An-Nahar

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An Nahar
النهار
Type Daily
Founder(s) Gebran Tueni
Founded 4 August 1933; 81 years ago (1933-08-04)
Political alignment Centre left,
Liberal
Pluralist
Language Arabic
Circulation 45,000 (2012)
Website Official website

An Nahar, (Arabic: النهار‎) (English translation: The Morning or The Day), is a leading Arabic-language daily newspaper published in Lebanon. Journalist Charles Glass argues that An Nahar is Lebanon's equivalent of the New York Times.[1]

History and profile[edit]

An Nahar on display in Tripoli, Lebanon, 2012

It was launched on 4 August 1933 as a four-page, hand-set paper. The paper, whose staff numbered five, including its founder Gebran Tueni, was started with a capital of 50 gold pieces raised from friends, and a circulation of a mere 500 copies. Tueni served as the chief editor of the paper until his death in 1949.[2] His son, Ghassan Tueni, and grandson, also named Gebran Tueni, were subsequent editors and publishers.[3]

Ghassan Tueni was publisher and editor-in-chief of the paper from 1948 to 1999 when he retired. On 19 December 1976, Syrian forces occupied the offices of the daily.[4] Upon this incident Ghassan Tueni suspended the publication for a while and left Lebanon for Paris.[5] In 1977, several journalists writing for the daily were detained.[6]

Ghassan's son Gebran Tueni was the editor-in-chief of the paper from 2003 to 2005. He was elected to parliament for a Beirut constituency in the 2005 elections, but was assassinated on 12 December 2005 in Mkalles near Beirut in a car bomb explosion. A fiery critic of Syria and its hegemony in Lebanese affairs, Gebran had just returned on the eve of his assassination from Paris where he had been living for fear of assassination. After Gebran's assassination on 12 December 2005, his father Ghassan took over the paper again until his death on 8 June 2012.[3]

Saudi Prince Al Waleed bin Talal Al Saud has a stake in the paper.[7] The 2009 Ipsos Stat survey revealed that the paper is one of five most popular newspapers in Beirut.[8]

An Nahar is the first Arab paper which regularly covers news on environmental issues.[9] Since 1997, the daily contains a daily page for the environment.[9]

Views and writers[edit]

An Nahar provided a platform for various free thinkers to express their views during the years of the Syrian occupation of Lebanon. The paper can be best expressed as centre left though its writers' views range across the political spectrum.[10]

Another Lebanese daily As Safir is cited as the rival of An Nahar.[11] In the mid-1990s the latter was described as a moderate and right-of-center paper, while the former as a left-of-center paper.[12] In the 2000s these papers were again supporters of two opposite poles in Lebanon in that An Nahar is a supporter of March 14 alliance, whereas As Safir supported March 8 alliance.[8]

Prominent writers for An Nahar have included novelist and critic Elias Khoury, who used to edit its weekly cultural supplement Al Mulhaq (which appears on Saturdays) and, until his assassination, historian, journalist and political activist Samir Kassir. Walid Jumblatt worked as a reporter at the daily in the 1980s.[1] Leading caricaturist Pierre Sadek also worked for the daily.[13]

Circulation and audience[edit]

In the mid-1990s, the paper had the highest circulation in Lebanon.[12] However, its circulation in the beginning of the 2000s was 45,000 copies, making it the second after As Safir.[14] In 2012, the Lebanese Ministry of Information stated that An Nahar has a circulation of 45,000 copies.[8]

The paper's online version was the 13th most visited website for 2010 in the MENA region.[15]

In addition to its native readers in Lebanon the daily is read by officials, intellectuals and activists outside Lebanon.[16]

Bans[edit]

The paper was closed for ten days on 3 May 1961 due to the publication of a cartoon depicting Lebanon as a province of Syria.[17] Syria banned mass circulation of the daily in 2005, while its online edition was not banned.[18] In March 2006 the Damascus correspondent of An Nahar was charged in Syria with publishing “false information harmful to national security" after writing about the intelligence services of the country.[19]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Glass, Charles (1 March 2007). "The lord of no man's land: A guided tour through Lebanon's ceaseless war". Harper's Magazine. Retrieved 9 April 2013. 
  2. ^ "Daily "An Nahar" reeling from publisher's assassination, in-house feuding". Wikileaks. 2 February 2006. Retrieved 25 March 2013. 
  3. ^ a b "Veteran Lebanese journalist Ghassan Tueni dies". BBC. 8 June 2012. Retrieved 9 June 2012. 
  4. ^ "Syrian chronicles 1973-1990". Tayyar. Retrieved 11 April 2013. 
  5. ^ "An Nahar suspends publication". Beaver County Times (Beirut). UPI. 30 December 1976. Retrieved 22 September 2013. 
  6. ^ Mordechai Nisan. "The Syrian occupation of Lebanon". ACPR. Retrieved 24 September 2013. 
  7. ^ Paul Cochrane. "Saudi Arabia’s Media Influence". Arab Media and Society. Retrieved 25 September 2013. 
  8. ^ a b c "Mapping Digital Media: Lebanon". Open Society Foundations. 15 March 2012. Retrieved 19 September 2013. 
  9. ^ a b Najib Saab. "The Environment in Arab Media" (Report). Arab Forum for Environment and Development. Retrieved 7 October 2014. 
  10. ^ "Lebanon". Publicitas. Retrieved 8 June 2012. 
  11. ^ Fakih, Mohalhel (2–8 September 2004). "Pulling at Lebanon's strings". Al Ahram Weekly 706. Retrieved 19 April 2013. 
  12. ^ a b Yahya R. Kamalipour; Hamid Mowlana (1994). Mass Media in the Middle East: A Comprehensive Handbook. Westport, CT: Greenwood Press. Retrieved 9 September 2013.   – via Questia (subscription required)
  13. ^ Elie Hajj (26 April 2013). "Pierre Sadek Defended the Right to Criticize Until His Dying Breath". Al Monitor. Retrieved 22 September 2013. 
  14. ^ "Lebanon Press". Press Reference. Retrieved 27 September 2013. 
  15. ^ "Forbes Releases Top 50 MENA Online Newspapers; Lebanon Fails to Make Top 10". Jad Aoun. 28 October 2010. Retrieved 11 September 2014. 
  16. ^ Ghareeb, Edmund (Summer 2000). "New Media and the Information Revolution in the Arab World: An Assessment". The Middle East Journal 54 (3): 395–418. Retrieved 19 September 2013. 
  17. ^ Samir Khalaf (2002). Civil and Uncivil Violence in Lebanon: A History of the Internationalization of Communal Conflict. Columbia University Press. p. 211. ISBN 978-0-231-12476-8. Retrieved 24 October 2012. 
  18. ^ Moubayed, Sami (24–30 March 2005). "Reluctant embrace". Al Ahram Weekly 735. Retrieved 15 April 2013. 
  19. ^ "Syria: Private media breaks taboos, but restrictions remain". Irin News (Damascus). 30 April 2006. Retrieved 16 September 2014.