The dean of Lebanese journalists Ghassan Tueni (1926-2012), who is the honorary president and former chairman of the board of directors of An Nahar newspaper, passed away Friday.
The dean of Lebanese journalists Ghassan Tueni (1926-2012), who is the honorary president and former chairman of the board of directors of An Nahar newspaper, passed away Friday, local Naharnet website reported.
He had been hospitalized for the past three to four weeks.
Tueni has had a long career as a journalist, politician, diplomat, and educator.
He spent his life journey moving from diplomatic position to another, dedicating most of his time for Annahar daily that his father had founded.
As Lebanon's ambassador to the United Nations between 1977 and 1982 at height of the civil war, he recalls "yelling, literally yelling, in a Security Council meeting, 'Let my people live!' and proclaiming before the General Assembly, 'My country is neither for hire nor for sale!'"
Tueni’s son Gebran, a former lawmaker, was assassinated in 2005. He was among the series of politicians and journalists who were targeted following ex-Premier Rafiq Hariri’s assassination.
Throughout his career, Tueni has been in the vanguard of the struggle for Lebanese freedom, independence, and national sovereignty.
The funeral procession will be held at 12:00 pm Saturday at the St. George Greek Orthodox cathedral in downtown Beirut, while condolences will be received at the St. Nicolas church in Ashrafiyeh on Friday, Sunday and Monday.
In addition to his numerous editorials and articles in Arabic and English on the Middle East, Palestine, and the Lebanese wars, Tueni's publications include Peace-Keeping Lebanon, 1979; Laissez vivre mon peuple! 1984; Une guerre pour les autres, 1985; and in Arabic, Letters to President Sarkis, 1995; Professional and Other Secrets, 1995; The Republic on Vacation, 1992, 2004; and, with Jean Lacouture and Gérard D. Khoury, Un siècle pour rien, 2003.
Ghassan Tueni is survived by his second wife Shadia al-Khazen and four grand-daughters.
For his part, French President Francois Hollande expressed his “great” sorrow over Tueni’s passing.
He said in a statement: “Despite all the tragedy that struck his family, he remained a free man who was committed to serving Lebanon.”
“I want to praise this great journalist and diplomat has been recognized in Lebanon and abroad for his intellectual and professional prowess,” he stated.
“France, which has enjoyed a deep friendship with Ghassan Tueni, is sad for his loss,” concluded Hollande.
Kuwaiti monarch Shiekh Sabah al-Ahmed al-Sabah expressed his deep condolences over Tueni’s death, sending a cable to President Michel Suleiman on Friday praising the pioneering role the deceased played in Arab media and Lebanese journalism.
Condolences continued to pour in Lebanon, with the Vice President of the Higher Islamic Shiite Council Sheikh Abdul Amir Qabalan saying that the country “has lost one of the great Lebanese men” who have left their mark on the national and Arab scene.
“He embodied wisdom and courage in his national positions and he served as the best representative for Lebanon on the Arab scene,” he said of the former ambassador.
“His bold writings helped bolster national unity and mutual coexistence in Lebanon,” he continued.
Foreign Minister Adnan Mansour noted on Friday that “through his death, Lebanon and the Arab world have lost a symbol of intellect, journalism, and diplomacy as he took brave stances that will be remembered in Lebanese political life and handed down to future generations.”