In a global survey of quality of life, 221 cities were ranked accordingly on their "overall desirability". Beirut was ranked 171st overall and listed in 16th place in the MENA region, behind Dubai (the top MENA spot), Amman and Cairo, among other cities.
The Daily Star interviewed Byblos Bank’s chief economist, Nassib Ghobril, in regards to Beirut's low ranking.
“Beirut is 98 spots behind the top-ranked Arab city. It is also 47 spots behind Amman and 30 spots behind Cairo, for example. This shows the work that needs to be done to improve the quality of living here,” remarked Ghobril.
Ghobril commented that the decline of basic necessities such as electricity, security and roads help contribute to its poor ranking. In fact, the 2012 Mercer survey found that Beirut actually decreased one rank from last year.
In the presumed "Paris" of the Middle East, we often forget that there is a huge poverty population that is steadily on the rise, due largely in part to the mass incoming of refugees. We live on a spectrum; many wealthy Beiruti's enjoy all the comforts of the first world, while a striking majority live below the poverty line. But when we're ranked 30 places below Cairo, well, that's when you know something's f***ed up.
And if you were wondering, Vienna takes the top spot and Baghdad hits the lowest. Oh the Middle East.
(Photo via The Daily Star)