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Everything you love and hate about Beirut

I started this blog when I was doing my undergraduate studies back in 2010. Today, more than 10 years later, the biggest chunk of my readers are in that same age range. This means that many of you are considering whether to get your Master’s or MBA degrees.

This year, it’s more important than ever, given that most of you support your families back home, and with the effects of the pandemic and unrest and instability in many parts of the world, you might feel it’s time to upgrade your career, switch gears or quite simply get paid more for…


It’s never been this bad in Lebanon, with 77% of young men and women thinking of immigrating and the economic collapse needing at least 12 to 19 years to get back to 2017 as the World Bank predicts.

This means that a lot of young men and women’s dreams have been put on hold, especially when it comes to pursuing higher education. That’s not right though, and it doesn’t have to be that way.

That’s why I’ve partnered up with QS International again ahead of their QS Virtual Masters virtual event in Beirut happening on September 15, 2021.

Here are…


The constantly accelerating collapse socially, economically and politically in Lebanon has everyone stumped, incredulous and worst of all, hopeless.

Some folks pretend they got it all figured out, or reach back to draw parallels to a different time and different world, but others are more humble, and concede this is unprecedented, in a new kind of world with a different kind of mindset, ideas and most importantly, future goals.

The No “Shared Identity” Excuse

One theme many Lebanese and Lebanon watchers agree on, is the lack of a “common identity” between the different factions in Lebanon (read: sects). …


Let’s be completely honest here, when I saw the now-discontinued MS Paint style “cover” photo of Gebran Bassil being blasted fromthe Aounist rag Tayyar.org and on their WhatsApp groups and IG stories, I thought it was yet another humiliatingly bad fake. You know, like the “awards” random stuff kept giving Riad Salameh over the decades.

After all, what can you expect from the hopelessly pathological liars that form Gebran Bassil’s inner-circle, from Majed Bouez to Salim Jerraisati and everything in between.

But, it’s an actual magazine, if you can call it that, and let me say, we had an absolute…


Reasoning

Despite the economic collapse, lack of fuel and almost-complete blackout, Lebanon is still seeing an influx of expats going back home to have a fun summer, and a host of lucky local residents getting paid in fresh USD that want to escape their ever-worsening, bleak reality.

Batroun is a northern coastal city that is a beloved destination for its many affordable or free public beaches and a host of lovely bread and breakfasts, resorts and family-friendly restaurants.

Unfortunately, Batroun is also the hometown of Lebanon’s most-hated criminal: Gebran Bassil, the son-in-law of Hezbollah-installed embattled president, Michel Aoun.

Bassil, since coming…


I grew up as a pretty hardcore Maronite, with half my genetic material coming from Zgharta, a Maronite bastion with 2 Maronite presidents, several Maronite Patriarchs and countless archbishops throughout the centuries. The other half my genetic material comes from the hinterlands of Jbeil, another historically Maronite stronghold.

Thankfully, I have not been a Maronite for over 12 years now, and I couldn’t be farther away from Lebanon’s sectarian mindset at this point in my life.

But, being far away, I have been thinking a lot about my formative years, and I noticed that there were a lot of ideas…


Listen to this article

Lebanon and the Lebanese are in this weird place right now. I feel like everyone is kidding themselves to a certain extent, and that we have all bought into the simple solutions we repeat for an extremely complicated, and unprecedented, situation.

After much thought and seeking advice and counsel of people far more qualified and experienced than myself, I think it’s become clear why more than 9 months after the August 4 blast, we still have a caretaker government and absolutely no prospects of forming a new cabinet of ministers (it’s not really new though…


Listen to the article instead:

In recent weeks, I have noticed a trend that is making me uneasy. It’s a recurring theme I hear on TV, in Twitter hashtags, discussion videos and more recently Clubhouse after I finally caved and joined the for now iOS-only audio-focused discussion social network.

It’s more complex and nuanced than what I’m about to discuss, but it boils down to a simple notion that Lebanese people are very familiar with since the Civil War broke out in 1975.

Basically, a growing number of voices feels that we tried to implement drastic change in these…


I’ve been having a lot of fun on Clubhouse the past few weeks, but the thing I’m happy about the most is I was able to get my hands on a copy of the Free Patriotic Movement’s (FPM) “Orange Book” from 2005’s parliamentary elections.

Historical Context of The Orange Book

This was the FPM’s electoral platform in a very consequential parliamentary election in 2005. It was only a few months after the assassination of ex-PM Rafik Hariri, and only weeks after the ensuing protests forced Bashar El Assad’s occupation forces outside of Lebanon in April of 2005.

I was in March 14, I was against the…


The past few weeks have been a very rudimentary carrot and stick approach by the EU to try and prod Lebanon’s comatose government into forming a cabinet.

The stick is repeated threats of sanctioning Lebanese officials guilty of derailing and stalling the formation of a new government, and this German Port proposal seems to be the 30-billion-USD-over-25-years carrot.

I managed to get a hold of the presentation, and I’ll dissect it with you below.

The Assessment of the Damage (2021)

Gino Raidy

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