A Diamond’s Eye View of the World

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

Are you ready? The Lebanese elections

Posted by adiamondinsunlight on February 25, 2009

The Daily Star, which seems to be back for the  medium- if not long-run again, has been running a series of PSAs from the Interior Ministry and the Elections Commission (not sure if that is its proper name, but its a similar idea), reminding people to update their registration and identity cards so they are “ready” to vote during the June elections.

The first PSA I have seen just asks “Ready?” and shows an image of a hand showing with a purple ink mark to indicate that the person has voted:


I didn’t realize that Lebanon used purple ink, or any ink – I thought that this was done in Iraq as something of a stop-gap measure to prevent people from casting multiple votes, since the voter registries were so confused. But aren’t things a bit more structured – in fact, aren’t they highly bureaucratized?? – in Lebanon? Do any of you know more about this?

This one says: “Ready for your requests” – or maybe more like “Ready to serve”, and identifies the “27 centers at your service for processing [literally, implementing] identity cards in all cazas”:


Look how many there are on the western half of the country, and how few there are in the Bekaa and the north-east. Is the population distribution really this lop-sided?

Seeing the little cedar in the top right, for Hirmel, makes me blush. A few weeks ago, a fellow midwesterner emailed me about a recent visit to Hormal, Minnesota, home of “Spam”. Since there are so many Biblically-based connections between American towns and Levantine ones, I spent a good deal of time trying to find a connection – all for nothing. Apparently, Hormel was the family name of the company’s founders – no Lebanese connection at all.

In any case, I am glad to see these PSAs, and I hope that they are running as billboards as well. I love elections, and I am looking forward to seeing how the June elections play out.


6 Responses to “Are you ready? The Lebanese elections”

  1. Kheireddine said

    One day in 1996, I passed by Lebanon, New Hampshire. I discovered that it was also divided: East Lebanon v/s West Lebanon 😉

  2. *laughing* too funny, Kheir – I didn’t realize that the New Hampshirers were so divided. I imagine that a civil war there would have gone quite differently, though – those ‘Live Free or Die’ folks are pretty serious. I can’t see anything there dragging on for 15 years.

  3. […] by adiamondinsunlight on March 4, 2009 Last week I posted two PSAs created by the Elections Commission (still don’t know what its proper name is), which […]

  4. […] and an imaginative media campaign reminding people to vote. (See A Diamond In Sunlight here and here to get a gander at the […]

  5. Rita said

    They used the purple ink not to take thumb prints but to stop people from re-voting on behalf of others who are not in the country, no longer alive, in a coma etc… It sounds easy enough that one can’t vote twice because they don’t match someone else’s ID, however, some women wearing hijabs could vote twice if not for the thumb print so that’s why they do it.

  6. Rita, you are absolutely right – just as in Iraq. The image used in the ad gives a very misleading impression: its not a finger-print but a full finger-dipping into the ink. Perhaps we should suggest the same approach be used in Illinois 😀

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