Samir Kassir – Liban (May 5, 1960 – June 2, 2005)

Linked with The Democratic Left Movement DLM, with A time to rethink, and with ‘Why do many Muslims mistrust secularism?‘.

Samir Kassir (May 5, 1960 – June 2, 2005) was a university professor, journalist and historian born to a Lebanese Palestinian father and a Syrian mother. He held both Lebanese and French nationality. A prominent left-wing activist, he was a strong advocate of freedom for the Palestinians, democracy in Lebanon and Syria and a vocal critic of the Syrian presence in Lebanon. He was assassinated on 2 June 2005 and his assailants remain unknown. A French investigation is currently underway but its results have yet to be released. (full bio, works, sources, links).

He said: “Still, there is space for this secular movement that has become frustrated with the liberal experience. In my opinion, there is a need for an effort that helps he establishment of social justice while taking into consideration all the qualifications and reservations against the welfare state”. (full text).

See his Homepage (english, french, arabic).

Samir Kassir - Lebanon redim 80p.jpg

Samir Kassir – Liban (May 5, 1960 – June 2, 2005)

There was created a Samir Kassir Award for freedoom of the press, see their Homepage: in english, en français. Read:

Samir Kassir (très exhaustif) dans le wikipedia français.

The work, and the questions, continue:

Lire: Une révolution inachevée;

Lire: un homme épris de liberté;

Comment on Samir Kassir’s: “Being Arab” (excerpt): … In any case, the moral of the story (if there is one) is that the rising tide of political Islam (a product exported largely from the gulf) is a danger that threatens to nip the cultural development of the arabs. In fact, it has already done extensive damage to all forms of expression, be it cinema, literature, music (to a lesser extent), theatre… However, it is not too late to salvage the dying renaissance and to present it as an alternative to the fanaticism of politicized religion on one hand, and to complete subjugation to the West on the other … (full text).

His work: in english on amazon, on wikipedia; in arabic on beirut letter.com.

About his death: On Thursday June 2, 2005, Samir boarded his Alfa Romeo that was parked in front of his apartment building in the Ashrafieh quarter of Beirut on his way to Annahar. As he stepped into his car, a bomb exploded under his seat leading to his instant death. Samir was the 28th journalist to be killed since the Ottomans hanged several Lebanese and Syrian pro-independence journalists and activists in 1918. His death provoked outrage in Lebanon and around the world. While his friends and supporters in Beirut, Washington and Paris held candle vigils and demonstrations in tribute to their lost inspiration, the Security Council convened – in a surprising step – to condemn his killing. At 45 years of age, the life of one of the most talented and courageous journalists in the Middle East was ended prematurely, leaving behind his wife, prominent TV presenter Giselle Khoury and two daughters Mayssa and Eliana. Yet, his comrades at the Democratic Left Movement, friends, and supporters vowed to keep his memory alive and to follow in his footsteps in his pursuit to achieve democracy, secularism and social justice in Lebanon and the Arab world. (full text).

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