Casablanca - Morocco’s appointed Head of Government, Abdelilah Benkirane, beats Barack Obama, Zinedine Zidane, and Marouane Barghouti in Aljazeera’s personality of the week survey.
Casablanca – Morocco’s appointed Head of Government, Abdelilah Benkirane, beats Barack Obama, Zinedine Zidane, and Marouane Barghouti in Aljazeera’s personality of the week survey.
The Arab world’s most-watched news channel, Aljazeera, organized a survey titled “Who Do You Think is The Personality of The Week” on its website. The survey ran for five days from December 7th to December 11th, and gave the website’s visitors a choice between four public figures: Morocco Head of Government Abdelilah Benkirane, U.S. President Barack Obama, Real Madrid coach Zinedine Zidane, and the Palestinian politician in an Israeli prison, Marouane Barghouti.
The survey linked these public figures to events that took place during the week and received huge amounts of public attention. Obama gave his last speech, Zinedine Zidane revealed the secret to his success with Read Madrid, the prisoner Marouane Barghouti came first in the Fatah Central Commission elections, and finally, Abdelilah Benkirane angered Russia with his statement on Syria.
Abdelilah Benkirane ranked first the poll with 54 percent of the total votes. Zidane came second and Barghouti third, while the U.S. president came fourth in the survey. The popularity that Morocco’s appointed Head of Government has enjoyed across the Arab world came after the statement he gave to the Arabic-speaking news source Al-Quds saying that “Russia should be part of the solution not part of the problem,” condemning its participation in the massacre of Syrians in Aleppo.
This statement angered Russia and the country asked the Moroccan government to justify the statement. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs released a statement in response, downplaying the statement made by the Head of Government and explaining that the statement was “improvised” and does not represent Morocco’s official stance
Soon after the news of the statement broke in the Arab world, a new hashtag, “Thank You Benkirane,” emerged on Facebook and Twitter. Prominent Arab figures hailed Benkirane’s clear and direct denunciation of Russia’s military intervention.