Opinion articles

Political uncertainly, economic suicide

Political uncertainly, economic suicide

Reading Time: 3 minutes As Lebanon ended the year 2006 in a spell of indecision and instability, alarmingly little attention was given to what arguably may be, short of war, the most debilitating result of the country’s political deadlock: economic collapse. The giant bubble of confidence that has, miraculously, kept Lebanon afloat financially in the last decade will not

Dealing with Iran

Reading Time: 3 minutes Iran’s influence in the region and the Islamic world will likely continue to increase in 2007, as the United States fails to come up with credible strategies for managing Iraq or for reaching international consensus on Tehran’s nuclear program. If Washington is serious about talks, however, Iran may gradually return to the less confrontational style

Regime Change in D.C.

Reading Time: 3 minutes Be careful what you wish for. President George W. Bush and his close circle of neoconservatives wanted regime change … and they got it. Okay, it was not exactly what they wished for. Bush had hoped for regime change in parts of the greater Middle East. Instead, it came to Washington, DC. As expected, the

The rich just keep getting richer

Reading Time: 3 minutes The ultra rich—those who hold more than $30 million each—have increased their assets by 8.5% to $33.3 trillion in 2005 from $30.7 trillion in 2004, Merrill Lynch and Capgemini said in their 2006 World Wealth Report (WWR). The Middle Eastern share of high net-wealth individuals (HNWI) in 2005 amounted to $1.2 trillion, representing the strongest

Contemporary art in the Gulf: time for a renaissance?

Reading Time: 3 minutes In May 2006, Christie’s held its first-ever auction in the Middle East, a sale of international contemporary art with an emphasis on Arab and Iranian works. All expectations were shattered: more than $8.5 million worth of art was sold, and a second auction is now planned for January 2007. Despite the absence of a strong

A year of tumultuous change and reversals

Reading Time: 2 minutes Lebanon is still a wildcard in the Syrian deck. The Syrians know it and the Lebanese know the Syrians know it, so they will only have themselves to blame if they allow Damascus an entrée back into Beirut because of their inability to get along. Imagine the shame of being ruled—either directly or by remote

Real men negotiate with Tehran

Reading Time: 3 minutes North Korea’s nuclear test should remind the world that what counts in politics is results rather than rhetoric. Especially since the “Axis of Evil” speech of January 2002, the Bush administration has pursued ideology-based policies that have failed in the real world. The US has not achieved a basic level of success with any one

“They hate us for our freedoms”? If only they knew

Reading Time: 3 minutes Immediately after September 11, 2001, while the ruins of the World Trade Center still smoldered, some of the more thoughtful members of the punditocracy and the population asked the obvious question of why: “Why did this happen? What had the US done that was so bad?” For some—George W. Bush, for instance—the answer was clear.

High-speed Internet access still in the slow lane in Lebanon

Reading Time: 4 minutes For the past several months, a triumphant press release has been sitting on internet provider IDM’s homepage, gathering dust and providing, at the same time, one indication of how the government has been unable to address even small problems that seem to offer such unambiguously large rewards. “IDM,” the release reads, “Is pleased to announce

Statement of intent

Reading Time: 2 minutes When it was announced that we were expanding Executive’s content to cover the MENA region “from Morocco to Iraq,” many people asked if we were “evacuating” to Dubai. It must be made clear that this was never our intention. Executive is a Lebanese magazine that will develop around journalism, not advertising – and Lebanon has