Adonis Diaries

Archive for May 10th, 2016

What Lebanese learned from this municipal election in Beirut?

The demographic of voters in Beirut have changed drastically in this century: rare are the original inhabitants.
Rate of voting in Beirut (20%) didn’t change from 2010 to 2016. Because 40% of the voters in Beirut have immigrated never to return, Not even to vote or visit.

To increase the rate the voting system needs to change: People working or living in Beirut should have the right to vote in Beirut.

The list of candidates of all the political parties, allied this time around and without exception, barely won the election with 41,000 votes against 30,000 votes for the secular and civil list of candidates.

Thus, the Hariri clan, headed by Sa3d Hariri and called the Moustakbal movement or Solidair of Beirut, retained this municipality since 1993 with no discontinuity and divided the city into the have and the barely surviving (Abu rakhoussa) in all aspect of facilities.

The Armenians (Tashnak) were pressured to vote for the this militia-type governing system by casting 6,000 votes and the Amal militia of Nabih Berry (Chairman of Parliament for the last 3 decades) casted 3,000 votes, and even the Islamic movements shared with 2,000 votes. posted:

Beirut’s people have spoken, and once again they’ve chosen to elect a municipal list backed by ex-Prime Minister Saad Hariri and allies.

Image via

This was met with much frustration from people who had been working and rallying tirelessly for 9-months in the hopes that the grassroots movement Beirut Madinati would triumph over the mainstream faces that have dominated Lebanese politics for so long.

But that is democracy. Sometimes, the Donald Trumps of the world win, the underdog loses, and things remain the same. That’s the good and the bad of democracy – everybody, even those you disagree with, have the right to choose.

Though Beirut Madinati lost in numbers, they gave us something we haven’t seen in a long time: an actual electoral race, there was competition and transparency – they put up a good fight.

It’s also important to note that gross violations including bribery, discounting entire boxes of votes, and more are being reported.

The municipal elections were taken very seriously this year, probably unlike most years, in part because Lebanese political leadership was establishing its (dwindling) support and presence, and in part because it was the first election held in over six years after parliamentary elections were postponed (read: cancelled, deputies extending their tenure under lame excuses).

Our first vote in six years, and how did we fare? Not well.

A 20.14% voter turnout in such grim times is very telling. Has everyone in Beirut given up? Have we forgotten the trash crisis and the budgeting scandals?

The next steps for Beirut Madinati are crucial – will they disappear like so many civil movements before them?

Or will they take the responsibility that was given to them by whatever percentage of Beirut and Lebanon’s people and step up to represent them in any way they can: activism, lobbying, raising awareness, and continuing to be the beacon of hope for change.

Note: All the political parties, the 8 and 14 of March movements, joined forces in order to have their share in the cake, a cake that is already shrinking and spoiling fast. They want to keep this rotten system alive for as long as they can.

Kel al a7zaab 3am bet ross al sfouf le sha2fet al jebneh al montahiyyat al sala7iyyat

Nabil Hassan posted  6 hrs · Beirut ·

رأي شخصي بعد هالتجربة الرائعة:
1. النتائج فوز رائع لبيروت مدينتي، أكثر من 30.000 صوت بوجه جميع أحزاب السلطة يعني إنتصار كبير….
2. الإنتخابات كان فيها بهدلة كبيرة بالتنظيم أغلبها ناتج عن قلة خبرة رؤوساء الأقلام يلي ما كانوا أساتذة بل أغلبهم موظفين دولة ما تم تدريبهم بشكل وافي. أغلب المخالفات يلي يتم تداولها تقع بهذه الخانة ورغم أنه هيدا الشي مش مسموح ولكن بأغلبه غير مقصود ضد لائحة أو أخرى….
3. بنفس الوقت في بما لا يقبل الشك، محاولات واضحة للتزوير ضد بيروت مدينتي صارت بعدد من ننتائج الأقلام وتمكن فريق العمل بعد إصراره على إعادة الفرز من تصحيح أغلبها، هيدي محاولة تزوير واضحة ولا ترتبط بالنقطة أعلاه…..
4. بالسياسة خسرنا لما أستخدموا حجة الطائفة بخطر وروجوا إشاعات عن دعم حزب الله لنا ! وهيدا كان أكبر مؤثر على خيارات الناخب السني…
5. إستفدنا كثير بالصناديق من رغبة الأحزاب توصل رسائل لبعضها بنفس الوقت أغلب التصويت هو رفض لنهج وطريقة تعاطي الأحزاب وزعمائها وهذا ما يبنى عليه ….
6. الناس يلي صوتت ضدنا، واجباتننا نحترم خيارها وكثير غلط وغير واقعي وغير سليم لومها وتصويرها بالغنم وما شابه. هيدي الناس ببساطة في جزء منها مقتنع بخياره وفي جزء الأكبر منها خايف طائفياً ولا يزال يرى الحماية بالإلتزام بحزبه. هيدي ناس لازم نستقطبها وما نبعدها….
7. ولا مرة كنا ضد الأحزاب أصلاً، بس برجع بقول، لا تغيير شامل بالبلد غير لما الشباب تغير داخل حزبها وتنتفض ويرجع يصير في أحزاب جدية وعم تلعب دورها مش فرق عمل للزعماء، لكن الإنتماء الحزبي ليس تهمة والأحزاب دورها مهم…..
8. بالتكتبك نجحنا بكثير مجالات ونجحنا بخلق حالة رائعة وتعلمنا كثير لكل المعارك يلي جاية، مش ممكن تخرق أحزاب بماكنات ما عندها خبرة إنتخابية، بس خبرة مكانتنا عم تكبر وتتعزز….
9. نتائج إنتخابات بعلبك والهرمل وبريتال وزحلة والكثير من القرى تتماشى مع بيروت وتثبت أن الأحزاب ما زالت بمسارها الإنحداري والأمل كبير بالتغيير….
10. جو المتطوعين، والمندوبين، وفريق العمل والمرشحين رجع الفرح والأمل والحب والإلتزام النظيف للسياسة، شكراً لكل واحد منكم وعذراً عبى كل تقصير….
11. إصلاح القانون واجب ودعم LADE بهالمجال ضرورة قصوى بالإصلاحات التقنية وبشكل القانون، علماً انه هيك نتائج رح يكون لها أثر كبير بأي قانون قادم والخوف من تالنسبية رح يزداد وهيدا شي خطر ويجب متابعته….
المعركة طويلة وعم نتقدم خطوات سريعة أكثر ما كلنا منتوقع، مواجهة كل أحزاب السلطة بالإنتخابات وتقديم بديل جدي كان حلم بعيد وصار حقيقة وقريب وممكن، نحن أقرب من أي وقت مضى ومكملين بكل زخم وأمل وحب لهالبلد. ‫#‏بيروت_مدينتي‬، ‫#‏الأمل‬

Current Islamist movements in Africa have One thousand years of precedents

The current Islamist movements in Africa, from Morocco, Senegal, the Sahara, Mali, Niger, Chad, Nigeria (Boko Haram), Cameroun…have a long history behind them.

Going back a thousand years.

The dozen of African empires were built by launching Jihad against the animists, whatever Christians lived in that continent, and rival Islamic sects.

They imposed Chari3a and built mosques and Madrassat and called themselves Khalif and the governors were named Emirs of the believers.

The trade by the caravans was mostly gold, slaves, salt, ivory…

Soundjata Keita (1190-1255) founded the Mali Empire that extended in Western Africa. Jis capital was Niani and vanquished his animist Sosso king.

Kankan Moussa (1312-1337) elevated the Mali Empire to its zenith. He became the richest man on earth, even at current standards.
He distributed gold all the way on his pilgrimage to Mecca and brought back scientists and architects who built the mosques and madrassats in Jingereber, Tombouctou (Tin Buqt, the far away place, his Capital) and Gao.

Mohammad Toure (1493-1528) founded the Islamic Askia dynasty of the Songhai empire. He proselytized for a pure Islamic chari3a practices.

His organized army was made up of slaves and war prisoners (like the Ottoman janissary). He failed to overcome the Mossi and transformed Tombouctou, Djenne and Gao into centers of Islamic teaching.

Idriss Alaoma (1573-1603) was a pious Islamic general who snatched the throne from the Kanem-Bornu empire. He governed with majliss composed of military and religious dignitaries. He controlled the trans-Sahara trade linking Lake Chad to Libya and vanquished the Sahara Berbers, the Haoussa of Kano (north Nigeria) and controlled the actual Niger (Kaouar)

Ousama dan Fodio created the Sokoto empire from 1809-1859 that was based on the purity of Islam.

The empire extended in western Africa to include Nigeria, Chad, and the Volta applied the Chari3a of Kitab al Fark.
This Islamic mujaddadi rule was meant to combat the animists and the Haoussa empire in northern Nigeria.

The ruler had the title of Khaliand the governores were Emirs of the Believers.
Once a year, all the governors converged to Sokono to pay the tribute they collected.
Agades (in Niger), Kano and Katsina in Nigeria were major regional metropolis

Note 1: The trade of slaves by the conquering African empires was very lucrative. The non-Moslem captives were sold to the kingdoms in Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, Libya, Sudan and Egypt.

These kingdoms resold their surplus slaves to the Mamluk empire (in Egypt) and later on to the Ottoman Empires and to the European kingdoms. As Africa was colonized, the African empires sold slaves to the European and USA traders.

Note 2: There are many African empires and cultures such as: The Nok in actual Nigeria, Ghana (extending between the rivers Senegal and Niger), the Mali, the Yoruba city-states in Togo and Benin, the Benin empire in Nigeria, the Songhai empire, the Ashanti empire, the Sokoto empire, the Ethiopian empires, the Gondar, the Kanem-Bornou, the Zulu empire, the Zimbabwe empire, the Monomotapa empire, the Toucouleur empire

Municipal election violations as documented by activists in Beirut

Shortly after polls closed for Beirut and east Lebanon’s municipal and mukhtar elections, the [preliminary] results came in with the Byerte list winning Beirut, and Hezbollah securing a victory in Baalbeck.

According to LADE (the Lebanese Association for Democratic Elections), 647 electoral violations were reported between Sunday and Monday in Beirut and the Bekaa [link].

647 violations were reported between Sunday and Monday according to LADE (the Lebanese Association for Democratic Elections), but until they are all officially released, here are the ten major election violations, as documented by activists and observers.
‪#‎NewsroomNomad‬ ‪#‎News‬ ‪#‎MunicipalElections‬ ‪#‎Lebanon‬

With all eyes on Beirut, where a battle between traditional politics (Byerte) and new (Beirut Madinati) took center stage, several enthusiastic volunteers documented and published blatant violations that occurred throughout Election Day seemingly under the gaze of onlookers.

Here are the ten major election violations, as documented by activists and observers.

1- Difficult access for people with special needs:

Countless citizens were subjected to humiliating means in order to access voting stations. While there are no exact figures registered, the complete disregard to people with special needs is a blatant violation of the law. Read more here.

2-Victory announced in advance (1):

Minister of Environment Mohamad Machnouk took to unofficial channels on Sunday evening to declare the victory of the Byerte list even as the process of vote counting was still in its prime. Announcements of the kind fall under the duties of concerned officials namely the Minister of Interior and the Information Minister.

3- Victory announced in advance (2):

The announcement of the victory of the Byerte list did not only occur prior to Minister Mohamad Machnouk’s twitter post as noted above, but was promoted via a television program a week in advance, whereby Leila Abdel Latif –a popular television psychic – announced that former PM Saad Hariri’s list, the Byerte, will secure a landslide victory. Watch video here.

4- Unattended ballot boxes, transported in civilian vehicles:

5- Access denied to BM representatives during vote count:

6- Swaying voters opinions and the presence of delegates in and around polling stations

LBCI received photos from inside a polling center in the region of Bourj Abi Haydar, depicting a number of electoral delegates distributing lists on voters inside the center, which is considered a violation of the electoral law. [Link]

7- Pre-election silence violated with the continued promotion of several candidates in various media

8- Scuffles registered between political groups and the intervention of the Lebanese Army

9- Vote buying and documented bribery

Interior Minister Nouhad Machnouk said a suspect was arrested for allegedly buying votes in Sunday’s municipal elections in the eastern city of Zahle.

Machnouk said in a statement that police arrested Kh.L. who allegedly paid voters in the town to submit ballots for a specific electoral list, without specifying which one. [Link]

10-  Various other violations

Source: Facebook/LADE
Source: Facebook/LADE

LADE stated that a significant increase in the proportion of irregularities occurred in conjunction with a tangible decline in electoral participation.

In Beirut, almost 80% of the population abstained from voting –the highest on record. (40% of eligible voters have immigrated for no return. Same rate as in 2010 election)

In a press conference today, LADE said that it will follow up on all registered electoral violations. It also said that it will continue to monitor the electoral process in the upcoming weeks. LADE urged all citizens to file complaints in the case that they witness election fraud or suspicious activity.


He lived in fear. He died in Fear... (Dec. 1, 2012)

Is feeling Cold, an idea first?

Before we shiver

Before we feel our bones brittle

Before we feel our inside going to mush

Is feeling scared, an idea first?

Before our palms drip sweat

Before our deafening pounding heart drive us crazy

Before our lungs aches for holding breath…

Is mental turmoil, an idea first?

Before our dreams turn an unending nightmare

Before our days rush amid hallucinating monsters

Before we scream in horror …

Is physical pain, also an idea first?

Another one of the string of illusions?


Hardly, hardly, hardly

Pain is more powerful than death

And empathy is irrelevant in this case

Only active remedies to alleviate pain count

And bring back Death

To the forefront…

Life with no home:  Photographs from Syrian refugee camps

In the world we are living in today, 55 million people are displaced. This is the highest number recorded since the Second World War.

It is estimated that 6.6 million Syrians are internally displaced and another 4.8 million are displaced outside the country.

Many are in Lebanon, living in informal camps or with friends and relatives.

Another 2.7 million are in Turkey. By comparison, only 12,000 are in Switzerland, and 3,100 in the United States.

The images in this series were taken on Easter Sunday in various camps on the Syrian border, by Christoph von Toggenburg, a Global Leadership Fellow at the World Economic Forum.

Each encounter unveiled another story of a lost home, of uncertainty, of despair, but also of hope.

Marj Henningsen shared this link. Yesterday at 3:14pm ·

Thanks Jennifer for sharing this. We have more than 1.5 million refugees in Lebanon. (Lebanon population is less than 4 million without the Syrian and Palestinian refugees)
Note: During WWII, thousands of Europeans fled to Syria and lived in decent camps




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