The Blog / Opinion

Le Beck writes in Newsweek about the Saudi corruption crackdown

Very rarely are major moves, or any event on the international stage for that matter, mono-causal, particularly ones that are—and I do not use this term loosely—unprecedented. But they do not answer some key questions: Why now and why so many individuals who are not members of the royal family?

What if their main goal really is to address white collar, financial crimes?


Saudi Arabia’s citizenry will increasingly be confronted with a centuries-old situation many before them have faced: Taxation without representation. The government realises this is problematic and a serious crackdown on corruption also sends a very clear message to the country’s population, of which two-thirds are under 30 and very aware of the world around them: We may be asking you to give us more money, but we’ll make damn sure that every riyal is spent on improving this country and your quality of life.

Read the full oped here  

Le Beck writes in IB Times UK about the impact of a Trump presidency

I won’t pretend to have predicted a Trump presidency. In fact, I expected quite the opposite, going so far as to pen a similar piece on a Hillary Clinton presidency that was to be published following the results of November 8.

But regardless of my personal opinions on the suitability of Donald J Trump, now is the time to redirect my attention toward the future. It is important to begin sorting through the information available (the platform, various campaign promises, post-election comments, etc) in order to assess, to the best of my ability, how a Trump presidency will stand up against the reality check of existing circumstances and policies in key areas of the Middle East.

During the campaign, Syria and Iraq (and the so-called Islamic State) received the bulk of the attention. But as a Gulf analyst, I direct your attention to the GCC, Iran, and Yemen.

Read the full article here  

Le Beck writes about Lebanon’s new president in The Jerusalem Post

Aoun’s election is good for Lebanon. Not necessarily because of who he is (there is no doubt he is a controversial figure), but because the presidential vacuum was deadlocking the political system.

Political parties would protest the inability to elect a president by boycotting Parliament sessions, thereby preventing a quorum from being reached and rendering Parliament nearly impotent. In fact, it was the first time in about two years that Parliament saw all 127 members in attendance (there are usually 128, but one resigned and there have been no new elections). With a president now in power, the boycotts should largely cease, paving the way for much needed legislation and reform related to salaries, refugees, corruption, the garbage crisis and more.

Read the full article  

International experience. Local knowledge.