Ma'an News Agency
January 27, 2010 - 1:00am

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.


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
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
Bank of Palestine

Most efficient municipality
Gaza City

Leading cultural personality
Mahmoud Darwish
Samih Al-Qassim
Tamim Al-Barghouthi
Al-Mutawakkil Taha
Saleem Dabbour

Favorite sports team
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'


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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