Opinion articles

The ‘Shiitization’ of Syria

The ‘Shiitization’ of Syria

Reading Time: 3 minutes The latest conspiracy theory to grip the Middle East is theShiite Crescent – an emerging Iranian-backed Shiite alliancestretching westward from Iran to Lebanon that threatensAmerica’s Sunni allies in the region. In the arch’skeystone, Syria, many say a Shiite takeover is in the works.Syria is majority Sunni Muslim, but it is ruled by the Assadregime, which

Selling a war

Reading Time: 3 minutes Even the most brilliant propaganda technique will yield nosuccess, unless one principle is borne in mind: the messagemust confine itself to a few points and repeat them over andover,” said former Nazi propaganda minister, JosephGoebbels. Goebbels may have committed suicide on May 1, 1945, but hisgolden rule of “simplicity and repetition” is still thebackbone of

Beirut on my mind

Reading Time: 2 minutes Traveling is on everyone’s mind. Try listening to some ofthe very popular horoscope shows and you will inadvertentlyhear: “Fi safar?” Any travel plans? As opportunities foreducated, professional people diminish in Lebanon, all eyesstart to turn abroad. Most of the people looking to traveltend to be young men in search of better opportunities inother countries. But

Iraqi refugee catastrophe

Reading Time: 3 minutes One of the world’s largest refugee crises is underway in theMiddle East. It has been going on for the last four years,but judging by the scant attention the issue receives inWashington DC, London and in the Western media, you wouldn’tthink so. I’m referring to the Iraqi refugee crisis. According to UN figures there are an

Time for change

Reading Time: 3 minutes On May 8, Minister of Economy and Trade Sami Haddad said hewould submit a bill to the cabinet to streamline the existing business registration process in Lebanon byintroducing “one of a series of reform initiatives that will help create a business friendly environment in the country.” Talk of reform may seem particularly hollow as parliament

On the A380

Reading Time: 3 minutes It was the sort of invitation most people would avoid at allcosts: ‘Please come and spend two hours flying on a planethat seats 550 – and end up where you started.’ But I could barely contain my glee! Of course I accepted. It was aticket to ride on the Airbus A380 – nicknamed the Superjumbo–

Human development at last!

Reading Time: 3 minutes Not many international meetings close in an optimistic mood.The phrases “failed to agree” or “agreed to meet again” arementioned far too often at the conclusion of such events.But last month’s meeting of the World Economic Forum was abit different. Convened in Jordan, the Forum brought together an impressivelist of international and regional leaders at a

Letter from the GULF – Labor of love for the UAE

Reading Time: 3 minutes It was recently announced that beginning next year on May1, workers in the United Arab Emirates will be honored liketheir colleagues elsewhere in the world. For until now, theUAE has not recognized Labor Day and it is ironic that acountry so dependent on labor, particularly migrant labor,has never taken the time to thank those whose

The Middle East roundtable

Reading Time: 2 minutes The recent World Economic Forum was held under the banner“Putting Diversity to Work.” For in the Arab world,diversity is a tool for conflict. This was borne out inspades at one particular session at the WEF when two panels,one made up of a Saudi, an Iranian and another comprising aPalestinian, an Israeli and two Americans (one

Inside Intel‘s brain: A talk with the boss

Reading Time: 6 minutes As part of Intel’s efforts to promote the use oftechnology with communities around the world and as arepresentative of the “Partnership for Lebanon,” IntelChairman Craig Barrett visited Lebanon last month. He alsospoke to Executive How does the American Lebanese partnership andthe Berytech fund you contributed to, fit into the UnitedNations’ Global alliance for ICT you