Gebran Tueini, The Voice Of National Unity & Freedom Echoing From The Past

Gebran Tueni was born on September 15, 1957. He was a member of the parliament and an influential journalist; he has left his mark in both, accomplishing a lot during his life and contributing greatly to Lebanon.

He was a “man of word,” using his pen to fight injustice and oppression, and calling for Lebanon’s independence from the Syrian regime’s control.

That caused him to fall martyr to his pacific yet strong fight for the freedom and unity of his nation.

On December 12, 2005, a massive car bomb took his life, during a series of political assassinations targetting Lebanon’s strong and influential leaders opposing the Syrian regime in our country.

For the first time ever, the politicians and the people united to evict the Syrian army forces from all Lebanese territories.

Many of our influential leaders were killed during that time, from Lebanon Prime Minister Rafic Hariri to Pierre Gemayel, Samir Kassir, Bassel Fleihan, and Gebran Tueini, among others.

“Strugglers for the Unity and Freedom of al-Sham (Damascus)” claimed responsibility for the death of Gebran Tueini.

It was a message to warn the press and control it. He was the Editor in Chief of the An-Nahar newspaper. He was the rebel MP in the parliament, he spoke for the people, and he was loved by many and remembered by all.

Gebran Tueni’s career started with him becoming the general manager, editor in chief and editorialist for the weekly magazine An Nahar Arab and International.

He became an active member of the World Association of Newspapers (WAN) in 1990.

He served at An Nahar from 1993 to 1999.  Between 1997 and 2000, he was the general manager of the monthly magazine Noun. He became a member of the parliament of Lebanon for the Eastern Orthodox Christian seat in Beirut’s first district on an anti-Syrian slate, in 2005.

Gebran Tueni today, in the midst of this revolution, would be proud. Proud of the people who are in the streets, proud of the patriotism that has joined the Lebanese people.

“We swear in the name of God Almighty, we Muslims and Christians, that we shall remain united to the end of time to defend Lebanon the Great,” Tueni had proclaimed, making the millions in the streets repeat the pledge after him.

He loved his country, and since a young age started struggling against foreign occupation and foreign interference in Lebanon.  

He was an activist who demanded sovereignty, freedom, and independence. Through his talent as a journalist, he devoted his time to achieve his dream of a free Lebanon.

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In the heart of this revolution, he was not forgotten, the pledge of Gebran’s words echoes from the past amongst the protesters of today, reviving his pledge in the fire of the passionate patriotism of this revolution.

“We swear by Almighty God that we will continue with the revolution until its goals are achieved.”

After 14 years since his assassination, the Gebran Tueni Foundation still strives to carry Gebran’s message to the Lebanese.

During this revolution, the foundation wanted to give artists a chance to express themselves, by launching the Peace of Liberty exhibition. This exhibition was held at Beit Beirut during the month of September.

Even after his untimely demise, due to the work of cowards who schemed in the shadows to annihilate the strong leaders of Lebanon, Gebran’s spirit live on in every revolutionist and in the revolution itself.

It’s important that his death was not in vain. The family of the martyr and “An-Nahar” issued an open invitation for a mass and a funeral to commemorate him and his two companions who perished with him.

It will be held on December 8th at 10 am at the Greek Orthodox Cathedral of St. George, at the Nejm Square in Beirut.