Opinion articles

Existential warfare: The year of truth and shock

Sadly, but also realistically, one could not blame an economic analyst for pronouncing Lebanon a lost cause in 2020. The numbers are not only disturbing, but unrestrainedly disastrous. Moreover, these numbers not only exist in arcane accountancy details, but they prevail wherever one cares to look, whether that is the macro-economy or fiscal realities. And

The untold story of the last 12 months

Lebanon is not a country by any easy definition. Whatever your preference in terminology, when talking about a community of people in terms of country or nation there are classic denominators involved that are either geographic, or social and cultural, but always framed as coherent and continuous. But Lebanon? Territorially, linguistically, historically, religiously, ethnically, even

The Knowledge Economy

When I was appointed Minister of State for Investments and Technology (MSIT) in February 2019, I was thrilled to champion the most promising and vibrant economic sector in Lebanon. Technology is often reduced to mean “iPhone” or “app”, but the term can also refer to a rocket, a vaccine, a driverless car or a smart

Politics and the labor market

I first came to Lebanon in the late 1990s to lead a development organization’s mission on labor and social protection. Since then, a lot has happened: in 2000, Israel pulled back from southern Lebanon to the international borderline; in 2005, prime minister Rafik Hariri was assassinated, and many others were murdered before and after him;

Winter is coming to crisis-hit Lebanon

For Neji*, the two-room apartment he shares with seven other men was supposed to be a refuge. Six years ago, he fled his home in Syria to escape the bombings that haunted ordinary life there. Last month, he narrowly survived the shockwave from Lebanon’s largest explosion as it tore through his neighborhood a mere kilometer

Lebanese poverty rates swell across income groups

Over the past year, Lebanon has experienced an onslaught of multiple growth shocks including a banking and exchange-rate crisis, an outbreak of COVID-19, and an explosion that has claimed large swathes of Beirut’s commercial centre and a bulk of trade facilities. These new shocks add to the longer-standing economic and financial crunch that have swelled

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