Special report: Lebanese-Brazilians

I have recently completed a month-long trip to Brazil in which I was reporting extensively on the Lebanese-Brazilian diaspora (and watching the World Cup!) For those that don’t know, there are perhaps twice as many Brazilians of Lebanese descent as there are people inside Lebanon itself. They are also hugely powerful and economically successful. As […]

‘This generation of Syrians may be lost if we don’t get help’

This article originally appeared in the Times Education Supplement Elias Bou Saab, Lebanon’s new minister of education, does not mince his words. “Without more support, the Lebanese education system may collapse. It is that serious,” he says. The population of the small Middle Eastern country, home to just over 4 million citizens, has swollen by […]

Aid workers adjust to increasing violence in Lebanon

This article was published by IRIN, the UN’s press service, on March 3 BEIRUT, 3 March 2014 (IRIN) – A few weeks ago, the head of security for a charity in Lebanon got the kind of call you never want to get. “One of our staff has been kidnapped,” the voice on the other end […]

Child labor climbs among Iraqi refugees in Lebanon

This article was published by IRIN, the UN’s press service, on February 4 BEIRUT, 3 February 2014 (IRIN) – Ali Al Wasate may only be 13, but he has been forced to grow up. No longer in school, he has begun the painstaking search for work to help his family pay the bills in Beirut, […]

Lebanon wary as Hague trial begins

This article was published by IRIN on 15 January These are worrying times for Lebanon; in late December a bomb exploded in the capital, Beirut, killing a former finance minister as well as at least four others. Days later, on 2 January, a car bomb in a southern suburb of the city killed five. Though […]

‘These kids have nothing. They come here to forget’

This article was originally featured in The Times Education Supplement The clouds in Lebanon’s eastern Bekaa region may be darkening as the winter storms set in, but Ahmed Saab shows few signs of negativity. Gesticulating widely, he swings open a door to a room full of smiling children, who promptly stand to greet their headteacher. […]

Why Lebanon’s stimulus package is doomed…

This article first appeared at Executive Magazine on 14 January 2013 When Riad Salameh, the governor of Banque du Liban (BDL), Lebanon’s central bank, announced in November $800 million for a new stimulus package to help the economy grow in 2014 — he was perhaps guilty of overstatement. While there will be $800 million made […]

Property rights lacking for Palestinians

This article originally appeared on IRIN, the United Nations’ press wire. “If they throw us out, we will end up in the sea,” Zahar Sayed Ghadbaan says, her anger not entirely disguised by the joking tone. “We have nowhere else to go but here,” she says, gesturing towards the small hand-built home with a corrugated […]

Allegations of malpractice in Lebanon’s oil and gas sector

This investigation was originally published in Executive Magazine.   Lebanese politicians are the least trustworthy in the world, or so its people think — in last month’s World Economic Forum’s Global Competitiveness Report the country scored 148th out of 148 in the ‘public trust in politicians’ category. The oil and gas industry is among the […]