Friday, December 15, 2017

When  Prime Minister Hariri of Lebanon resigned from the premiership early November, we all figured that the Lebanese government was about to collapse again, a year of a barely functioning government was too good to be true in Lebanon. 

‘There goes another opportunity for progress’ was a thought shared by many Lebanese,  at home and abroad. But in a very Lebanese fashion, The Hariri saga dragged on  for a couple weeks, without hinting what would happen. After  brief visits to France and Egypt, Hariri headed back to Beirut to celebrate Independence Day. 

After countless meetings with different parties and foreign officials, Hariri formally withdrew his resignation on December 5, citing productive meetings that implied an understanding with the other political organiza...

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

There was good news for Lebanon this past week. First of all, the International Support Group, meeting in Paris, reaffirmed its support for Lebanon’s independence and territorial integrity, and it continued preparations for the Donors Conference in March, ahead of the May Parliamentary elections. Secondly, the World Bank announced that in addition to the $1.5 billion already spent in Lebanon, it was preparing another $700 million worth of projects.

According to the Bank’s regional director, Saroy Kumar Jha, the new funds have been allocated to ensure the economic and social stability of the country, in particular the education and health sectors and setting up a special economic zone for the north in Tripoli. The funds are meant to help the education and health sectors, as well as support t...

Monday, December 11, 2017

Although the government of Lebanon agreed this week to a renewed commitment to dissociation, Hezbollah’s representatives said that it was nothing different in content from the previous Cabinet agreement and reserved the right to issue its own position. Importantly, the restatement enabled Prime Minister Saad Hariri to withdraw his resignation and take up his position in the government, which has a full agenda in advance of the May 2018 Parliamentary elections.

As a recent article by an analyst at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy put it, “Now that Hariri has returned to Lebanon and suspended his resignation, the question is no longer about him. Rather, it is how Iran will move beyond this hurdle to consolidate its achievements in Lebanon and the region.”

This is the obvious conun...

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Promising Future for Lebanese Entrepreneurs, If Only…

A recent visit with seven entrepreneurs from Lebanon to ATFL gave us the opportunity to speak with them about their activities, the state of entrepreneurship development in Lebanon, and how the country can benefit from a more proactive effort to promote entrepreneurship and small and medium size enterprises (SMEs).

The program was funded under the International Visitors Leadership Program administered by FHI 360. Although there were interpreters with the group, it was clear that they were as talented in speaking and understanding English as they are technically competent. Made up of three women and four men, they were representative of many regions in Lebanon, from Tripoli to the Chouf, and were both entrepreneurs in their own right and s...

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