- Title: One mayor, double the help: Lebanese twin brothers serve community
- Date: 27th August 2019
- Summary: (SOUNDBITE) (Arabic) LEBANESE MAYOR, AHMAD BAYDOUN, SAYING: (SOUNDBITE SHOWING BOTH TWIN BROTHERS AHMAD AND KHALED BAYDOUN) "In the year 1984 we were heading down to our old home in Ras El Nabaa, we were living in the building of the Prince family. As I was heading out of my home, I wasn't armed and snipers were everywhere, I was carrying some suits, shirts and ties, as I was crossing the street, the sniper hit me, my brother ran to carry me, the sniper hit him as well, at that point I told him, we came together (to this world), it seems we'll go (die) together. I still have the bullet in my leg, my body became much weaker because I bled a lot on the ground." VARIOUS OF TWIN BROTHERS GOING THROUGH RECORDS FILES AND DOCUMENTS STACKED IN OFFICE AHMAD AND KHALED TALKING (SOUNDBITE) (Arabic) TWIN BROTHERS, KHALED BAYDOUN AND AHMAD BAYDOUN, SAYING: KHALED SAYING: "Well I, mainly carry a big burden off of him, as if I am an employee, but God created us with the same looks, to give him more momentum." AHMAD SAYING: "We had one incident in the past, where one of the neighbours died and as a mayor I have to be with the family, while at the same time some relatives had a wedding. I had to split into two people so I I told my brother to go to the wedding, congratulate them while I stay with the mourners here. There are few people who God has given the ability to be in two places at the same time." KHALED SAYING: "So it was 3:00 pm, the mayor was giving his condolences, and the mayor at the same time was congratulating people." AHMAD SAYING: "And (people were saying) thank you mayor, thank you mayor in both places." VARIOUS OF AHMAD AND KHALED WORKING ON DOCUMENTS FOR CITIZEN, VALERIE JAMBART (SOUNDBITE) (Arabic) LEBANESE CITIZEN, PREVIOUS RESIDENT OF ASHRAFIEH, ZEINA FALLAHA, SAYING: "A face (the mayor and his twin brother) of Beirut that we know and love, our Beirut, in which we all love and know each other and even though time has passed and wars, they've become a part of us." TWIN BROTHERS WORKING JAMBART GETTING PAPERWORK DONE IN OFFICE STACK OF DOCUMENTS BROTHERS WORKING (SOUNDBITE) (Arabic) LEBANESE RESIDENT OF ASHRAFIEH, ZEINA FALLAHA, SAYING: "Our mayor is the most beautiful mayor in Beirut, there isn't a second one of him, except for his twin brother." AHMAD TALKING ON PHONE AHMAD AND KHALED SITTING IN OFFICE AHMAD STAMPING DOCUMENTS WITH LEBANESE FLAG IN BACKGROUND AND PHOTO OF HIM ON WALL WITH TEXT READING (Arabic): "Mayor Ahmad Said Baydoun" (SOUNDBITE) (Arabic) TWIN BROTHER OF AHMAD BAYDOUN, KHALED BAYDOUN, SAYING: (SOUNDBITE SHOWING BOTH TWIN BROTHERS AHMAD AND KHALED BAYDOUN) "My brother and I find pleasure in this, I see a person on the street, we greet each other and I ask him what he needs from me." VARIOUS OF MAYOR AHMAD PROCESSING DOCUMENTS (SOUNDBITE) (Arabic) LEBANESE MAYOR, AHMAD BAYDOUN, SAYING: (SOUNDBITE SHOWING BOTH TWIN BROTHERS AHMAD AND KHALED BAYDOUN) "I find pleasure in serving people, if I don't help people, it feels like something is missing." VARIOUS OF TWIN BROTHERS, AHMAD AND KHALED, IN OFFICE
- Embargoed: 10th September 2019 15:22
- Keywords: Lebanon society community mayor brothers twins civil war service
- Location: BEIRUT, LEBANON
- City: BEIRUT, LEBANON
- Country: Lebanon
- Topics: Society/Social Issues
- Reuters ID: LVA005ATZV0PH
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: When Ahmad Baydoun became the mayor of Ashrafieh neighbourhood, his identical twin brother did not leave his side and after decades of working together, the pair have come to be known by residents as "the mayors".
Ahmed's brother, Khaled, is often mistaken for the mayor but he does not mind it and when people stop him in the street thinking he is the mayor, he asks them how he can help.
The septuagenarian twins love to spend their time serving their community and both Ahmad and Khaled said they find pleasure in it.
At the mayor's office, Ahmed sits behind his desk processing paperwork and documents, aided by his brother Khaled who is heavily involved in the work.
And when work commitments overlap the mayor gets to be at two places at the same time.
Ahmed, 72, is five minutes older than his twin brother and has served as mayor of Ashrafieh since 1970.
After Khaled's business in the export-import business collapsed during the war, he joined his brother in the mayor's office to help him.
Public service runs in the Baydoun family, with three generations serving the mostly Christian Ashrafieh neighbourhood as mayor.
The twins live in the area, where the only mosque there was built by one of their relatives as well.
The inseparable twins say they are proud to share their lives together from the moment they were born.
They even had a close call once during the civil when both were shot by a sniper, Ahmed first then Khaled when he came to his aid.
"We came together (to this world) it seems we'll go (die) together," Ahmed had said to Khaled, but both survived the incident and went on to spend the coming decades of their lives in the service of others.
(Production: Issam Abdallah, Imad Creidi, Yara Abi Nader)
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