Reimagining an alternative Lebanon

Reading Time: 3 minutes The unthinkable has finally happened. A stubborn sectarian system, undergirded by a peculiar postwar political economy, and sustained by institutional and disciplinary practices geared toward reproducing sectarian modes of identification and mobilization, has finally given way. This is a story that can be traced back to the mid-19th century, when the dislocations created by overlapping

A perspective on the solutions offered in last-ditch efforts of old government

Reading Time: 8 minutes The government’s economic rescue plan has been rendered theoretical. The political context of its presentation reveals real dimension of governance failings in the past two years. Analysis of the plan’s composition shows it to be disparate and desperate. Economic reality will require huge efforts beyond the scope of the last plan. What to do with

Uprising

Reading Time: 2 minutes October 17: Protesters set fire in Downtown on Thursday on the first day of the revolts.  October 18: Demonstrations continued with protestors closing roads in downtown.  October 20: Sunday’s protest was the largest gathering in Downtown since February 2005.  October 22: This photo depicts elements of an open air carnival in Riad el-Solh.  October 23:

Lebanon’s uprising has potential ripple-on effects

Reading Time: 8 minutes As the aftermath of the Arab Spring saw the Levant descend into another iteration of political posturing and advantage seeking of what in earlier times was often derogatorily called Levantine behavior, Iraqi-Lebanese journalist Husain Abdul-Husain shared his dismay. In a story published five years ago, he drew as his conclusion from a decade of Iraqi,

Time to rise above

Reading Time: 2 minutes Executive has been shouting over and over again for change in this country, calling the bluffs of successive governments in our more than 20 years of coverage. At times, it seemed as though we were screaming into the void. Ignored by the policy-makers, targeted by threats and lawsuits, and resigned to the lack of reaction

Le monde du plus fort ou du plus fou

Reading Time: 2 minutes French anthropologist Marc Augé coined the phrase “non-lieu” (non-place) in the mid-1990s to describe places where considerations of history and identity were erased—think shopping malls or airports. Listening to him speak in Lebanon earlier in September got me thinking, Lebanon is the antithesis of a non-lieu. Every space in Lebanon is linked to our history

Oil and gas will not save Lebanon

Reading Time: 3 minutes As Lebanon races to enter the new oil producers club, decision-makers display a dangerous tendency to put all hopes on this uncertain sector and label it as the economic savior. This goes against the advice of Lebanese experts who have been warning against a “presource” curse  (the underperformance of economic growth after a commercial discovery,

Challenging misconceptions about Lebanese wine

Reading Time: 5 minutes There is a negative perception of Lebanese wine that views it as overpriced and headache-inducing. This perception may even be shared by some readers of this piece. Luckily, those in the retail and hospitality industries who sell local wine say that this misconception is changing over time. There is a vast range of Lebanese wines

Lebanon must learn from New World wines’ successes

Reading Time: 7 minutes Lebanon has one of the oldest wine heritages in the world. It has been producing and trading wine for the past 6,000 years; is home to the world’s largest Bacchus temple, dedicated to the god of wine; and one of its cities, Botrys (Batroun), was named after the ancient Greek for grape bunch. Under Ottoman

In search of Lebanese wine’s identity

Reading Time: 8 minutes Although Lebanon has a rich history of wine production, dating back to the Phoenicians who used to trade it, it has only recently reached a high level of maturity that often leads to introspection and a questioning of identity. The last decade saw the number of wineries in Lebanon go up from about 20 to

Developments in Lebanon’s wine sector

Reading Time: 5 minutes Late August and September were harvest months for Lebanon’s wineries, and the energy across vineyards, whether in Batroun or the Bekaa valley, was palatable. From grape picking at dawn to Fête des Vendanges brunches (post-harvest celebrations) that stretched until sunset; from gathering around a table de tri (sorting table) for destemming to tasting that first

Lebanese delivery apps eye growth in grocery e-commerce

Reading Time: 7 minutes In 2019, it seems almost any consumer good can be delivered to your door in Lebanon through a quick phone call, WhatsApp, or click online. E-commerce has been available in Lebanon since at least 2000, when the Buy Lebanese website went live in November that year. In the MENA region, the e-commerce market reached $8.3

Reforms to the Lebanese electricity sector beset by delays

Reading Time: 11 minutes The September 15 attack on Saudi oil facilities that temporarily wiped out 5 percent of global supply did more than trigger a short-term oil trading frenzy with wild price jumps on international markets. It put into sharp relief the issue of Lebanon’s dependency on fossil fuel and—most important in the context of dismal fiscal health—its

UAE emerging as a global innovator in AI

Reading Time: 5 minutes The past few decades have seen major advances in the field of artificial intelligence (AI). As a result, AI has become a transformative business force, specifically in the technology sector. Numerous organizations are significantly expanding their use of AI tools and services, with 2018 a landmark year for this trend. Supporting technologies, such as computational

Eugene Kaspersky on how to protect industry in the IoT age

Reading Time: 14 minutes On his first visit to Lebanon, Russian cybersecurity magnate Eugene Kaspersky divided his time between discussions with ministries, long-time banking clients, and visits to the country’s famed archeological sites. In between, he took time to sit down with a few media entities. In an interview that was arranged as a joint meeting of Kaspersky with

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