Opinion articles

The case for increased cycling in Lebanon

The case for increased cycling in Lebanon

Worldwide, the bicycle is making a comeback as part of the future of sustainable cities. Here in Beirut, despite appearances, there is the potential to foster a bike-friendly city. Beirut’s small size, compact urban form, organic and narrow street structure, and the inter-connectivity of neighborhoods make it an ideal city to cycle in. Even the

Transport is transforming and Lebanon must keep up

When compared to political revolutions, it has never been exactly clear what economic revolutions entail nor how long they take. But it is clear that these economic revolutions combine multiple change and adaptation processes, whether one talks of periods of fundamental economic transformation as “revolutions,” beginning with the first agricultural revolution in the fertile crescent

Groundhog Day

Some repetitions have become part of our routine; it is amazing what human beings can learn to accept. We have become used to daily power cuts, as the electricity switches back and forth between state supply and generator, and to water shortages in the summer and waiting for private companies to refill the tanks. We

A potentially important step toward a new social contract

As a democracy, Lebanon has a sovereign. This sovereign—which the constitution affirms to be the people of Lebanon—has, for the longest time, appeared remarkably unconcerned over a very specific dereliction of duty by its public officials. The dereliction in question was the government’s serial failure to produce a sane, credible, and timely budget, and the

Press freedom in Lebanon today

At the time when it is essential for the press to be independent, when everyone should be investing their efforts into safeguarding the well-being of the press, instead, the world over, there are economic, religious, political, and legal pressures that are controlling the freedom of expression of journalists, media outlets, and even citizens themselves. Freedom

Best case scenario?

After missing self-imposed deadline after deadline, our cabinet has finally agreed on the terms of the reformist budget, passed to Parliament on May 30 for more bickering. Never mind that it is now June, and we still have no budget set for 2019. Nor that projected rate of reduction of the budget deficit seems more

‘Normalization’ with Israel is a flawed policy

Realities are becoming increasingly unreal in an ever more volatile region. Expectation of the Netanyahu government formally annexing Palestinian land—with the excuse that they are only confirming the reality of Israeli rule—means 2019 is going to be a dangerous one in the Middle East. At the heart of the current mess is a “normalization” policy

Freshwater sites need to be protected and promoted

Various stakeholders—from the current and previous ministers of tourism and heads of hospitality-related syndicates to restaurant operators and local retail business owners—have all said that tourism was a main driver of the Lebanese economy. Speaking at a March conference on tourism entitled “Towards Sustainable Tourism,” Prime Minister Hariri said he believed that the total contribution

Trust in nature

The government’s latest push toward reforms has uncovered just how incompetent our political class truly are. It almost makes you wish they had not even started. Before, the Lebanese had hope that one day their politicians would be backed into a corner and forced to make the necessary changes for the good of the country.

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