Free minds of Le­banon, unite!

Executive Magazine - - Editorial -

Our econ­omy is in tat­ters, and we lack un­in­ter­rupted ba­sic ser­vices like elec­tric­ity, wa­ter

and waste man­age­ment. There is no ac­cept­able ex­pla­na­tion for why our coun­try is near ruin. Fix­ing these prob­lems is sim­ple, and 2017 is our last chance to change course.

There are plenty of free minds in this coun­try that un­der­stand how to cre­ate a Le­banon we can be proud of. A Le­banon where pro-growth eco­nomic poli­cies are re­spected. Where the rule of law is re­spected. Where the en­vi­ron­ment is re­spected. There is no short­age of re­search penned by lo­cal au­thors with con­crete, easy-to-im­ple­ment so­lu­tions to this coun­try’s myr­iad prob­lems. It’s time to stop writ­ing and start mov­ing.

Webs of de­pen­dency cre­ated by the clien­telist sys­tem in place seem fi­nally to be weak­en­ing. The cost of strug­gling to sur­vive in a bro­ken coun­try get­ting worse year by year clearly out­weighs the ben­e­fits of low-wage jobs and the oc­ca­sional ta­ble scraps. More peo­ple are see­ing this at home. And those watch­ing this fi­nal de­scent from abroad are at last get­ting an­gry enough to de­mand change as well.

Mis­man­age­ment is de­stroy­ing this coun­try. So many of us agree on this point and on the ways to move for­ward with cre­at­ing a na­tion worth liv­ing in. Unity is our only op­tion. As our cor­rupt politi­cians go about writ­ing an elec­toral law aimed at keep­ing them­selves in power, we must stand in op­po­si­tion.

Those of us who have been calling for change – aca­demics, NGOs, the me­dia – have never suc­ceeded in ac­tu­ally ful­fill­ing our role of be­com­ing pres­sure groups that force real change. That ends to­day. 2017 is our year. This elec­tion is our chance. Yasser Akkaoui Edi­tor-in-chief

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