A political situation in Lebanon might very well be the most dynamic among the Middle Eastern countries.
Last Sunday saw Lebanese go to the polls to determine whether or not the opposition party, Hizballah, takes final control over the government. Hizballah, a conservative Muslim party, offers a political idealism that is totally different than the ruling government (Lebanon is known to have been the most liberal country in the Middle East) - Hizballah has persistently tries to turn the institutions of state away from American influence and use them to protect its anti-Israeli military wing.
But according to TIME magazine, the real issue on the streets has narrowed down to one question: Can you support Hizballah and still be sexy?
That's the subtext of this series of ads run by a Christian political party -- the Free Patriotic Movement -- led by a maverick ex-general who broke with the country's mainline Christian parties and allied himself with Hizballah, the Shia Muslim "Party of God."
The FPM is betting that the best way to protect the dwindling Christian presence in Lebanon is to join forces with the rising tide of the East -- Shia Islam, Iran and Syria. But that's created a certain cultural unease among its supporters, who normally take their style tips from New York and Paris rather than Tehran and Damascus.
So ads by FPM -- which uses orange as its signature color -- feature attractive, trendy young people telling their peers to vote in English and French (not Arabic).
Everybody's favourite poster reads: Sois Belle et Vote (Be Beautiful and Vote). TIME magazine writes, "The ads seem to say: we may have made an electoral deal with people who wear beards and chadors, but no one will ever take away your tube top!"
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