Hezbollah honored on Wednesday Assafir Daily's Editor in Cheif, Talal Salman, under the patronage of "Loyalty to the Resistance" Parliamentary bloc leader, MP Mohammad Raad, in presence of Information Minister, Melhem Riachy, Syrian Ambassador to Lebanon, Ali Abdul Karim Ali, and a number of MPs, dignitaries, and media figures.
In an address he gave during a lunch banquet at Bridge Restaurant - Airport Road, Raad hailed Assafir daily as a "gigantic national institution that hyped the freedom of press."
"If a free journalist is capable of personally giving his nation, people, and humanity an added value, then let us imagine what such a huge national institution would give to its people," Raad said in praise of Assafir daily.
As-Safir terminated its operations on Dec. 31, after 42 years in the business, due to financial and funding woes. The paper, which was launched in 1974, ironically thrived during the Lebanese Civil War (1975-1990), but has struggled immensely in the last few years. Similarly, Annahar newspaper, established in 1933, has ended the year with major cuts in budget and staff, laying off more than 60 people according to the Lebanese media.
"Assafir became a landmark for the respectful and free press in Lebanon and the Arab world, not to mention an institution from which generations of journalists have graduated," Raad added.
"Our meeting today is an opportunity to express, on the behalf of Hezbollah Secretary General, Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah, and all our brethrens, our great appreciation to our big brother, Mr. Talal Salman, a leader in the world of press freedom and the owner of Assafir daily," Raad said, heaping praise on the countless achievements of this great media figure.
In turn, Salman said that it was a great honor for Assafir daily and its staff to be receiving such "an outstanding honorary celebration by an organization that has long endeavored to preserve the sanctity of our land."
"We have always striven to be the voice of those without a voice. We have always asked the state to be one that equally serves all and not a farm that serves people on sectarian basis," Salman added.
Source: National News Agency