12.12.2006

GEBRAN TUENI, FOR FREEDOM


TO THE LEBANESE SKY-HIGH CEDAR
TO THE ABSOLUTELY-FREE PHOENIX
TO THE EVER-ALIVE HERO

GEBRAN TUENI

WE WILL STAY THE COURSE,
YOUR COURSE AND YOUR WAY

THE FREE SYRIANS WHO STILL
MOURN YOU AND MISS YOU
12-12-2006

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First Anniversary of Tueni's Murder: Honors and Praise

Naharnet, 10 Dec 06

The editor-in-chief of the Yemen Times Nadia Al-Saqqaf was on Sunday awarded the 2006 Gebran Tueni prize on the occasion of the first anniversary of An Nahar General Manger's assassination.

Al-Saqqaf, who is the first woman ever to be appointed an editor in Yemen, received the award Sunday during the opening ceremony of the "Press Under Siege" conference at the Beirut International Exhibition and Leisure Center (BIEL).

The new prize from the World Association of Newspapers (WAN) aims at honoring an editor or publisher from the Arab region.

More than 5,000 people, including journalists, Tueni's family members and friends, and politicians attended the ceremony, a small distance away from the scene of an ongoing sit-in by anti-government protestors.

Sunday's ceremony went ahead despite heavy security in downtown Beirut ahead of a mass Hizbullah-led demonstration aimed at toppling Premier Fouad Saniora.

The prize honors the memory of Gebran Tueni, An Nahar's General Manager, legislator and WAN Board Member who was killed in a car bombing in the Beirut suburb of Mkalles on December 12, 2005.

WAN said that Saqqaf received the prize because she demonstrated the values incarnated in Tueni: attachment to freedom of the press, courage, leadership, ambition, and high managerial and professional standards.

The award carries a 10,000 Euro scholarship to enable Saqqaf to undertake advanced newspaper leadership training by An Nahar's training institute.

The ceremony included a documentary film about Tueni and speeches by world renowned journalists and artists who praised the late An Nahar general manager.

Tueni's daughter Nayla, who is also Lebanon's leading newspaper's assistant general manager, made a speech urging for the continuation of the Cedar Revolution and rejecting the toppling of Saniora's government.

She called on President Emile Lahoud to resign his post.

The dean of the Lebanese press Ghassan Tueni during his speech urged for a pact of honor that prevents media instigation.

Saniora also made a speech from the Grand Serail that was broadcast live to the conference at BIEL.

The prime minister vowed his government would overcome the challenge posed by opposition protesters.

"Lebanon is a strong country. We will overcome this crisis," Saniora said.

He also played down the country's deepening divisions, saying there "is no divorce between the Lebanese" and reiterating his call for talks between the bickering parties.


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