The general manager of the National News Agency in Lebanon was fired from her job today Oct 22, at 01:30 in the afternoon. She was handed her resignation papers by an employee in the agency. Laure Suleiman Saab has been the agency's general manager since September 2008 and has had a clean and admirable career in journalism ever since, and has even been awarded recently in Italy the Marzani International Literature and Journalism Award for her outstanding transparency in conveying the news.
The dismissal was confusing to Suleiman, and she said that her work in the agency had been: Dust-free for 11 years, a Lebanese expression which means honorably clean and neutral when covering news in Lebanon. She also implied that her dismissal was related to her covering the protests in Lebanon.
"What is happening is a revolution, the citizen pays taxes and has the right to convey his/her voice," Suleiman stated. "If my dismissal is my punishment because I conveyed the voice of the people, I am proud of it," she added.
Laure Suleiman Saab is a professional woman from the town of Kfar Abida in Batroun district. She majored in journalism and news agencies at the Lebanese University, where she obtained a degree in journalism and news agencies in 1992. She began her work as the director of the National News Agency in 2008 and has excelled at what she did.
She has received numerous accolades and awards including a "SEA" Award for Women Empowerment category. During President Suleiman's time, the NNA received several awards, one of which was the Best Arab News Agency Award for local and Arab tourism. Furthermore, Laure Suleiman founded the Batroun Women's Society in 2016, which includes a group of educated and working women.
Her independence from sectarianism, her excellent work as a journalist, and her constant objective pursuit of truth have made her a remarkable media figure. "I never belonged to any political party, I am independent and I will remain so and my conscience is comfortable," said Suleiman.
Similar to the implication she made, some experts analyzed that her unemployment was caused by her coverage of the continuing protests in Lebanon, which have entered their seventh day in a row.
Journalism, when respected and performed honestly, plays a critical role in every democratic country around the world. It gives strength and power to the people in a free nation as it allows them to monitor and stay involved in the work of the government.
In recent days, the local news reported that Annahar news, one of the oldest in the country, was ordered by the Republican Palace to abstain from publishing the reform plan announced by PM Hariri last Saturday.
We today stand in awe, really, and not in a good way, wondering what's next for Lebanon when the freedom of our press is being targeted.
Lebanon has been witnessing demonstrations inside and outside its borders for the seventh day in a row. Lebanese have been calling for the resignation of all the members of the government and the implementation of a new political system in Lebanon, free of sectarianism, corruption, and overwhelming public debt.