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Type Daily newspaper
Format Broadsheet
Publisher Dar Al Safir
Editor Talal Salman
Founded 26 March 1974; 41 years ago (1974-03-26)
Political alignment


Language Arabic
Headquarters Beirut, Lebanon
Circulation 50,000 (2012)
Website Official website
As-Safir, Beirut, 2010

As-Safir (Arabic: السفير‎), meaning The Ambassador, is a leading Arabic-language daily newspaper in Lebanon. The headquarters of the daily is in Beirut.[3]

History and profile[edit]

As-Safir was first published by Talal Salman on 26 March 1974 as an Arabic political daily.[4][5] Talal Salman also served as chief editor of the paper.[6] In 2005, the daily's chief editor was late Joseph Samaha.[7][8] The current publisher of the daily is Dar Al Safir.[3] It is published in broadsheet format.[9]

On 18 July 2011, the paper, together with Al Akhbar, another daily published in Lebanon, was banned in Syria.[10]

As-Safir has a weekly page on the environmental issues.[11]

Political approach[edit]

As-Safir states its mission as to be "the newspaper of the Arab world in Lebanon, and the newspaper of Lebanon in the Arab world."[12] This remains the slogan printed on the paper's masthead.[5] The paper provided an independent voice for the left-wing, Pan Arab tendency which was increasingly active in Lebanese intellectual and political life in the years after the Arab defeat in the Six-Day War. It also focuses on Muslim interests, advocating Arab nationalism, and is close to Hezbollah and has a pro-Syrian stance.[13]

Another Lebanese daily, An-Nahar, is cited as the rival of As-Safir.[14] In the mid-1990s, the paper was described as a left-of-center paper, whereas An-Nahar as a right-of-center paper.[15] During the same period, As-Safir was also described by Robert Fisk as a Syrian-backed newspaper.[16] 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.[17]

After the assassination of Rafik Hariri on 14 February 2005, Talal Salman wrote "Some want to use his death as a catalyst to create sectarian strife to complete the schemes of the Israeli occupation in Palestine and the American occupation of Iraq."[18]

Circulation and websites[edit]

As-Safir had the second highest circulation in the 1990s after An-Nahar.[15] Its circulation was 45,000 copies in 2003, being the second best selling paper in Lebanon.[9] In 2012, the Lebanese Ministry of Information stated that the daily had a circulation of 50,000 copies, being the first in the country.[4][17][19]

In addition to its Arabic website, the paper has also an English website. The paper's online version was the 16th most visited website for 2010 in the MENA region.[20]


  1. ^ Cumming-Bruce, Nick (18 February 2013). "U.N. Rights Officials Urge Syria War Crimes Charges". The New York Times. Retrieved 26 April 2015. the pro-Assad Lebanese newspaper As-Safir 
  2. ^ Badran, Tony (25 April 2013). "Assad reading the signs". NOW News. Retrieved 27 April 2015. The Pro-Assad regime Lebanese newspaper As-Safir 
  3. ^ a b "Media Landscape". Menassat. Retrieved 22 September 2013. 
  4. ^ a b "Lebanon. Media Landscape". European Journalism Center. Retrieved 15 September 2014. 
  5. ^ a b "Lebanon" (PDF). Publicitas. Retrieved 8 June 2012. 
  6. ^ Yehia, Ranwa (27 January – 2 February 2000). "Salam bid farewell". Al Ahram Weekly 466. Retrieved 27 March 2013. 
  7. ^ Mouawad, Jad (9 March 2005). "Lebanese Lawmakers Bring Back Pro-Syrian Prime Minister". The New York Times. Retrieved 18 March 2013. 
  8. ^ Assir, Serene (21–27 April 2005). "Divided we fall". Al Ahram Weekly 739. Retrieved 15 April 2013. 
  9. ^ a b "World Press Trends" (PDF). Paris: World Association of Newspapers. 2004. Retrieved 15 February 2015. 
  10. ^ "Press and Cultural Freedom in Lebanon, Syria, Jordan and Palestine" (ANNUAL REPORT). SKeyes. 2011. Retrieved 10 October 2014. 
  11. ^ Najib Saab. "The Environment in Arab Media" (REPORT). Arab Forum for Environment and Development. Retrieved 7 October 2014. 
  12. ^ Dany Badran (2013). "Democracy and Rhetoric in the Arab World". The Journal of the Middle East and Africa 4 (1): 65–86. doi:10.1080/21520844.2013.772685. Retrieved 13 October 2013. 
  13. ^ "Mikati unveils 30-member Cabinet dominated by Hizbullah and March 8 allies". The Daily Middle East Reporter. 14 June 2011. Retrieved 10 March 2013. 
  14. ^ Fakih, Mohalhel (2–8 September 2004). "Pulling at Lebanon's strings". Al Ahram Weekly 706. Retrieved 19 April 2013. 
  15. ^ 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)
  16. ^ Robert Fisk (13 May 1993). "Beirut newspaper defies closure: Lebanese officials say left-wing daily 'endangered security of the state' with peace talks report". The Independent (Beirut). Retrieved 31 July 2014. 
  17. ^ a b "Mapping Digital Media: Lebanon" (PDF). Open Society Foundations. 15 March 2012. Retrieved 19 September 2013. 
  18. ^ Abdel Latif, Omayma (3–9 March 2005). "What next, Lebanon?". Al Ahram Weekly 732. Retrieved 15 April 2013. 
  19. ^ "Lebanon Press". Press Reference. Retrieved 27 September 2013. 
  20. ^ "Forbes Releases Top 50 MENA Online Newspapers; Lebanon Fails to Make Top 10". Jad Aoun. 28 October 2010. Retrieved 11 September 2014. 

External links[edit]