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.

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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).

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.


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You guys are retards for trying to use Donald Trump as an insult. Most anti trump people are social justice warrior bandwagon riding dumb asses,thank you for showing that you are no different. God damn this country is cancerous

Chev Chelios on May 10, 2016 via web
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It would be democratic if the people voted. They did not. 20% !!!! shameful. I disagree with you, Beirutis are not ready for democracy which involves some measure of responsability.

Aneese Makdisi on May 9, 2016 via web