From AFP: Lebanon's battle of the billboards



 
Images of political players – dead or alive – are omnipresent in Lebanon. They are plastered on just about every standing structure in a battle of the billboards mirroring the deep political divide that has paralyzed the country.
 
Hezbollah billboards in South Lebanon. © Caroline Poiron / arabimages.com
Hezbollah billboards in South Lebanon. © Caroline Poiron / arabimages.com

BEIRUT, April 1, 2008 (AFP) – Hours after Hezbollah commander Imad Mughnieh was killed, huge billboards of his burly face stenciled like the iconic Che Guevara portrait or a photo of him in battle fatigues were printed and ready to display all over Lebanon.

Pictures of this man on America's Most Wanted list are among the first images to greet visitors to the country, lining the road from the airport to downtown Beirut.

Farther inside the capital, assassinated former prime minister Rafiq Hariri, on his own or flanked by his son and political heir Saad, looks down from larger-than-life posters adorning city buildings.

The picture changes again in the northern town of Bsharre, this time with vast signs showing Christian leader Samir Geagea. In the eastern Bekaa region, Hezbollah chief Hassan Nasrallah and other Shiite leaders are the poster of choice.

Images of political players – dead or alive – are omnipresent in Lebanon. They are plastered on bridges, electricity poles, cars and just about every standing structure in a battle of the billboards mirroring the deep political divide that has paralyzed the country for more than a year.

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