It is a normal incident if a newspaper in Lebanon closes, but a catastrophic event on the cultural, political, and national level. So, what would the case be like if it was about “Assafir” newspaper?
It is not a company going bankrupt, with all due respect to the importance of every corporation, but for around fourty years, it has been related to the country’s identity, and has been “a voice for the voiceless”, as its slogan mentions.
It has been a basic part of the daily lives of many Lebanese and Arabs for decades. Its effect has sometimes been positive, and at other times negative, but it was never neutral; it always left its touch and impact on the overall events, not to forget that it has contributed in making many events, with the shifts in balance and forces influencing the country.
Numerous generations were raised on Assafir’s principles. I remember the early nineties when “An-Nidaa” newspaper closed, and its fans directly shifted towards Assafir. It was “a logical alternative” for that loss.
Tragically, this issue is being dealt with as if it’s all about fate. The government does not care about such issues, and none of the officials talks about the danger of what is happening, as if that incident is not related to one of Lebanon’s remaining definitions, and as if it does not affect its value as a country of freedoms and diversity.
The issue of media and freedoms is under discussion, so it is unnatural that the quotas in media continue the way they are, without any diversity within.
The Lebanese state, media, and public opinion, are responsible for this monopoly, or else, burying the country’s elements one after another will continue.