Beirut Marathon Runners Race to Show Support for Hariri

إقرأ هذا الخبر بالعربية W460

Participants in Beirut's annual marathon usually run to support medical research or human rights. But this year, Lebanese racers have opted for another cause: their 'missing' prime minister. 

Saad Hariri has yet to return to Lebanon since his shock resignation in a televised announcement from Saudi Arabia eight days ago.

Rumors have since swirled that he is being held in Riyadh against his will -- and energetic Lebanese literally raced to show him support on Sunday morning.

A bright red billboard welcomed runners to the marathon's starting line in downtown Beirut with a picture of a sprinting Hariri and the Arabic caption, "We are all waiting for you." 

"We want our PM back!" was printed on several red and white placards, along with a sketch of Hariri's face. 

Young men and women distributed water bottles labeled with the same slogan, as well as caps that read, "Running for you".

"I needed a cap and I like Lebanon, so I took a hat," said 30-year-old Nisrine Chamseddine, who had just completed an eight-kilometer (five-mile) race. 

Beirut Marathon founder May al-Khalil told the AFP news agency on Sunday that a "large group of people are running for the return of Prime Minister Hariri."

"Lebanon is undergoing exceptional, difficult circumstances, and there are many people who love Prime Minister Saad al-Hariri," she said. 

- 'Run for Saad' -

Online, supporters tweeted pictures from the event with the Arabic hashtags "Run for Saad" and "Saad's coming back". 

Hariri -- who enjoys exercise, according to close friends -- has taken part in the Beirut marathon in previous years. 

But on Sunday morning, tens of thousands of runners gathered for the 15th year of the annual race without their prime minister.

President Michel Aoun had urged participants to run for "the return of prime minister Saad Hariri to Lebanon."

"May the Beirut Marathon tomorrow be a national, athletic demonstration of solidarity with PM Hariri and with his return to his country," Aoun said Saturday, according to a statement by his office. 

He also called on Riyadh to "clarify the reasons that have prevented the return of PM Hariri to Lebanon to be among his people and supporters."

Aoun has yet to formally accept Hariri's resignation and has criticized the circumstances surrounding it as "unacceptable."

In his shock announcement, Hariri accused Iran and its Lebanese ally Hizbullah of taking over Lebanon and destabilizing the broader region, saying he feared for his life.

But his subsequent week-long absence from Lebanon has sparked concerns that the ex-premier -- who also holds Saudi nationality -- is under de facto house arrest in the kingdom.

Hizbullah chief Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah said Friday that Hariri was "detained in Saudi Arabia, he is banned from returning to Lebanon."

Hariri has spent the past week in a string of meetings with diplomats and Saudi officials in Riyadh, punctuated by a single trip to Abu Dhabi. 

On Saturday, he attended a reception ceremony for Saudi King Salman who had arrived in Riyadh from the holy city of Medina, and also met with the British and Turkish envoys to the kingdom.

Comments 27
Thumb ex-fpm 12 November 2017, 12:14

Alligator tears...!

Instead of raising banners calling for the return of Hariri raise banners calling for the return of hezbollah to the Lebanese fold and for its withdrawal from Syria and for ending its wars against arab countries.

Thumb justin 12 November 2017, 12:31

who better than a fake Christian comes to the rescue of his beloved hezbollah? Yes incorruptible from the heart of Matn!!!!

So by you saying hezbollah existed for 30 years it solves all our problems. Good come back and much accepted.

You have no sense of patriotism or self respect whatsoever. Hezbollah is implementing Iran's agenda not by my account but by nassrallah's account. Hezbollah is waging wars in neighboring countries all the way to Yemen. Hezbollah is helping to destabilize Arab regimes specially in the Gulf. All these action harm Lebanon. To you these action are OK and you are happy to see hezbollah control every decision in Lebanon and yo are also happy to see and live with an armed militia that is stronger than the Lebanese army and chants labayka ya hussain and pledges allegiance to Waliy Al Faqih of Iran.

and of course you want to convince us you are a Lebanese Christian from the heart of Matn.....


Thumb ashtah 12 November 2017, 12:49


You typify the real problem with some who call themselves Lebanese. You are a pro hizbullah supporter who buries his head in the sand and pretends everything is fine and dandy. You live in a bubble created by your religious zealots and embedded in your simple minds.

You consider your hizbullah a Lebanese party yet you are happy to see a Lebanese party fight in other countries. How do you feel if a Saudi party or Egyptian party invades Lebanon to fight under some obscure objective.

You are happy to see your hizbullah fight other Arab countries to implement Iran's agenda but you are unhappy when these countries retaliate or intend to retaliate against Lebanon. And just like your president you openly claim Lebanon is neutral and does not interfere in regional conflicts. Not sure who the fool is here, but I would bet that any same person would say you are!

Thumb ashtah 12 November 2017, 12:51

Neither your president nor hizbullah have abided by the settlement that brought Aoun to the presidency. Lebanon through hizbullah has declared war on Arab countries and if you listen to your nassrallah I am sure you know what I mean. It is actually surprising these countries have not yet declared war on Lebanon. The Arab nations have been extremely patient with Lebanon and have not taken any actions yet .

Spare us your rhetoric that hizbullah existed for 30 years, etc etc. Lebanon must be held accountable once and for all.

Thumb Mystic 12 November 2017, 13:04

It is a basic need to have a Prime minister In the government.

To have civil peace, we share the power in Lebanon between all political groups.
Just because we don't like each other, we still live together.

This is what all Lebanese wants, but the ones that wish to harm Lebanon seeks to destroy it with the house arrest of the PM and unnecessary whining such as you people do.

Thumb galaxy 12 November 2017, 13:54

but your ayatollah/nassrallah is Brad Pritt 'for european humans';)

Thumb eagledawn 12 November 2017, 14:00

I feel sorry for you and your sectarian ilk. You wanna be Shia First then pack your bags and go to Iran. People like you are the true problem of this country.

Thumb irena 12 November 2017, 13:06

It's good they're running for Hariri. But they should run as well for the disarmament of Hezbollah. Before it's too late.

Thumb marcus 12 November 2017, 13:10

These hezb of terrorism terrorists have no problem with their mercenary militia wreaking havoc in the Middle East but are the first to whine and complain if any other party does the same.

Can you imagine if there is a sectarian party made up of sunnis or maronites only and is allowed to go operate in other countries, help and train insurgencies in iran, and fire ballistic missiles at Tehran.

Nassrallah said " If you want to fight us, fight us in Syria and leave Lebanon alone". yet, if anybody goes to fight against the terrorist iranian party in Syria/Iraq and returns he is arrested on the spot as 'belonging to a terrorist organization' by none other than the man of difficult missions Mr. Ibrahim of the General Security. yet, his hezbollah terrorists return to a hero's welcome.

Lebanon needs another civil war to straighten things out and put an end to this farce.

Missing humble 12 November 2017, 13:14

Fact : More than half of the Lebanese people dislike or hate Ebola.
Fact : More than 90% of the Arabs hate Ebola.
Fact :Their downfall is starting now.

Thumb galaxy 12 November 2017, 13:27

he is not lebanese, but YOU are:)!

Thumb s.o.s 12 November 2017, 13:27

Hariri is a thing from the past, he's no longer on our minds.we don't honor weak men. Next please!

Thumb irena 12 November 2017, 13:33

How come all the women in the photo are uncovered, does that mean they are all Lebanese X-ans ?
Where are other Lebanese women, ie. sunnis and female Hezbollah followers ?

Something is wrong with this marathon. Maybe me. :)

Thumb galaxy 12 November 2017, 13:56

caudal; the poster Irena was referring to women in the picture and in Lebanon. Now stfu and go play with your play-doh.

Thumb s.o.s 12 November 2017, 16:34

Most women in my family were in the marathon, none are veiled. We sunni are not as retarded as the Iranians paid people.

Women are paid 600$ per month to wear the chador I'm Dahye. This doesn't happen in the Lebanese sunni community.

Thumb s.o.s 12 November 2017, 21:22

The women are paid a monthly 600$ to wear the chador. This is a fact! Cut the Iranian banker's hands and they'll throw them away within a couple of months.

Thumb warrior 13 November 2017, 05:10

lol @barry

Thumb galaxy 13 November 2017, 10:51

Sunni women are westernized and do not cover their heads unlike the stone aged shia women of hezbollah and iran.

Thumb barrymore 13 November 2017, 22:07

Don't read too much into the picture. These 4 girls are hired and paid by Aoun to hold these banners to show he cares. The very same 4 girls appear in every FPM gathering or demonstration. Last year when Aoun was at odds with Hariri, he had the same girls carry posters of Hariri dressed in full Saudi gear written on them " The Al Baghdadi of Lebanon" in reference to Al Baghdadi of ISIS.

These are the filthy dirty games the FPM play.

Thumb irena 12 November 2017, 14:05

Thx @galaxy.
To be honest, I know very little about Lebanese sunnis.
Never been to Lebanon (planning a visit this winter though). In fact, my only contact so far with the Lebanese was 5 years in the French Antilles (Guadeloupe), mainly Lebanese X-ans (les maronites).

ps. read regularly but must say that the level of insults found in comments on this site is terrifying. in that sense, lorientlejour is light years ahead.

Missing humble 12 November 2017, 14:23

To Ebola:

You have destroyed our dignity.
We do not want to live with you.
Can you understand?

Missing humble 12 November 2017, 14:36

Guess who are The best taqqiya liars on this whole planet?

Thumb barrymore 12 November 2017, 14:44

Bassil and Aoun.

Thumb Knight 12 November 2017, 16:02

" I told I'm not religious" and you are very believable and I tell you why:

1) You see Hariri as Saudi and not Lebanese but you see Nassrallah as Lebanese and not Iranian
2) You See Posters of Saudi Leadership in Tripoli as hostile while you see Iranian Mullah posters on the airport road as friendly
3) You see Sunni Lebanese women veiled but you don't see Shia Lebanese women veiled.

Thumb Knight 12 November 2017, 17:09

"2-Be part of Saudi Axis, dethrone Hezbollah from Lebanon, have Lebanon open up for Saudi training camps inside Lebanon and have Saudi Arabia use Lebanon to launch military invasions "

I think you're gone too far:)!

Thumb Elemental 12 November 2017, 19:09

How's about running for the hope of being capable of independent thought?

Thumb Elemental 12 November 2017, 21:01

Seems you get offended by independent thought, shameful.