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Best of 2009 unveiled in Ramallah

Jan. 27, 2010 7:06 P.M. (Updated: Feb. 1, 2010 4:28 P.M.)
Ramallah - Ma'an - Results of Ma'an Network's annual poll on leading figures and organizations were announced at a celebration attended by political, factional, social, public and media figures in Ramallah on Wednesday evening.

Ma'an general director Raed Othman thanked attendees and those who voted. He said an estimated 32 percent of Internet users in the occupied Palestinian territories participated in the poll, the largest such survey ever conducted.

Results

Winners and the top four finalists in most categories attended a ceremony at Ramallah's Best Eastern Hotel on Wednesday. Winners Salam Fayyad and Israeli Knesset Member Ahmed At-Tibi were invited to speak.

Fayyad took top place in the categories of governance, economics, and political independents. Mahmoud Abbas and Fatah narrowly defeated Ismail Haniyeh and Hamas in the categories of politics and political parties.

In culture and the arts, the late poet Mahmoud Darwish, still eligible as recent work was released in 2008, took top prize for leading cultural personality, and Abul Noon won for the top artistic figure in Palestine.

Winners and runner-ups in each category were placed as follows, in order of popularity.

Leading political personality

Mahmoud Abbas

Ismail Haniyeh

Muhammad Dahlan

Salam Fayyad

Khaled Mash’al

Leading governmental personality

Salam Fayyad

Ismail Haniyeh

Ahmad Majdalani

Mahmoud Al-Habbash

Majida Al-Masri

Leading factional personality

Muhammad Dahlan

Ismail Haniyeh

Marwan Barghouthi

Ahmad Sa'adat

Bassam Al-Salihi

Leading independent personality

Salam Fayyad

Mustafa Barghouthi

Hanan Ashrawi

Jamal Al-Khudari

Yasser Al-Wadiyeh

Leading economic personality

Salam Fayyad

Mounib Al-Masri

Sabeeh Al-Masri

Omar Abdul Raziq

Abdul Malek Jaber

Leading artistic personality

Abul Noon

Ammar Hassan

Imad Farajein

Nabil Al-Khatib

Reem Banna

Leading sports personality

Jibril Arrjoub

Jihad Tummaleih

Ramzi Salah

Saba’ Jarrar

Fahed Attal

Leading media personality

Nasser Al-Lahham

Adnan Abu Hasnah

Walid Al-Omari

Raji Al-Hams

Nasser Ashyoukhi

Leading academic personality

Younis Amro

Rami Hamadallah

Nabil Huweihi

Abdul Sattar Qassem

Sari Nuseibeh

Leading political party

Fatah

Hamas

Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine

Palestinian People's Party

Popular Struggle Front

Leading institution

Al-Quds Open University

Palestine Red Crescent Society

An-Najah University

The Islamic Society

Agricultural Relief

Leading company

Jawwal

Paltel

Padico

Bank of Palestine

Wataniyah

Most efficient municipality

Hebron

Nablus

Ramallah

Gaza City

Bethlehem

Leading cultural personality

Mahmoud Darwish

Samih Al-Qassim

Tamim Al-Barghouthi

Al-Mutawakkil Taha

Saleem Dabbour

Favorite sports team

Al-Am'ari

Hebron Youths

Wadi Al-Nis

Rafah services

Gaza sport

Leading Israeli personality

Ahmad At-Tibi

Sheikh Raed Salah

Muhammad Barakeh

Azmi Bishara

Talab As-Sane'

Methods

In an untraditional approach, pollsters opted not to use a multiple-choice format, allowing all 424,000 participants to write in their votes, which were then counted individually. A candidate was considered eligible if he or she had worked within the category's capacity in 2009. Erroneous votes were excluded.

Participating were 296,000 voters from inside Palestine, amounting to about 70 percent of the total vote. Some 85,000 people from inside Israel also joined in, making up 20 percent. One in ten voters cast ballots from 120 countries around the world, most of them from Jordan, Egypt and the United States of America.

Counting process

Various methods were adopted by a special committee to ensure accuracy. Some were electronic, detecting similarities in names, while others were manual, to detect names that were extensively repeated.

Particular difficulty arose in the various spelling of names. For example, Mahmoud Abbas was spelled in about 120 different ways, Salam Fayyad in approximately 100; Ismail Haniyeh was written in 80 different ways.

Several attempts to hack the poll were detected and thwarted by Ma'an information technology experts.

Data were reviewed at Ma'an headquarters in Bethlehem, and will shortly be published in booklet form.
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