Comment articles

Real change is in our hands

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

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

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

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

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

Lebanon’s doppelgänger

Imagine a country with a mix of ancient and modern cultures and religions, and 6000 years of history. Imagine a country where women and men are equally educated, and where technology and innovation combine. Imagine a country with some of the highest Human Development Indicators (HDI) in the region but with a labor potential that

It stinks

Driving home to Verdun after dinner in Badaro in late July, I thought I’d somehow slipped back in time to the 1980s. I looked down at my steering wheel. I was not in a DeLorean, so it wasn’t time travel. But it sure felt like a war zone. The streetlights were out, but the roads

Combating a global scourge

Child labor afflicts over 160 million children worldwide, according to the International Labor Organization (ILO) — making it one of the most pressing human rights issues globally. Fortunately, the response of the international community to the phenomenon has been immense. The 96 year old ILO first addressed the problem with the adoption of the Minimum

A need to even the playing field

Recently, CEOs of high growth companies were asked by Inc. magazine to pick their most admired entrepreneur. It turned out that the majority opted for Elon Musk (founder and CEO of Tesla Motors and SpaceX), Richard Branson (founder of the Virgin Group), Mark Cuban (known to the larger public via the show ‘Shark Tank’; he