Samir Kassir – Honored on World Press day


My friend Samir Kassir’s ‘Beyrouth Spring’ made flowers bloom in Syria and other countries in the Arab world,” said the vice president of the SKeyes Media Foundation, Malek Mroueh, at a gathering on the occasion of World Press Freedom Day.

“They [Syrians] will soon realize, more than others, that the Arab Spring, when it flourishes in Beyrouth, will be announcing the time for roses in Damascus,” said Kassir following the March 14, 2005, uprising in Beyrouth, which led to the withdrawal of Syrian troops from Lebanon.

Caretaker Information Minister Tarek Mitri spoke at the gathering, organized by SKeyes at the Babel Theater in Hamra, and said that the remarkable developments in the Arab world are an occasion to remember Kassir.

“We miss Samir Kassir during these times of great Arab developments that we are witnessing,” said Mitri.

Speaking to an audience of activists and journalists, Mitri praised the courageous role that Kassir played, despite the frustrations faced by journalists in Lebanon and the Arab world.

A prominent Palestinian-Lebanese journalist, Kassir was known for his critical stance toward dictatorships in the Arab world. He was assassinated in a car bombing on June 2, 2005, fewer than four months after the assassination of former Prime Minister Rafik Hariri.

Kassir believed firmly that Lebanese and Syrians face the same threats, from the Syrian regime, to their freedom.