Freakonomics recently has a discussion with Stephen Dubner had on an airplane. He was on his way to South Africa when fellow passenger Nassim Nicholas Taleb, author of The Black Swan and Antifragile, told him something remarkable: “If you look at ten or twenty or thirty of the richest countries around the world, among the richest people in those countries is someone from Lebanon.” Of course Taleb would say this, Dubner thought. He is Lebanese. But the idea stuck. And that’s what this week’s episode is about.

Listen in to the podcast below:



The Economist summarizes that “business people from Lebanon fare better abroad than at home.”

Listen to the full article.

Link to the full article.


Guest post -

Consensus decision-making is a group decision making process that seeks the consent, not necessarily agreement about the “favorite” choice of all participants. Consensus may be defined professionally as an acceptable resolution, one that can be supported, even if not the “favorite” of each individual. 

Philosophical viewpoint
The early Islamic philosopher, Al-Farabi (c. 872-950), in one of his most notable works Al-Madina al-Fadila, theorized an ideal Islamic state which he compared to Plato’s The Republic.[17] Al-Farabi departed from the Platonic view in that he regarded the ideal state to be ruled by the prophet-imam, instead of the philosopher king envisaged by Plato. Al-Farabi argued that the ideal state was the city-stateof Medina when it was governed by Muhammad as its head of state, as he was in direct communion with God whose law was revealed to him. “In the absence of the prophet-imam”, Al-Farabi considered democracy as the closest to the ideal state, regarding the republican order of the Rashidun Caliphate as an example within early Muslim history.

The will of humanity’s great spirit can must rise for the call of education, decency and tolerances.

Joseph J. A. / NYC, NY


Lebanese Enterpreneur Wissam Abdel Baki created Perk My City to help Lebanese local citizens report, view, or discuss the disorder in the streets of their city (currently only in Beyrouth).

Violations such as abandoned vehicles, graffiti, litter, potholes, road blocks, sidewalk defects and any violation considered disgraceful to the city’s image.

To report a violation, the Lebanese local only needs to visit the website, describe the violation, locate it on the map and post a photo of it.

The website intends to reach each and every authority in Lebanon, whether it is the Ministry of Public Works, the Ministry of Interior, Municipalities and Private Associations.

Currently, the problems will be reported to the authorities by email (where possible), Twitter (if registered), and Facebook . The authorities are granted access to view, acknowledge and later resolve the problem the way they normally would.

Wissam stresses that his projects will be covering not only Beyrouth, but other regions to come.


Civil society activists, students and Lebanese youths staged a “white march” taking to the streets of Beyrouth, starting from Places des Martyrs and reaching Achrafieh’s Sassine Square. The movement “denounced all violence in the country and honors all those who were killed and wounded due to

futile political bickering in the country over a span of 30 years” according to activists.

Protesters wore white shirts, and hoisted placards against the current political status quo.

We are wearing white to mourn all the deaths who have gone in vain due to futile violence whether in Achrafieh, Tripoli or elsewhere,” one of the protesters said.

The White March says no to both March 8 and 14 blocs, and stresses that political malfunction is the root cause of all the problems mounting in the country all the while calling for an alternative.

Although shy numbers showed at first, the movement drew larger crowds the closer it got to Achrafieh. Demonstrators in white lit candles, praying for the souls lost and for a better future


It is hard as a Lebanese to be indifferent to the situation in Syria.

Our blog has by enlarge been silent on the civil unrest, to our lifetime neighbour, Syria. An unrest in Syria, which is rather familiar among Lebanese whom had to traverse a 10-year demographical upheaval and civil war for us, as Lebanese, to realise how to finally live together, playfully, rejoicing in our differences, and aim to build a country we envy.

Last week, Euronews described that the biggest victims in the Syrian unrest, were children, and often willfully targeting them. This news has pushed me to set out and take advantage of my vacation stay in Lebanon and cross the border into Syria. Along the way we met Kafa Min Ajl Souriya. They’ve described to us the type of support they do in helping children and the campaign launched.

Their purpose is selective and unifying. Helping out Syrian children victim in this conflict in terms of providing housing, food, books and toys. They have also set up a page on facebook for an open and calm discussion among all Syrian intellectuals and citizens.




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