Comment articles

The will to prevail

The will to prevail

Reading Time: 2 minutes In 2015, many of the reasons behind Lebanon’s built-in logjam came to the surface. The garbage crisis is the case in point that best illustrates how the whole system is rotten to the core. Beyond our government’s inability to preemptively devise solutions to imminent perils, we watched as priorities were often confused and demands articulated

Time to act

Reading Time: 4 minutes Lebanon has been severely affected by the Syrian crisis that erupted in early 2011. The signs are evident everywhere, starting from a massive refugee presence, which is now more than one quarter of the population and outstrips the ratio of refugees-to-population in any other country inside and outside the region. But while refugees are fleeing

Time to wake up

Reading Time: 6 minutes Following deadly attacks such as the ones that struck Paris in November 2015, western leaders and the media largely focus on increasing security measures and closing borders in order to keep ‘terrorists’ – which to some is synonymous with keeping refugees – at bay. This policy of closing borders is not new, however, and is

Lebanon’s failing grade

Reading Time: 3 minutes Lebanon’s seasonal rains brought with them more than the usual road chaos this year. Trash that had been left on sidewalks as a result of the government’s self-inflicted garbage crisis floated down the streets, sending a stark reminder of the impending health disaster. Despite the multiple emergencies, Lebanon’s problems – like its garbage – are

Rethinking governance

Reading Time: 3 minutes The recent garbage crisis has managed to expose a myriad of problems which exist in our political system. Among these is the failure of the government not only to properly deliver a basic service like waste collection, but to decide how to deliver such a service through a transparent, collaborative process. In other words, the

Real change is in our hands

Reading Time: 2 minutes The social contract between the state and the people is broken. It had been crumbling for a long time. We’re reminded of the state’s failures every month when we pay two electricity bills and every summer when we pay two water bills. For decades we’ve made concession after concession, the worst being acceptance of the

Police brutality in Lebanon

Reading Time: 3 minutes The images of police and soldiers violently repressing demonstrators gathered in downtown Beirut on August 22 to protest the garbage crisis and political corruption sent shock waves through Lebanese society. Security forces beat unarmed protesters, turned water cannons on journalists, and fired rubber bullets towards fleeing crowds. The security forces even shot live bullets into

Five human rights priorities for Lebanon

Reading Time: 3 minutes 1 Torture victims Torture and ill-treatment remain a serious problem in Lebanese detention facilities and jails. Documented cases range from security forces beating a janitor suspected of theft during his interrogation, to members of the intelligence services subjecting security suspects to systematic torture over several days. An October 2014 UN report found that “Torture in

Lebanon at a crossroads

Reading Time: 2 minutes There is nothing more humiliating than watching our political class continue with its usual dirty business while young people are being beaten and shot at in the street. The complete disrespect for our health, future and nation is so vulgar and in our face that we simply cannot, and should not, take it anymore. What’s

Building socially responsible corporate cultures

Reading Time: 3 minutes Corporate social responsibility (CSR) largely refers to the responsibility of an organization — whether it be a corporation, a governmental body or a nonprofit organization — to its stakeholder, the wider society and environment. The mainstream view is that organizations, as ‘corporate citizens,’ ought to be accountable to and responsible for the consequences of their