Opinion articles

Beware the bully

Beware the bully

Reading Time: 5 minutes It is a wild and wondrous time. Almost a Big Bang moment. If all goes perfectly, Lebanon in April and May 2018 laid crucial seeds for a dual process of political maturation and economic resurrection. The two-month long excitement began with better than anticipated commitments from the CEDRE conference, an immense hope for billions of

Pursuit of excellence

Reading Time: 2 minutes The vicious survival cycle that Lebanese corporates are stuck in comes at a price. To sustain their existence, they have to constantly bend the rules and outsmart the system, while suffering the inefficiencies and lack of vision that come from the absence of the state. In short, corporates adhere to a short-term management style, winging

The patriarchy problem

Reading Time: 3 minutes Lebanese voters will head to the ballot boxes in just a few days. One of the major changes to the electoral scene after thrice-delayed parliamentary elections has been the increase in the number of female candidates, up from 3 percent of overall candidates in 2009 to 14 percent this election. This time around 111 women

Behind the talk

Reading Time: 5 minutes April was a milestone month, not one of celebration but of remembrance. Forty-three years ago last month is considered the start of the country’s civil war that drove many Lebanese to emigrate, displaced others, and killed many more, in addition to the 17,000 who cannot be accounted for. Beside the human toll, the civil war

Break the chains

Reading Time: 2 minutes Watching the fifth masquerade of national elections since my return to Lebanon, I cannot help but recall Amin Maalouf’s masterpiece, “The Rock of Tanios.” In Maalouf’s tale there is an Ottoman sheikh of a mountain village who collects taxes and recruits the able to fight the empire’s wars. In return for his allegiance to the

Taxes 101

Reading Time: 2 minutes As evidenced by recent surveys and public polls, Lebanese are disenchanted with their overall tax system and consider their obligation to pay taxes a burden. But they are decrying the many defects of their tax system without even understanding it. According to a national survey conducted in 2012 by the Institut des Finances Basil Fuleihan

This won’t be easy

Reading Time: 4 minutes This month, Lebanon will send a delegation of state officials to Paris to pitch an infrastructure development program dubbed the Capital Investment Plan (CIP) to the international community and private investors. Alongside the CIP officials will also unveil an economic vision, fiscal discipline measures, and structural and sectoral reforms. Of the four, Executive has only

L’espoir fait vivre

Reading Time: 2 minutes On March 27, before addressing an auditorium filled with our best scholars, academics, researchers, journalists, intellectuals, and experts who have dedicated their lives for this nation, I asked if any of them was granted access to or had seen or even touched one page of the Capital Investment Plan (CIP) CEDRE project—the answer was a

Mother Lebanon

Reading Time: < 1 minute Beirut is depicted as a woman by many renowned artists, like Palestinian cartoonist Naji al-Ali, who—during the 1982 Israeli invasion—drew a caricature of his iconic character Handala offering a flower through a hole in the wall to a woman that he named Beirut. She is the patient carrier of our painful history, she is the

A tale of two worlds

Reading Time: 2 minutes Lebanon’s election season has begun. With it comes hatred, spite, segregation, animosity, and the most vicious deception imaginable. Desperate to sway votes in their favor, our narrow-minded politicians have one strategy in their playbook: isolate and manipulate. Playing on ignorance and fear, they further divide our already fraught communities. Last month we witnessed just how

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