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Of FreeCell and Phone Chargers: A Lebanese Parable

Lebanese politics often resembles a game of FreeCell to me. Or, for the millennials among us: 2048, which I often catch my students playing on their phones before class begins. For long stretches, the board is locked down. There is an occasional opening, a small shift in the grid, but it comes to nothing. Hardly anything moves for several rounds … Continue reading

The Lebanese Presidency, Twenty-Five Years after Ta’if

Lebanon failed to elect a president this week, but the failure was rather dignified by recent standards. Unlike the 2008 election — preceded by twenty months of government paralysis, public demonstrations, a parliament building locked by its Speaker, and several high-profile assassinations —  it was a relief to watch 124 parliamentarians show up at the Chamber of Deputies last Wednesday and cast their votes. Most … Continue reading

Lebanon Spent Nearly Two of Last Four and a Half Years Without a Government

There has been some movement in recent days on the cabinet formation stalemate. Saad Hariri agreed to join a national unity government with Hizbullah, a welcome development after months of deadlock. How many months precisely? Nearly ten. Tammam Salam was appointed PM-designate on April 6, 2013. As you will recall, Lebanon’s previous premier Najib Mikati … Continue reading

Our Oily Future

Lebanon’s Ministry of Energy and Water has launched a new campaign promoting the benefits of off-shore oil exploration for the average citizen. The ads contain shots of smiling people aside captions like: “My children and I are staying in Lebanon“… or “My future is in Lebanon“… or… “I’m going back to work in Lebanon!“ Another … Continue reading

A Small Step Towards Addressing Energy Waste in Lebanon

A few years ago, Maya Zankoul and I came up with a snarky parody of the ubiquitous iPhone advertisement, tailored specifically for Lebanon’s problems. At the time, the idea of a single iPhone app designed for life in Lebanon was hysterically funny, mainly because internet speeds were only a notch beyond the dial-up era. Since … Continue reading

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Akbar Palace on Of Maps and Men
Akbar Palace on Of Maps and Men
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Gabriel on Of Maps and Men

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