The Liberum’s highlights of 2023: From Dubai Bling to Global Disasters & Arab Science Fiction

Image credits: An artist's impression of a happy and healthy 2024. Courtesy of Joon W.

The last hours of 2023. It was another wild ride, just like the previous year. Not just for us at The Liberum, but for almost everyone: an unpredictable global market, intensified (geopolitical) conflicts, and a sinister way of dealing with them. 2023 was also the year that The Liberum celebrated its primo anno publication. Here are some of our highlights in case you accidentally missed them.

By Arthur Blok
A good year has passed since I tried to watch the first episode of Dubai Bling. It was nothing less, but torture to watch a bunch of famous wannabes argue about closet space and endless dialogues about why they are really - and I mean really - important. One of my good intentions for 2024 is to try to watch an entire episode of the second season. I will do my best.

2023 was a year full of geo-political tension, primarily caused by the incompetence of the senile American president, Joe Biden. A lot of Democratic noise was caused when so-called classified documents were found at former president Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago residence. They all remained silent when thousands of similar documents were found at various locations of the Biden’s.

It figures.

Soon after, America and the rest of the ‘free world’ were surprised by, ‘’ which some called a smoke screen to divert attention from the Biden fiasco. Under his reign, Europe suffered the sabotage of NATO, which made China even stronger. Trump was charged with the most ridiculous claims you can ever imagine: a Democratic-led witch hunt against Trump that is simultaneously pushing for the absurd Woke agenda.

It's as if we did not get enough nonsense in one year; the erupting crisis in Gaza in October suddenly shook the world. Hypocrisy from the international community when dealing with the Gaza-Israel war reached unprecedented levels soon after. The new turmoil again illustrated the Arab World’s incompetence in dealing with the matter. As always, in such geopolitical conflicts, ordinary civilians pay the price. Shameful, to say the least.

2023 was also the year Elon Musk sounded the alarm bells on Artificial Intelligence. Where foreign NGOs used Lebanon’s ongoing misery for their benefit and where the collapse of the Lebanese Republic is felt hardest by the country's elders.

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Our in-house Arab Science Fiction (SF) expert, Emad Aysha, SF Corner, was filled with the most remarkable stories. Besides Arab science fiction, we read essays about Turkish authors, Indian and Bengali SF, and parallel dimensions when Arabic and Chinese SF almost met. I advise every interested reader to visit Emad’s SF for all his latest mind flicks.

There was more SF. The Liberum spoke exclusively with Lebanese best-selling author Karim el Koussa about his new TV series ‘Phoenix Oracle,’ about the ancient Phoenicians, their history, mysteries, and secret traditions. In the section dedicated to his work, our readers got a sneak preview into the new series that will be launched in the first quarter of 2024, a must-see trailer for those who missed it.

Corporate expert Emile Fakhoury gave us more insight into how, a further understanding of AI, and how to control your emotions in the workspace. New Liberum contributor Darine Saleh helped us understand the role of influencers and the power of social media.

Our new contributor, human rights expert Zeina Allouche, presented us with a mirror to show what harm and misery is caused to our most vulnerable ones. The absurdities and painful realities of the world in 2023 were spot-on illustrated by Hiba Kilany (who does not fear perfection), our new columnist Adriana Lebbos, and last but certainly not least, our newly joined senior political analyst Marita Kassis. Check out their work latest work to understand what happened in the past year.

Will 2024 be an improvement on the past year? Let’s hope so. For now on behalf of the editorial team, we wish all our readers a happy and healthy 2024.


Arthur Blok

Veteran journalist, author, moderator and entrepreneur. The man with the unapologetic opinion who is always ready to help you understand and simplify the most complex (global) matters. Just ask.
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