Beirut Madinati, the independent and refreshing campaign overtaking the Beirut political establishment, has just announced its list of candidates for the upcoming Municipal elections of the city, set to be held on May 8th.
As I wrote yesterday, the work to get to this list at hand was not, in typical Lebanese fashion, a who’s who along the echelons of a political party. It was more than 80 active participants in the movement gathering and discussing for months on ends the wide array of possibilities that they could offer the city. The result is as follows: a list that is equally men and women, 12 members each, representative of all the city’s neighborhoods and communities, and consisting of people who have made a name for themselves in their respective domains.
Not only is the list equally balanced between men and women, but 6 out of 24 are considered of the youth group, 16 are middle aged candidates and 2 are seniors. Compare this with an average age of more than 60 in our cabinet, and the contrast is striking.
The candidates are as follows:
Ibrahim Mneimneh: president, architect and urban planner (Mazraa).
Tarek Ammar: vice president; He’s the CEO of a researching company with over 16 years of experience in the field. (Achrafieh).
Iman Ghandour: Private sector worker, former deputy head of the “IC alumni association,” member of the board of many festivals around Beirut and Lebanon (Bashoura).
Mona Hallak: Architect, Executive committee member of the Association for the Protection of Sites and Old Buildings in Lebanon. Was an activist in the protection of Rawcheh movement and the reason behind “Maison Barakat” being saved. (Mazraa).
Rana Khoury: Advertising creative director and a board member of the Samir Kassir Foundation (Bashoura).
Nada Doghan: Historian and member of the Civil Society. CEO of the Arab project “Kitab fi Jarida” in cooperation with UNESCO. (Msaytbeh).
May Daouk: Interior architect, supporter of Skoon and the Samir Kassir foundation, as well as activist for women rights in Lebanon. (Msaytbeh).
Najib el Dik: Head of the Beirut fishers associations in Ain el Mreisseh and former head of Beirut’s fisherman syndicate, (Minet el Hosn).
Marwan Al Taibi: Journalist, head of the “Al Yawm” newspaper and consultant (Bashoura).
Walid El Alami: Cardiologist who graduated from AUB, the University of Oklahoma and Baylor. He returned to Lebanon in 2012 and is part of the “IC alumni association.” (Ras Beirut).
Levon Telvizian: Architect, professor at the Lebanese University, was head of the urban planning program there. He’s currently an advisor for multiple development NGOs and works with UNESCO for housing in Lebanon. (Rmeil).
Yorgui Teyrouz: Phamacist and founder of Donner Sang Compter (Rmeil).
Abdul Halim Jabr: Architect and urban design expert, as well as part time university professor. Activist against the Fouad Boutros highway and in many other conservation fights in Beirut. (Msaytbeh).
Mark Geara: Real estate developer (Achrafieh).
Houssam Hawa: Agriculture engineer, AUB graduate with a Masters degree from Holland. Activist in many environmental causes. (Achrafieh).
Carole Tueini: Media sector, was an anchor on MTV before joining Disney MENA, where she eventually became an executive producer. (Achrafieh).
Amal Cherif: Art director and advocate for people with disability (Zkak al-Blat).
Nada Sehnaoui: an artist and painter, founding member of the Civil Center for National Initiative (Achrafieh).
Farah Kobeissy: Political science expert and human rights activist (Zkak al- Blat).
Ahmad Kaabour: Renowned singer, songwriter and composer (Mazraa).
Nadine Labaki: Leading Lebanese director, behind movies such as “W Halla2 la Wein” and “Caramel” (Achrafieh).
Maria Manok: Lower school head of division at Ahliyyah School (Msaytbeh).
Rita Maalouf: Expert in forensics, returned to Lebanon from the United States in 2008. She’s the first forensics expert in Lebanon’s Ministry of Justice. (Ras Beirut).
Serge Yazegi: Architect, urban planner and lecturer at ALBA (Achrafieh).
Good luck to these people on May 8th. Change is possible. Change needs you – if you can vote in Beirut – to go down to your precint on May 8th and choose those that have fought for you for years, choose those who know how it is to lead the city in the proper direction, choose those who are not the status quo.
Write down their names.
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These candidates all seem to be good, hard-working people. But don’t you find this list too elitist? Is it really representative of the people of Beirut?
That’s the professional way to go. Good Luck Beirut Madinati. As for Mrs. Samar comment, please note that Once a Deputy is elected by “his” people, he becomes automatically a Deputy for ALL Lebanon and not only for “his” people. At least, this is how it should be. The same applies for the candidates of Beirut Madinati. They don’t have to be representatives of “Beirut Family Names”. At least, the candidates are NOT politicized. Unless, we want to go back to square ONE, as we -Lebanese- have a horrible tendancy to stagnate. People will always be afraid of change, that’s a fact.