Discover Lebanon now!

Room with a view! View of the Yacht Club & Marina, with the blue Mediterranean beyond, from my 12th floor room in the Four Seasons Hotel, Beirut

Some key statistics by way of an introduction ….

About 4.5 million

Lebanese abroad:
About 12 million, making it perhaps the only country of the world with about 3 times as many citizens living abroad than in the homeland. Of course most are now nationals of theseother countries.

Demographics (from Wikipedia):
54% Muslims (Shia and Sunni, 27% each), 40.5% Christian, 5.5% Druze
Also a very small number of other religious minorities – Bahais, Buddhists, Hindus, Mormons, Jews.

On Reading Great Literature – 1

DISCLAIMER: If this writing at all gives the impression, even the most fleeting one, that I am stating myself to be a well-read person of Western literature, then please accept that this is not my intention in the least. Yes, in my life I have read a little, perhaps a little more than the typical individual sharing my general social and educational background, but then again, as any habitual reader of literature will readily admit, I have not read anywhere as near to what I should have read by this age, or at least, not anywhere near to as much as l would have liked to have read by this age in life. For the more you read, the more you realize, with some forlornness if I may put it as such, that time is running out and there is so much that is still to be read – which in truth should have been read a long time ago.

Sri Lanka …. Once again!

About 900 years ago, the Venetian traveler Marco Polo, wrote thus about his visit to Sri Lanka in his classic work, ‘Divestment dou Monde’ (Description of the World): “On leaving the island of Andaman and sailing for 1,000 miles a little south of west, you come to the island of Seilan, which is undoubtedly the finest island of its size in all the world.”

Happy New Year?

As one year ends and a new year dawns, our attention is drawn to 3 things – a review of the year just ended, predictions for the New Year, and defining of our hopes and aspirations for the year ahead of us, for our country, for our families, for our own self, personally and professionally.

The Greatest Pakistani Ever

Edhi’s Bheek Mission

Pakistan celebrates its 70th (platinum) anniversary of independence this year. So, who do you think is the greatest Pakistani ever, living or deceased, in our 70 years history? You decide your own criteria for evaluation and give it deep, dispassionate thought. And once you have decided on a person, please take the trouble – it will only take a few seconds, and write down as a comment on this post, your selected greatest Pakistani ever. No need to go into your analysis or reasoning. Can you please definitely do this? And if you can share this post, even better, as we will then have an even larger response. I am sure you will be as interested as I am to see the results of this informal opinion poll!

A Maldives Break

A resort in Maldives

A resort in Maldives

A group of us, work colleagues, caught a Srilankan Airlines red-eye flight from Karachi to Colombo recently, on a 3 nights/4 days Retreat. After a 3 hour layover at the enlarged and improved Bandaranaike International Airport, Colombo, we were off again for Male, the capital of Maldives. Considering that some 1.2 million tourists visit Maldives in a year (almost 3 times the population of Maldives itself), Male airport is somewhat disappointing.

PSL Thoughts


And so all attention is focused on coming Sunday night for the final of the Pakistan Super League 2017 between Quetta Gladiators and Peshawar Zalmis, with both teams having strong support. Bob Bhai is with the Gladiators, and if you want one reason for this, the reason is Sarfraz. Gutsy, inspiring, fighter to the last ball. A thinking captain who does not yell at his players like Afridi used to, and does not go off into deep somnolence on the field as Misbah tends to, taking nothing away from him otherwise.

This and That

So we got clobbered by New Zealand in the first Test, after doing so well against the West Indies in UAE in all 3 formats – Test. ODI, T20. One more Test to go in New Zealand and then the team travels to Australia, who incidentally are not doing so well at all against other teams generally.

The saint we have lost – A humble tribute to Maulana Abdul Sattar Edhi

“My religion is humanitarianism, which is the basis of every religion in the world.” Edhi.

Soon it will be the chelum of Maulana Abdul Sattar Edhi – 40 days since he departed from this world for his heavenly abode. Is his memory already becoming distant in our tradegy-hardened minds?

In Our Life & Times – 2

My first blog under this title was posted on August 25, 2015. It is a useful (convenient?) title under which I can periodically ponder over our times and give you some food for thought. So here is ‘In Our Life & Times # 2’ – just random ramblings; though mind you, not unimportant by any reckoning.