Ghassan Tueni passed away this morning at the age of 86, leaving behind him a legacy that has shaped Lebanon and Lebanese freedom through the country’s leading newspaper, Annahar.
Tueni’s life can be summarized by what late journalist Anthony Shahid wrote about him in this article:
He is Lebanon’s foremost journalist, a storied diplomat and a respected intellectual. Some also call him a modern-day Job, the biblical figure whose string of misfortunes never defied his faith. Tueni lost his wife and daughter to cancer, a son to a car accident, and his last child, the journalist and politician Gebran Tueni, to an assassin’s car bomb in December. Tueni speaks little of his pain, out of pride and dignity. But in a country defined less by citizenship and more by its fractious sects, his suffering and reputation have placed him tentatively above the fray. And in his twilight, he insists, he has another role to play as Lebanon is perched between the promise of long-delayed independence from foreign influence and a morass of competing loyalties.
He’s an AUB graduate and a holder of an MS degree from Harvard. He has countless publications, as well as an honorary doctorate from AUB. He served as Lebanon’s ambassador to the U.N, as well as an MP in Lebanese parliament the last of which was to replace his assassinated son.
He’s a Lebanese pioneer who helped build a beacon of freedom for Lebanon and the region. “Let my people live!” was the famous sentence he shouted in front of the U.N when he served there. With his passing, we have one less person screaming for the Lebanese to live in dignity.
Rest in peace Ghassan Tueni.
For those of you who can read Arabic, here’s the collection of what Annahar wrote this morning for Ghassan Tueni.