A Diamond’s Eye View of the World

a multi-faceted look at the middle east, and the middle west

poster boy for a new Lebanon

Posted by adiamondinsunlight on May 23, 2008

Now that Michel Suleiman is really, truly, seriously-this-time going to be named president of Lebanon on Sunday, Lebanese flags and posters of him are popping up all over, and particularly in the Christian areas.

I took the four photos below while we were on the way to City Mall this afternoon. Seeing the Lebanese flag is a refreshing change from all the militia flags, and I do think that Suleiman’s “election” (presidents aren’t really elected here – don’t be fooled by the impassioned politician rhetoric!) is an important step.

But photographing him in his military uniform is a bit much. Top level civil servants are not allowed to serve as president until after having been ‘retired’ for at least two years. Suleiman’s presidency technically requires a constitutional amendment, although the latest news is that no amendment will be made, under the reasoning that his presidency comes at an exceptional time.

Maybe – although I would argue that in Lebanon most times are exceptional. And amendment or no, photographing him in military dress is a poor idea. This region has seen too many examples of what can happen when military and political power are combined – Lebanon shouldn’t be celebrating it.

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5 Responses to “poster boy for a new Lebanon”

  1. Rami said

    oh then you missed his gigantic poster at Sassine square (Ashrafiyeh), so far it is the only photo that I have seen for him wearing a tie!
    I wanted to post about the same subject today, but I didn’t have my camera with me, glad to see ur photos! they’re just near my workplace btw, it almost shows in the 2nd picture.

  2. Hopefully, he will not become another Emile Lahoud!
    In 1958, General Fouad Chehab got elected as a consensual president and he was the best president Lebanon has ever had till this day.

  3. Dear Rami,

    I haven’t seen the poster in Sassine, but I’ve heard about it. Is it true that its been plastered on top of a bigger poster of the Virgin Mary?? If so, poor Sleiman – not even elected, and already causing issues for the Christians :)!

    I’m glad that there are posters of him in civilian clothes – but I wonder why the poster-makers didn’t use that photograph, rather than the one of him in his military uniform.

    At any rate, they make the billboard-clogged highway much more attractive, and seeing the Lebanese flags (instead of the opposition and/or Kataeb flags that more usually hang there) was really nice.

    Kheireddine, I agree – and I bet that no one hopes this more than Suleiman himself!

  4. c said

    it’s not over the virgin mary banner, its on the other side of sassine, on the building next to starbucks.

  5. Hi C! Thank you for the correction – I need better sources than friends’ facebook updates, clearly 😀

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