Inside the Middle East - Blog
December 20, 2007
Inside the Middle East's "People of the Year"
As 2007 comes to an end, Inside the Middle East's reporters and producers have been submitting their nominations for the region's personalities of the year.

In the next few days, I will publish a list of the five individuals profiled or discussed on the program who our team feels have had the biggest impact (good or bad) on their field over the last twelve months.

Possible names include : Movie director Nadine Labaki, Egyptian blogger Wael Abbas, Iraqi National Library head Saad Eskandar, Fashion Designer Reem Accra, Lebanese politician Saad Hariri, Aramex CEO Fadi Ghandour, Saudi King Abdullah, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, Egyptian novelist (and dentist) Alaa Al Aswany, Iranian peace prize laureate Shirin Ebadi... and many more.

Who would you like to nominate? Who do you think should make the top five and why? Your vote can be in favor of anyone whose work you think was significant or influential in 2007 in the Middle East. The name does NOT necessarily have to come from the short list of suggestions above.

Email us at or add a comment below.

Thanks to all of you for writing in!

Update: voting is now closed on this post. We will publish reader results later today.

--Posted by Hala Gorani
Here are my choices:
1. Nadine Labaki (an inspiration)
2. Sherin Ebadi (a real fighter)
3. Wael Abbas (a courageous blogger)

Best regards and happy holidays from a dedicated fan.

Magda Abu-Fadil
Journalism Training Program
Regional External Programs
American University of Beirut
Salam ;
I really think that all of this program team are certainly good.

for me ,I remember many and many beatiful pictures of this program here in yemen or about situations on area ,and your investigations about paupers in Bahrin ,refguees and the different sides of our arabic culture.

aljazeera enlish's program 48 gives us clearly spots of several countries of world ,using very wonderful manners.

aljazeera arabic "FROM WASHINGTON" drives its viewers to debate thier related subjects directly with american thinkers and officials.

so,please go forword to develope your comunication methods.

absolately yah, I agree Magda's list ,but I don't imagine this list without the best anchour Hala.

short massege:happy aid
happy newyear
happy christmas
Wael Abbas filer Egyptian excellent written and the great strength SUMMARY He deserves more than that, selection and Wael or his nomination in question Terminator accuracy as Wael example for most bloggers
The novelist Naguib Mahfouz Ala Aswan next
Filer Egyptian
Omar Al-Sharkawi
How about Kareem Amer?
I vote for Shirin Ebadi.
Hi, I'd like to suggest the following for "Mideast People of the Year":

1. Da Arab MC's (Suhell Nafar, Tamer Nafar, Mahmoud Jreri) (real inspiration)

2. Fouad Saniora (real leader)
Dear Hala,

I would like to say that by far HRH King Abdulla has made such an impact in the last year in International politics that he is by far the front runner for this title.

Happy holidays,
Hi, I'd like to suggest the following for "Mideast People of the Year":

1. Da Arab MC's (Suhell Nafar, Tamer Nafar, Mahmoud Jreri) (real inspiration)

2. Fouad Saniora (real leader)

2:01 AM
I would like to nominate two people:
Mai Ghoussoub (posthumously) for being an inspiration and a voice to many through her contributions to Arab culture and publishing.

Samir Frangieh: intellectual and member of the Lebanese parliament, key force behind the Cedar Revolution.
Hi There;

I think Ms Shirin Ebadi is a symbol of courage for all women in the world not only in middle eat and not only in politic but also in day to day of life. For all women whom lost hope and strength she is the hope. She is my hero. Every time I want to complain and say I can’t do it then here she is front of me in my mind. I remember Shirin and say to myself sham on you to complain. If she could and she did it under that awful dictator regime of Iran then you can and you must. We (all women) owe it to her to take care of ourselves and do more than serving our own fashion (hari, nail, perfume,..).

I am proud to call myself a woman because of her.

God bless and happy New Year
Saudi King Abdullah
Gilad Shalit
Ehud Goldwasser
Eldad Regev

Three Israeli soldiers who have been kidnapped and held without any contact with their families. They are the 2007 people of the year for the Middle East because there is a wall of silence around their ongoing captivity. There will be no peace in the Middle East until a resolution is found and they are released. Their families have suffered and the Red Cross has been denied access to verify the conditions under which they are being held. Are they alive? What will be the price for their release? It is all part of the Middle East situation and their ongoing captivity (and the silence and the acceptance of the world that this captivity should be allowed to continue) is a symbol of the crisis itself. Israel allows Red Cross representatives into its prisons to meet with Arab prisoners. Arab prisoners are given full access to health services and legal counsel and even access to their families. All this has been denied to these Israeli captives and, to the world and the media's great shame, this situation is allowed to continue. What the world fails to realize is that the Israeli people do not support this silence or the shameful way in which our government has agreed to sit down with any Arab representatives before these three young men are released. So - I nominate Gilad, Ehud, and Eldad - because the key to peace in 2008 may well rest on their heads. Bring them home and maybe conditions will be improved. Continue to demand unreasonable terms and hold them without communication, and nothing will happen in nothing happened in 2007.

Paula Stern
In general, my favorite stories from the Mideast are related with ANONYMOUS people, whose stories are a living image of many others. Those, who daily have to cope with life obstacles, with fear, lost, death, loneliness, survive… those who dare to make a stand while everyone, and everything is against them, those who still dare to dream when there lives looks more like a nightmare, all those, women, men and children, are my People of the Year.

Here are some:

Saad Eskandar, Director, Iraq Natl. Library & Archive – because history is memory of ones people, ones country…And men’s has a short memory. So it’s important we have something or someone that reminds us of the good and bad things we have done through out time.

Egyptian blogger Kareem Amer - "To share but not to chain - That's freedom".

The Five-year-old Youssif –for is courage, for reminding us how ruthless war and hate can be.

And even if looks an odd choice: the House of 'mercy elders ' – Because we sometimes forget elders still have a voice, a wise one, and there is so many good things they can teach and share with us.

And excuse me for the personal note: It's also a way to say thanks to my granny, herself a heroine.
Hi Hala,

I would certainly give my vote to King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia because of his humanitarian efforts in the region. Whether it be getting the fighting Palestenian factions in Mekkah for peace talks or helping cojoined twins have normal lives, his fingerprints are all over the region. He is certainly a king of the hearts. We need more like him over here....
My choice is Fouad Saniora. He is a true leader and a patriot. God bless you and don't let anyone put you down.
That your list of suggestions included absolutely no Israelis caught my eye . . . .

I nominate Ehud Goldwasser, Gilad Shalit & Eldad Regev. Not even the International Red Cross has been allowed to see them, even though Israel permits that same organization to interview the Palestinians in Israeli jails. They are only three ordinary young men, but their circumstances are extraordinary, inhumane, and in violation of international law regarding prisoners of war.
I think middle east has been impacted greatly with much more than one person in 2007. Most of those mentioned by Hala Gorani deserve to be recognized as the person of the year, personally I don’t think we should focus on subjects like this and I believe readers can share their ideas and thoughts on subjects like: How can we bring peace to middle east? how can we fight poverty? how can we help? and how can we come to understand and accept each other? Let’s stop creating problems instead of resolving many that already exist. But if we are to choose the person of the year for 2007 I suggest the 5 year old brave Iraqi boy yusof “the hero” and let’s keeping him safe forever.

Khosrow Noorifard
San Jose,Costa Rica
Sheik Hasan Nasralla (A real leader for the muslim world to follow)
1-Saad Hariri (for his faith in trying to bring justice to Lebanon and his family after the assassination of his father and all the other victims from the people and the parliament - for enduring so much pressure. Even all thos who oppose him at least must admire his courage for facing up these challenges)

2-Nadine Labaki - brings Lebanon to its former glamour by her creative inspirational movies, music clips and documentaries - if I am not mistaken one of the sister's won an award for the Armenian's in Lebanon - it was something that really made be proud of of having someone of not the same ethnic origin have passion for such an old country and history that even today its Genocide is a major issue on political table.

3-Mahmoud Abbas - His efforts so much resemble to Mr Fouad Saniora. Mr Abbas knows he has more to offer to Palastinian then anyone else. He has the contacts the ability the vision that other Palastinians miss take it for disloyalty while his ways are less rigid more open to discussion more peaceful as he sees the bigger picture with less blood to spill. I believe he has understood that 2 arguing sides must at some point concede or negotiate for a higher purpose and one has to grab every little or big chance to achieve or make a milestone.

Taline Babikian
I would nominate Saad Hariri.majority parliamentary leader.He stepped in, a mourning novice after the murder of his father..He has grown into the job in a very tumultuous country,at a critical time surrounded by savvy experienced politicians.He has matured, stood firm by the March 14 coalition , the first such group in Lebanon with many different religious and political backgrounds yet one goal ,worked tirelessly on many impossible problems (the elections,the International tribunal,the current presidential impasse to name a few )being mindful to avoid any Sunni Shiite conflict
Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Ruler of Dubai- a real visionary and a resolute sign of hope in the mess that is the Middle East.
The Person of the Middle East is not any leader, Christian, Muslim or Jew, is not a general or soldier, he or she is not the captivating blogger or author, or philanthropist/king. The person of the Middle East is me, my neighbor, my countryman, the person across the border, his brother, son, wife and those beyond his borders. The person of the Middle East is every single one of us, who survives this madness every single day.
Definitly Shirin Ebadi
Wael Abbas the most courageous person you can encounter, he is not afraid despite of all the harassment and intimidations from the Egyptian security, despite the fact that his fellow blogger Karim Amer is in jail, he is continuing to do his excellent job, few days ago he published another video exposing police abuse, despite his account being stopped by youtube, now he is back, the new video depicts an Egyptian police officer stripping a girl naked.
Wael Abbas needs your support to continue the great work he is doing.
I could nominate several P. of the Y., but since Ms. Gorani chose to point out only Arab ladies and gentlemen, I guess there's not much sense in trying to squeeze in any Israelis.
Thank you
I vote for Wael Abbas
I vote for Wael Abbas.
Gilad Shalit
Ehud Goldwasser
Eldad Regev
I think the suggested mix of different personalities that does not have any thing in common but beeing in the middle east is quite a puzzeling question and it has severeal impacts on one's decision. In other words the list does not only for people to choose the personality which is considered as the year person but also it reflects the people's interest of the year, so if more poeple chose a political person, this implies the importance of the issues these poeple were part of, and the same is true for the rest of fields.

But if we disignated these persons into categories it would be more proffesional and more meaningful.
My choice is Shirin Ebadi, a courageous woman fighting for freedom in an oppressive Iran.
King Abdullah
I would like to nominate: Ben Ammi Ben Israel. Spiritual leader of the African Hebrew Isrealite Community located in Dimona Israel. Having left the United States in 1967 looking for a better life, he and his followers have created "An Island of sanity" in Israel.
I would like to add my vote to Wael Abbas.

Wael has been a very strong voice for Freedom in Egypt.
Wael Abbas is the highly recommended nominee,the work that he's doing shall positively affect the future of many millions of people at his country.

i think that wael abbas

must take the man of the year

for 2007
Wael Abbas dosn't deserve to be naminated
see why here
i nominate Wael Abbas for his grete efforts to publish the Egyptian policemen crimes against the poor Egyptian people. he deserve it.
I would like to add my vote to Wael Abbas.
My nomination goes to the Palestinian people, especially those who are suffering a non-human siege at Gaza strip. The whole world is watching in silence, and acting life is good.
May God be with them, and forgive us for being part of the silent world.
Yasser, Egypt
Dear Hala , I would like to nominate Wael Abbas , for his role exposing the corruption in the Ministry of Interior's so called Police Oficers .
This is to give my comment about the Middle East region's personalities of the year.

I think the best one to be nominated is Alaa Al Aswani, as he made a kind of revolution in the arabic novel composing.

The one I think that he shouldn't be in the list is Wael Abbas. Actually Wael was very active in the previous years and I really liked his blog. In 2007 his activity reduced very much and he only depends for his news on the anonymous emails. He doesn't make any effort to make sure of any of the news he receives. Also, he doesn't have any democracy in dealing with his blog readers. He deletes any comments that criticize him and keep only the compliments.

The other one I feel that it was a mistake to just mention him in this list is the Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, unless he will be nominated as the worst person of the year. I may self don't know what is view of this man about his people case. He can't make peace with his people and gather them further to make peace with the Israeli people.

This is my comments about these three nominees.
I'd like to welcome the Egyptian State Security officers who just joined us;)
Now with character assassination fun and psychological warfare games, enjoy it with Egyptian State Security or "SS";)
[quote][b]Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum[/b], Ruler of Dubai- a real visionary and a resolute sign of hope in the mess that is the Middle East. [/quote]

I agree, this man have done a great job in Dubai
Wael Abbas is my first choice.

I support people who make real positive actions. Wael is working on directing the global attention to the Egyptian-police brutality.

Egypt is in bad need for many other "Waels" in many other different fields; health care, infra-structure, economy, education, academia, transportation, politics, elections, culture, industry, tourism, agriculture, rid tape, routine .... etc. Each of these easily needs pages and pages to just briefly be discussed. So, YES, I support every Wael Abbas who pushes the wheel against corruption.
I vote for Wael Abbas
I vote for the residents of Sderot Israel. They have endured over two thousand rocket terrorist attacks and yet in the face of this sickening Arab Palestinian terrorism they remain strong in their determination to live, to teach, to love and to learn. Through their bravery they are teaching the world not to bend in the face of Islamic fundamentalist terrorism.
I vote for:

- Dr. Alaa Al Aswani
- Wael Abbas
- Fadi Ghandour
I vote for Wael Abbas.
vote goes for Wael Abbas. for playing against all odds.
sherif soliman
riyadh, KSA
Thank you Hala!

I would most certainly support Fouad Siniora for this honor. He has led the Lebanese people during such times of crisis, and he has fought against those who have tried to create civil war, disunity, and an undemocratic, pro-Syrian government. His resilience and confidence in Lebanon is truly honorable!
i vote for wael abbas
Wael all the way!!!!!!!!
how about the egyptian normal moderate man who is living with a salary 300 egyptian pounds
doesnt he deserve to be the man of the year while he is still honest and trying to live???
Wael Abbass...
Way to go..
wael abbas is now busy with fame and didnt do anything in 2007
what he was doing in 2007?
he doesnt even have a talent in writting
and he supports sadaat in a strange way
not good choice at all
I think the man of the year is Ismael Hanyah
Wael Abbas
Saad Hariri
I vote for Wael Abbas his blog have more freedom than any where and I think that he obsereve that
Please! for those saying King Abdullah! go get a life! and this forum should be free for people to express their real opinion. It looks that Arabs (I am an Arab) are used to dictatorship and lack of democracy that they can't see reality anymore. The hypocracy is entrenched in the arab mind!! This is the king who went running to Annapolis while a whole population in Gaza is under seige! giving free benefits to Isreal. How can he be the person of the year when no one from his people can question his actions?!! As for the ones choosing the mislead Saad-Alhariri and Elsinoira are even more lost, I never will respect someone buying votes to achieve political gains. those two are US cronies, will never respect someone like Saad Alhariri who meets and get support form hated figures like Dick cheney.
I would actually nominate Moez Masoud.

If I had to choose from the specific list given, I'd go for Wael Abbas.
Wael Abbas deserves because of his great effort to uncover the hidden truth .
He really contributed in moving the still water in the egyptian society
I'm realy want to vote for
Mr.Wael Abbas
as the man of the year

best wishes
I think that an exelent choice would be the American Soldiers serving in Iraq. Even if you don;t support the war, you can still support the troops who are courageously fighting.
I nominate Wael Abbas. His work has exposed the brutality of Egyptian Police against civilians and also revealed the Police role in forging Egyptian elections. Now, Wael Abbas is under great threat of being detained by State Security Police. This nomination could save his life.
Dr. Mohamed Mostafa Kamel
Ain-Shams University, Cairo, Egypt
I nominate Wael Abbas. His work has exposed the brutality of Egyptian Police against civilians and also revealed the Police role in forging Egyptian elections. Now Wael Abbas is under great threat of being detained by State Security Police. This nomination could save his life.
Dr. Mohamed Mostafa Kamel
Ain-Shams University, Cairo, Egypt
My Nomination is Wael Abbas... his role in exposing cases of torture & brutality in Egyptian police stations.

Because of the efforts of Wael (together with other Egyptian bloggers as well), several police men were sent to jail after being proved guilty of torturing.

So I nominate Wael Abbas & vote for him as one of the influencial "people of th year" in the ME.

Mina Zekri
Human Rights Activist & Blogger
Here are my choices:
1. Wael Abbas
2. alaa al aswani
NAdine labaki
I strongly rcommend Wael Abbas, he is a brave and honest young Egyptian who is taking the responsibility to expose any abuse
wael abbas is the youngest, the simplest, the weakest, the loneliest, the least ideologist, and the least rewarded
Wael Abbas off course
he is the one who really needs our support not the Saudi King or Nadine Leebki!!!
Dear Hala Gorani,

"Inside the Middle East" is my favourite programme on CNN, and I am especially pleased to have seen many coverages about Lebanon.

Due to the never ending internal political turmoils, inspired by foreign (regional and international) meddling, make Lebanon always a topical issue, and worth a story.

This tiny land however is so unique in so many sense, it has the potential to be a real role model of emerging democracies in the Middle East.

I would like to nominate one man from Lebanon, who stands out from among the zaims and corrupt leaders, who never compromised in favour of those corrupt leaders by the foreign pressure, who is working on a secular and democratic Lebanon, a hero and idealist, a restless and straightforward man, among the easily corrupted Lebanese leaders.

I would like to nominate Michel Aoun.

Best regards,

Szende D.
Nadine Labaki, Wael Abbas, Saad Eskandar, Reem Accra, Saad Hariri, Fadi Ghandour,King Abdullah, Mahmoud Abbas, Alaa Al Aswany, Shirin Ebadi??!! What about people of the same caliber? Wael Abbas cannot be in the same list as Mahmoud Abbas, may be you thought they were relatives! So far his knight award has made him so vain that he's been showing disrespect for all those who helped him acquire some of the recent international notoriety!
Wael Abbas, the courageous Egyptian blogger should be the man of the year. This young man alone is exposing police brutality and torturing of Egyptians on what seems to be a systematic policy. He receives incredible threats, and many of his blogger friends were thrown in prisons, yet his determination gets firmer each day.
Wael Abbas turned blogging into a very powerful tool to fight tirany and state torture.
It is such characters that give us hope of a better future and dignity for human beings.
While I agree that the every middle easterner, as one of the comments said, deserves to be the person of the year, I think the Palestinians deserve it more that anyone else. For 60 years these people have become prisoners in their own homeland and deprived from basic human rights and necessities. Their territory has continuously shrunk and the whole world has closed their eyes to this fact. As the other comment said, shame on us for letting this to go on, and most especially shame on the the Arab leaders who have sold their soul and conscience for petro, soon to be euro dollars.
Obviously George W Bush is the toppest guy of mid-east for his command of surging US army to IRAQ and reduced Iraqi violence significantly in these months.

the second one i think it's US secretary of state because she pushed both sides to make a deal to ease the situation between these two long-term rivals

the third one...
I still do not have any idea about the third one...
put amr adieb with them please
Hi All,
i think the best will be
"wael abbas".
he exposed the brutality of egyptian police, plus his work has results and impacts (we have now an accused officer who is imprisoned right now)

the worst is "saad al hariri".
the guy is a complete puppet, and works for an external agenda.

My choice goes for the christians of the middle east, the descendents of the pharaons, phoenicians, "real" arab thinkers and similar, for their patience and sufferings for more than 20 centuries!!

Wake up people of the world !!

Submitted by Michel Habib
I like to nominate the freedom loving lebanese people.
After decades of civil war, and rebuilding, followed by numerous political assassinations, the lebanese people are still determined more than ever not to give up their dream to live free in a democratically elected government.
Dear Ms. Gorani,

I am a Lebanese Christian student, living in a country which, with all its problems and complications, was once described by Pope John Paul the second as a Message. A message of pluralism, a message of peace, and a small "sample" of how all the different religions of this world CAN coexist trespassing all differences.

For all those reasons and more, i nominate General Michel Aoun. A person who taught the once closed Christian and Muslim societies of Lebanon, to open up, meet and share one life, and now one society. It all started during the last war of July, when huge numbers of Muslims were left without homes, this leader quoted the Bible to ask us to open our homes, to give shelter and food and medicine.
I nominate:
Ehud Goldwasser
Gilad Shalit
Eldad Regev

Three Israeli soldiers being held captive without any communications to their families. May they stay strong and make it home safely.
Here are my choices :

1. General Michel Aoun
2. General Michel Aoun
3. General Michel Aoun

Thank you
I would like to choose the follwoing 3 brave men:

Gilad Shalit
Ehud Goldwasser
Eldad Regev

Three Israeli soldiers who have been kidnapped and held without any contact with their families.
I have a question as to why it was only Arabs listed on the "People of the Year List." Israel is a legitimate country. Has no one looked there for all? Just because some of the Arabs see Israel as a good place to hate doesn't mean there are people to note for their work.

S.B Stein NJ
wael abbas is the best
None of the politicians as they are loosers..

- Youssef the Iraqi kid

And all the peace makers..

I would rather put the worst Middle east Person of the Year! And there are lots of them here
M Sakr
I dont think any two people had for impact this year than

1) President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad

2) Muqtada al-Sadr

in terms of U.S. foreign policy in the middle east i don't think any men have as much opposition power as these two have.
The real heroes are those who were brutally kidnapped and being held hostage.
Gilad Shalit
Ehud Goldwasser
Eldad Regev
I would say weal Abbas
It is a shame that no Israelis have been mentioned, acting as if Israel is non-existant.

I agree with the sentiment of

Gilad Shalit
Ehud Goldwasser
Eldad Regev

as Middle-Easterners of the year.
hi all

My first choice is:
< General Michel Aoun a lebanese politician... >

My second choice is:
< Nadine Labaki >

I vote for:
1- General Michel Aoun, the one and only politician who ever fought for the freedom of Lebanon against all kinds of occupation.
2- Nadine Labaki a talented lebanese girl
Egyptian blogger Wael Abbas
my vote would be

1- king Abdullah of Saudi Arabia .for all that he's done and will do ....
2-Wael Abbas (a courageous blogger) indeed .
3-Shirin Ebadi( a freedom fighter )

Sam j.
the one and only General Michel Aoun
I vote for General Michel Aoun, the only politician in Lebanon who is not relying on foreign interference.. the only politician whose support is 100% lebanese..
My choices are:

Saed El Hariri and Fouad El Saniora.
Hi Hala,
I vote for Egyptian blogger Wael Abbas.
I would like to nominate King Abdullah II of Jordan. He has been and continues to be a progressive and eloquent statesman in the region promoting understanding and dialogue rather than action without thinking.

Morgan Chang
alaa elaswany
Oddly, no Israeli is on the list of those suggested for M.E. Person of the Year by CNN. This is a country, for example, whose culture has produced 4 times as many Nobel laureates as the Arab-Moslem world despite being about 1/200 of its size in term of population.

And the Nobel award doesn't include many categories in the arts in which Israelis have had a significant influence.

But then again, this is CNN.
I vote for the only politician who made me feel safe, who never lied to me, never let me down, who cares about my future and the one of my children

Hi Hala,
I vote for Egyptian blogger Wael Abbas.
Ehud Goldwasser
Eldad Regev
Gilad Shalit

During this Christmas holiday, I pray that Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ cause their evil captors to have compassion and a change of heart to release these hostages as we usher in the new year with renewed hope for peace in the Middle East.

I shudder to think what suffering and torture these poor individuals are enduring and call for the Red Cross to seriously pursue their cause to visit them after over 500(!) days in captivity while the world remains silent. Amen

Mary Robertson
Albuquerque, NM
The word "people" is plural, so stop nominating individuals.

The obvious Middle East's "People of the Year" are the innocent victims of war and terrorism!

Robert Godfrey
The King of Saudi Arabia needs to be removed for his handing of the qatif rape victims case

Likewise Nasrallah is a terrorist and head of a terrorist organization

I nominate the King of Jordan for keeping his country from sliding into anarchy that has griped other countries in his region
Let's vote for the leaders among the common people that have had the courage to stand up and speak against the status quo that has lasted an eternity in the region. These people are either in hiding, in jail or persecuted because of their beliefs and their desire for individual freedoms in a region where ruthless leaders have ruled for ever and have yet to grant basic rights to their citizens. There is a ray of hope but it is very dim at this time, these courageous individuals should be recognized so that more like them will rise up against those that hold power and subjugate their own people in order to safeguard their own hold on power. Democracy in the region can only be achieved through revolution and revolution is born when enlightened minds speak up and embolden the masses to rise up. It's happened in history before so many times and it can and will happen in the Middle East.
I vote for the leaders among the common people that dared to speak up their minds in the interest of individual freedoms and democratic principles. These people are the ones that have embraced the cause of so many that do not have a voice in a region where repression is the norm and capital punishment for those that openly challenge the status quo. They can be found all over the map in Syria, Jordan, Lebanon, Egypt, Irak, Iran, Saudi Arabia to name a few....too many of them to name...some have already lost their lives because they took a firm stand and never looked back!
I think you commit a mistake by naming Saad Hariri as Lebanese Politcal Figure because Hariri is a richest man in lebanese politics.
What About Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah? General Michel Aoun??
I notice that you didn't enter well inside the Middle East!
Gilad Shalit
Ehud Goldwasser
Eldad Regev
wael abas
i hope to win with this award like more awaed s
In 1964 in Jessup MS, The community of the United States of America, watched as the African American Community destroyed themseleves. Now in 2008 we are fighting a culture who thrives off of ideas i.e. Terrorism. A culture who has been fighting a war before Intergration was an issue for the USA. Did I mention that that war is a civil war. Nieghbor verse Nieghbor. So what is our world coming to. dA BoOtLeGGer
Dear Hala,
being a lebanese citizen living in Europe for 20 years now, i would like to nominate General Michel Aoun who is giving me and many other lebanese people, a hope that one day we will be able to go back to our free land. He represents the majority of the lebanese by bringing the idea of secularism, the national security and of course the independence, freedom and sovereignty in the country. General Michel Aoun is the man who stood against the syrian occupation during years and didnt steal the government like the other politician ruling actually the my choice is General Michel Aoun.
thank you.
Libnan Ot3et Sama
Hi, Concerning the Inside The Middle East's: People of the year.

I Give my Vote Michel Aoun, because of he's the cleanest politician in Lebanon and the Middle east.

Taek Daou
I Vote for Michel Aoun because of he's one of the few Lebanese clean politicians, a true and the closest leader to his people, a patriot that fought years and years for the freedom of Lebanon and is willing to fight to achieve a good living for the Lebanese people (in their country).

Tarek Daou
1 - Wael Abbas.
2 - Alaa Al Aswany.

Thank you very much,
Ahmed Zidan, an Egyptian blogger and activist.
definitely Wael Abbas
I find it curiously interesting how some people know the names of the 3 Israeli soldiers held captive in Arab countries, but do not know the name of a single Lebanese or Palestinian prisoner (many of them innocent) out of the thousands held in Israel today. Nor do they know the names of any of the innocent children slaughtered in the occupied territories or in Lebanon by the Israeli army in 2006. Martin Luther King, Jr. said that true peace is not merely the absence of tension, but the presence of JUSTICE. The only time there will be true peace in the middle east is when people stop treating it like a conflict between two equally strong combatants, and look at it for what it truly is - the biggest human rights challenge facing the 21st century.

I nominate the peace activists on both sides of this conflict. Extermists on both sides never take a day off, but neither do the peace activists. Salaam, shalom and God bless.
Just one man kept our faith in Lebanon despite the syrian occupation and invasion of Lebanon because he faught fiercly against it with no compromise, and now he's fighting corruption, feudalism, clientelism, sectarianism, and indirect occupation and external influences, this only man is keeping our faith in Lebanon, a strong, clean, modern and civilised one, It's the general Michel Aoun, a man of principles, and what's ironic is that lots of people don't beleive him because sometimes the think that what he saids is to good to be true, so the accuse him of being an imposter. 10x.
hi hala, i think the people of the year are the irak's people, who suffer the american ocupation and terrorism.
Iam Safwan Khimi And I Vote For King Abdullah
2- Pres. mahmoud Abbas
For his negative and very bad impact on palastinian case,
Wael Abbas needs your support to continue the great work he is doing.
My vote is for Saudi Arabian King Abdullah for his continued diplomatic and humanitarian efforts.

My choice is Saudi King Abdullah as the first leader who could make middle east within his two years of leadership a stable area more than any time before since 50 years.
For the best Egyptian Blogger ..
even with many of the listed have a special place in my heart:

Wael Abbas..
I vote for Wael Abbas. I think he is the best one amoung the names minsioned.
he really fights for the freedom and descuss his opinion about the events running in the egypt and the middleast. however, I sometimes disagree with him, I respect his so much.
Well Done Wael
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