Gisèle Khoury, a renowned Lebanese journalist and the president of the Samir Kassir Foundation for Media and Cultural Freedom, has passed away at the age of 62 due to cancer. The foundation confirmed her death on Sunday.
In an official statement, the Samir Kassir Foundation expressed deep sorrow, stating, “It is with a heavy heart that we announce the passing of our founder and president, Gisèle Khoury, who led a life marked by relentless struggles, commitments, and achievements.”
Khoury was a steadfast advocate for press freedom, not just in Lebanon but across the region. She was also the widow of Samir Kassir, a Lebanese journalist assassinated in 2005 for his vocal opposition to the Syrian regime. This is in fact why she founded the foundation to protect and continue his work.
Ayman Mehanna, executive director of SKeyes, said in comments to L’Orient-Le Jour, “Gisèle Khoury was extraordinary in overcoming life’s tragedies to build projects that defend freedom. She leaves behind a foundation that has become an international benchmark in defending liberties.”
Khoury’s journalism career began in 1985 with the Lebanese channel LBCI. She later joined the pan-Arab media group MBC and was instrumental in launching Al-Arabiya channel. In 2013, she moved to BBC Arabic, where she hosted the show ‘The Scene.’
Tributes have poured in, lamenting the loss of her “presence, audacity, and professionalism,” as stated by Joseph Kossaïfi, president of the Order of Journalists, according to comments reported by L’Orient-Le Jour.