Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Massoud Achkar: Legally blonde

Massoud Achkar, candidate in one of Beirut's districts, stikes gold with his campaign. Achkar, known to be sympathizer of the Phalangists and the Lebanese Forces has switched sides a while back - albeit unofficially - to the Aoun camp. Now the transition is official. However, Ackhar (Whose family name transaltes into "blonde" in English and who is a lawyer by profession) played his trump card and rocked the house as he headlined his campaign with "Achrafieh el bidaye" which means "Achrafieh is the beginning." Achrafieh - long known to be the stronghold of the Lebanese forces - and which stood against heavy Syrian shelling in 1978 in what was later known as the 100 days war marked the "beginning" of the dream of the Lebanese Forces" of liberating Lebanon. Ackhar, then an active LF, draws on this famous sentence (Which still resounds deeply inside every LF member) to highlight his origins, his principles, but also his new rebranding to the Aounist side. For my money however, Achkar's original campaign, homegrown and made with cheap layouts represents him much more than the fierce billboards that are being displayed on the roads. These billboards say "Achrafieh is the beginning and in the end not for sale." The English billboard refers to the money being spent in buying votes - but I did not know that votes were also bought in Euros as well as Dollars!
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