Close call

Photo essay: Lebanon election day & eve

by Hossein Shahidi
It is midnight in Beirut. A short while ago, Lebanon completed parliamentary elections which involve not only its own interests, but also those of more than a dozen other countries, some of them many times bigger in area and population.

Rivalry continued between the current parliamentary majority, the 14 March Alliance, and the ‘opposition’ 8 March Alliance, who have members in the cabinet. There were mutual accusations of irregularity and foreign funding, as well as sporadic cases of tension in areas where the contest was very close. But the day passed off peacefully, with activists and journalists from the opposing camps working side-by-side.

The turnout was high, up to 70% in some areas, and women’s participation was especially noticeable. Many expatriate Lebanese came back home only for the elections, some on their first visit in decades. Old people and wheel-chair-bound voters were helped to the reach the polling booths, and there were reports of ambulances being used to enable the sick to take part in the elections.

By the time you read these words, the results of the elections should be out. Everyone has been predicting a close call. For those interested in analysis, a wide range of sources will be only a few clicks of the keyboard away.

This photo-essay, with many more pictures than words, is meant to give the reader both a feel of the election process and a taste of its coverage on television. Most pictures are from Lebanese television, which this author has praised elsewhere on (‘Media Diversity in Lebanon’).

Hossein Shahidi teaches journalism at the Lebanese American University in Beirut. Also see 'Final stretch:Elections in Lebanon'.



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Kourosh Aryamanesh

by Abarmard on

I am not taking sides, but those who you claim have Iranian names (who are muslims) and are hezbollahi and so on and so forth, would die for Iran tomorrow. You and I probably won't. Just keep this in mind.

I am confused. Hezbollah won where they were strong and 11 members got elected. The other areas the hezbollah was underdog and could not compete with the amount of wealth that was spent for the Sunni Camp by the Saudis.

In reality nothing has changed in Lebanon, unless people see something that I don't.


I agree with Mashty about

by 1/4th Irani (not verified) on

I agree with Mashty about the Iranians who are so blindly pro-western to the point where it seems that they want Iran to be a client state to the west instead of being an independent self-reliable state. But I disagree with him supporting iranian imperialism. Imperialism whether it's western, eastern, islamic, is wrong, and anybody who supports it is no different the "opressers" he/she always speak of.

Lebanon desperately needs an independent camp (not this march14/8th crap). I hope one day Lebanon will abandon it's sectarian system and put in charge people who work for the interest of Lebanon and not any other country.


Awwww Poor Baby Mashty's Hisbollah lost

by Tom Cat (not verified) on

And there ain't nothing you can do about it...

Too bad Obama doesn't have the guts to send in the Navy SEALS to exercise the warts off of Iran's political structure... Maybe the Shah can take notes

Kourosh Aryamanesh


by Kourosh Aryamanesh on

اينا تاکتيکشون اينه که ميان توی اين سايتها ، بعضی شون اسم غليظ فارسی با یک عکس حافظ و سعدی و امثالهم انتخاب ميکنن که مردم فکر کنن وطن پرستن . منتهی وطنشون ايران نيست . وطنشون ،مذهبشون و خورد و خوراکشون حزب الله و يک مشت آخوند وملاست و هنوز تو قهقرای تاريکی نشخوار مهملات ميکنن. حرف منطق هم يخ مسن و چوب و چماق هم فراوان. البته حقم دارن، چون فهم وشعورشون از حد غار جماران و مدرسۀ فيضيه بالاتر نميره حتی اگه مدرک دکترا بگيرن. اينا هر اسمی انتخاب کنن فرق نميکنه اين پالونه که عوض شده. تبريک ما به ملت لبنان که از شياطين رجيم اونی که بهتره انتخاب کردن .


To Mashty: Don't be a sore loser

by Advisor (not verified) on

I know it hurts but Hizbullah is not representative of the great nation of Iran. It only represents mullah rulers of Iran and their despotic tyranncial regime in Iran .


Those in favor of Hizbullah and IRI

by I wonder (not verified) on

Why don't you post under your real registered names? what are you afraid of?


come on give me a break. do

by Freedom (not verified) on

come on give me a break. do you really know what you are talking about.
They lost and freedom and rule of law replaced tyranny.

As late president Ronald Reagan said:
Democracy is worth dying for, because it’s the most deeply honorable form of government ever devised by man.

Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn’t pass it to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same.



now that

by MRX1 on

hezbolah (pashmola) lost the election, will they be kind enough and return all the money that was stolen from Iranian people by the facist regime in Tehran and sent to them back to Iran. surely they don't need it now.


Saudi Wahabists and Phalangist Nazis won!

by AnonymousAnonymous (not verified) on

The main financial backer of the side that the U.S. media likes to call the "pro-western" camp is the fanatical Wahabist, family-run dictatorship of Saudi Arabia. In fact, the Lebanese branch of the Muslim Brothers and several even more reactionary Sunni parties ran on the "pro-western" ticket. Also on this ticket are the fascist Phalangists, a party founded in 1936 after its founder Pierre Gemayel met Hitler. Gemayel's grandsons won parliamentary seats in yesterday's elections. Hezbollah's main electoral ally was the Christian Free Patriotic Movement.


Why is that good again?

by Mashty (not verified) on

Never in the history of Iran, Iranians came directly across the realities why some are such sellouts. If you recall, when we used to read history books and see that some key figures sell what's good for the nation, what makes Iran strong for their own individual agenda. Taking the nation to the low life not knowing what they are doing. And we all felt horrible why they did that.

Well, in the information age, we see them live on the net. We see that they can't put their personal ideas a side and look at Iran, or her power/position. They are happy for what makes Iran "zalil" and they think that they are patriotic or know the best.

In here, same thought, the person thinks and gets happy for the Western forces to win and pro Iranians lose. Do you see? I am sure they don't, but you get my point.

Can you agree that this is exclusive to Iranians? How many other nationalities, regardless of their dictatorial regimes, would want their country to "lose"? And consider that good and best for their "nation"? Really?

Hope these kind of people never set foot in Iran.

P.S. Hezbollah will remain an strong and positive force in Lebanon. The party has accepted their loss, unlike their opponents that had said if they lose, they will not participate in the democratic government! Go figure.

The Christians also wanted Hezbollah to win, but most people were afraid that the Western "money" would end, as the West had said if Hezbollah win, no money will be given to Lebanon. The game is not over! So anti Iranian, don't jump to the conclusion.

Israel still can't come in Lebanon. Hezbollah is not going anywhere. Iran is right, and right always wins in the long run.


Hezbollah Lost!

by Anonymous500 (not verified) on

The Hezbollah Lost and that is good news.