In other words, it took lawmakers ten years to pass the PPP law. Back in

How far can Lebanon go with transparency measures in its oil and gas sector?

Reading Time: 4 minutes Last year, Lebanon signed two contracts to explore potential oil and gas resources in its offshore waters. It took the authorities nearly four years to close the country’s first offshore licensing round, with the two contracts awarded to a consortium of companies—France’s Total, Italy’s ENI, and Russia’s Novatek—for two blocks, one in Lebanon’s northern waters

Is CEDRE a last chance or a mirage?

Reading Time: 7 minutes Half a year has passed since CEDRE, the economic conference for development through reforms with the private sector, the latest in a long line of international conferences aimed at propping up an unstable Lebanon. It seems like a good moment to ask what past initiatives and recent developments can tell us about CEDRE’s political context

The fate of Syrian refugees in Lebanon

Reading Time: 5 minutes Recent news reports have surfaced on a possible United States-Russia deal to arrange for the return of refugees to Syria—reports that coincided both with the announcement that thousands of Syrians have died in regime prisons, and with one of the worst massacres in the conflict, perpetrated by ISIS in the city of Swaida. The US-Russia

The perils of sending refugees back to Syria

Reading Time: 4 minutes As the Syrian government retakes territories across the country and active conflict narrows to smaller areas, questions about how and when refugees will return to Syria are on many people’s minds. The questions are spurred in no small part by the eagerness of Syria’s neighbors, including Lebanon, to see these refugees leave. On July 26,

Let’s have a serious talk about drugs

Reading Time: 4 minutes The cannabis debate never completely goes away in Lebanon. This is not surprising, given that the country is a major producer and consumer of the psychoactive plant. Everyone who is anyone has an opinion on the drug, usually expressed through impactless sound bites. The discussion was reignited on June 18 by an Internal Security Forces

Refugee rights not up for debate

Reading Time: 4 minutes In the past month, Lebanon has seen a number of troubling developments regarding the presence of Syrian refugees, with leading politicians heightening calls for the return of refugees to Syria and making unfounded accusations of an international conspiracy to settle them in Lebanon. As countries around the world have turned their backs on refugees, Lebanon

No growth without reform

Reading Time: 4 minutes Within a period of six weeks last spring, Lebanon received an attentive treatment from the international community. On March 15 in Rome, an international meeting was held to support Lebanon’s armed and security forces. Afterwards in Paris on April 6, world leaders convened to offer Lebanon substantial foreign aid to bolster its economy at the