Sabeh-Ayon says she has “a lot of ambition.” (The Daily Star/Mohammed Zaatari)
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In recent weeks Sidon's alleyways and streets were decked with images of female candidates for the mukhtar elections. These women have immersed themselves in an unequal battle by facing a majority of male candidates who have been occupying the mukhtar seats for more than three electoral rounds – or 18 years. Female candidates have contacted relatives and the neighborhood voters to solicit support. In Wastani, one of Sidon's 13 neighborhoods, mukhtar candidate Rola al-Sabeh-Ayon said that the neighborhood's two male mukhtars represented 8,000 voters between them. Women have been elected to Sidon's municipal board in past rounds, and three women sit on the current board. This year, however, the number of women on the Future Movement-backed list for municipal elections has been reduced to two due to certain circumstances, current council member and candidate Arab Kalash told The Daily Star.
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