Samir Kassir

Has anyone seen the new statue erected right next to the Al Nahar building in downtown representing Samir Kassir philosophizing with one hand in the air? I just want to point out one thing: Apart from the very bad selection of sentences from his work that are inscribed on the large stone that is next to the statue, there is a little biographical note that mentions Kassir as a Lebanese journalist. What? The guy is Palestinian! Or let’s say that he was born as part of those people that came to be called Palestinian and not as part of the population that came to be registered as Lebanese. Well, probably the fact that he was Christian, anti-Syrian, married to a Lebanese Force sympathizer, and living in Ashrafieh would qualify him to become some sort of “Lebanese” you tell me… Maybe they thought they were doing him a favor, lifting him up a step on the ladder of social recognition. Sad ending to the story. Even sadder than his actual assassination.


5 Replies to “Samir Kassir”


    Was born and lived in Beirut outside a refugee camp to a palestinian father and syrian mother, came back to Lebanon after his studies in Paris. When in politics, worked on Lebanon and other stuff, not only focused on the palestinian issue. Living outside a refugee camp, linking himself to lebanese issues, coming back to Leb and working on lebanese politics actively (outside the stuff that I don’t know – maybe about him asking for the lebanese nationality ?) all seem more logical explanations to me for him being reminded as lebanese rather than your theory of being so because he was christian and lived in Achrafieh.

    I can add one more thing that could go your way though : they could have reminded his palestinian / syrian parent’s origins if he was pro Syrian gov. They being the Lebanese gov as it is today. So let’s just add that the sunni-christian-druze 14th of march- as you like to remind us about religion – are sometimes not so bad in communication, as I’m sure the Hezb.

    PS Oh.. When you say “anti syrian” you left out the part when he stood up for syrian workers in Lebanon, so I guess what you meant in ur post is anti syrian military presence in leb and maybe pro embassy in Damas ?


  2. first of all I just criticized what has been written on him through this monument. People preferred to emphasize that he was Lebanese rather than he was from mixed origins.
    In the first place, Lebanese, Syrian, or Palestinian are shaky labels. What you choose to emphasize has to do with your political goal. 14th of Marchers have an interest in emphasizing that he is Lebanese and basta.

    And what you focused on as qualifier for being Lebanese is great, but did you know that Kassir was involved with the PLO and was political active in terms of Palestinian issues?

    Indeed he was anti-Syrian government (not anti-army because the army is made up of people as this horrible poster in my previous post suggest). I don’t think he cared about an embassy in Syrian embassy or a Lebanese one. He just wanted regime change in Syria, and, who knows, probably one big ‘democratic’ country that englobes lebanon and syria if anything. He my have bought into the whole Lebanon-specific brand of nationalism judging from his social interactions, but who knows he never really spoke outwardly about the whole thing so I don’t know. What is much more important for me is how his socio-political surrounding has painted a particular image of him post-mortem. In this case he becomes a Lebanese hero, at least at the statue level.

    Last but not least, I don’t see how claiming from an elevated stage to be against the prejudice caused to Syrian workers change anything to the story. Have you ever heard a Lebanese politician say that “we should beat the Syrian workers?”. It is actually pathetic to say that you are against that type of bias when you do everything to create it.

  3. 1. I know you were criticizing what was written, and I was criticizing the arguments you put forward to criticize them (achrafieh, christian).. Very strange, especially when there are logical ways to explain things, some, you still have achrafieh and christianity on your mind.
    The real reasons maybe do include communication from 14th of march, but certainly not Achrafieh or being Christian, except when a racist mind is speaking.

    2. Yes, I did know. That why I said ” not only focused on the palestinian issue”. Did you know much about him before you saw the statue ?

    3. I was only making sure you knew he wasn’t “anti-syrian” but still said it anyway. Or at least that you excluded the part where you explained that if someone doesn’t like the assad family, they just hate arabs.


  4. 3achou 3ambit tcher3eh bel zabet?

    That’s how the guy socialized. His surroundings and his social practices has influenced the way this text has been written. Him being part of 14th of March goes hand in hand with all that.

    why do you get so nervous when I mention the words Christian, Ashrafieh etc.?

    Please stop wasting my time, and yours too by the same occasion.

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