'This result is what the people of Lebanon wanted'

Local youth share their feelings in the aftermath of the election.

By TORI CHEIFETZ
June 10, 2009 12:44
2 minute read.
'This result is what the people of Lebanon wanted'

lebanon hizbullah elections 248.88. (photo credit: AP)

Following Sunday's elections in Lebanon, young adults on both sides of the debate weighed in on the results, and the prospects for their future. "I was one of the many who suspected that the opposition would win this election," wrote popular Lebanese blogger Elias Muhanna, on his blog Qifa Nabki. "Lebanon never fails to surprise." Muhanna, a PhD candidate in Near Eastern Studies, said he had been so convinced the pro-Syrian March 8 Alliance would win that he "had been mentally penning a 'morning after' post entitled 'Anatomy of a Defeat,' in which I would attempt to put my finger on exactly what it was that led to the undoing of the March 14 movement over the past couple of years." Another blogger, Tony Badran, in his blog Across the Bay, warned of a "potential looming crisis on the horizon… especially since Hizbullah and the March 8 groups have shown themselves to be anti-democratic and violent forces who wouldn't hesitate to paralyze the country and ultimately attack people in their homes to get what they want." "I've got to admit, we all thought Michel Aoun was going to take the win. The polls were in our favor until the last few hours," Reem Haidar, a Lebanese-Canadian student, told The Jerusalem Post in a Facebook message. Haidar and her family in Lebanon support the March 8 Alliance under Aoun. When the results of the election were announced, Haidar spoke with her cousin in Lebanon, who expressed his dismay. "He told me that the Dahiya [the Shi'ite area of Beirut] was completely silent. People were very upset and disappointed. He said he's never heard it like this before; the streets were dead, not one car in sight," she wrote. Haidar and her cousin are afraid that with the win of the pro-Western March 14 Alliance, there would be unrest between Christians and Muslims in Lebanon. "I think there's going to be a conflict," she asserted. "It could get ugly, but hopefully not." Firas, a Sunni young man who wished only to be identified by his first name out of concern for his safety, is a supporter of the March 14 Alliance, led by MP Saad Hariri, the younger son of assassinated former prime minister Rafik Hariri. "After elections are over you never hear any more from politicians, not in the newspaper and not on TV," he charged. "Sometimes they go to a wedding or a funeral, but that's it." However, Firas added, "I am happy with these elections because I see new faces that I trust, fresh and educated." Firas, who is currently working in Qatar, said that his friends in Lebanon were " comfortable and happy" with the election results. "This is what the Lebanese people wanted," he asserted. Facebook and university campuses were major forums for young people to discuss the elections. "[March] 14 and [March] 8 have student groups on university campuses all over Lebanon, as well as the independent political parties," he added. "One day we will see change," he said.


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