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Lebanon News

Advertisement mocking Chidiac sparks outrage

Lebanese journalist May Chidiac gave a speech during the opening of her media institute, the May Chidiac Media Institute-MCF. (The Daily Star)

BEIRUT: A political advertisement targeting celebrity and possible political hopeful May Chidiac for being physically handicapped circulated online over the past several days, sparking outrage among politicians from across the political spectrum

. After Chidiac indicated she was interested in running in the 2013 parliamentary elections in Kesrouan, the stronghold of Free Patriotic Movement leader Michel Aoun, a picture circulated on Facebook showing Chidiac’s artificial limbs with a caption asking whether people deserved only “half” of a candidate in the district. The Facebook post was “liked” by over 60 people and was likely created by an FPM supporter.

“I’m really hurt when I hear people say that,” Chidiac said at an interview with MTV television station Thursday.

She says she is not ashamed of who she is and is proud of herself for overcoming what happened to her.

Chidiac, a former LBC journalist, was injured during an assassination attempt in 2005 where she was likely targeted for her stance against the Syrian government’s role in Lebanon. The car bomb attack left her without a leg and an arm. Chidiac returned to journalism the next year after months of treatment and surgeries and she won many awards for her recovery and return to her career.

Her assassination attempt came at the same time as a number of figures opposed to Syria’s control over Lebanese politics were killed, including journalist Samir Kassir and newspaper editor Gebran Tueni.

The March 14 coalition held a meeting with Chidiac Wednesday to condemn the attack, calling it a violation of basic human decency.

“To express complete solidarity with her while she faces this immoral campaign and moral violence she is being subjected to from the Aounist supporters through social networks,” March 14 officials said, Al-Mustaqbal newspaper reported Thursday.

A number of other politicians condemned the attack as well, including energy minister and FPM member Gebran Bassil, who called the comments “cruel” and “mocking.” He said the FPM was not associated with the attack advertisement.

 
A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Daily Star on October 12, 2012, on page 4.

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