Salim Lawzi

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Salim El-Lozi
Born 1922
Died c. 4 March 1980
Nationality Lebanese
Occupation Journalism
Known for Founder and editor-in-chief of Al Hawadeth weekly

Salim El Lozi (Arabic: سليم اللوزي‎‎) was a well-known Lebanese journalist and publisher, founder and editor-in-chief of the weekly Al Hawadeth weekly magazine.[1] Salim Lawzi, alternatively written Salim El-Lozi or Salim Al-Lawzi, died after being kidnapped on 25 February 1980, brutally tortured and murdered. His body was found on 4 March 1980. Neither precise date of death nor the identity of killers was revealed. But it was widely suspected that the assassination was ordered and/or executed by the Syrian Intelligence.[2]

Lawzi had established a number of publications, and most notably the Lebanese Al Hawadeth magazine (Arabic: الحوادث‎‎) which he had turned into one of the biggest and most prominent pan-Arab political weekly publications.

Early life and education[edit]

Lawzi was born in Tripoli, Lebanon in 1922 and had his studies at Sanayeh school in Beirut.

Career[edit]

Lawzi travelled to Jaffa, Palestine in the early 1940s for better opportunities.In 1944 he became a radio journalist in Near East Radio (Arabic: إذاعة الشرق الأدنى‎‎) where he wrote radio plays. In the late 1940s, he quit the radio to start writing for the famous Egyptian Rose al-Yūsuf (Arabic: روز اليوسف‎‎). He had to return to Beirut, Lebanon after criticizing the Egyptian Prime Minister and started writing for Lebanese As Sayyad (Arabic: الصياد‎‎) weekly. After the 23 July Revolution in Egypt, he worked in Al Goumhour al Gadeed (Arabic: الجمهور الجديد‎‎) and correspondent to two very prominent publications namely Al Musawwar (Arabic: المصوّر‎‎) and Al Kawakeb (Arabic: الكواكب‎‎).

Becoming a renowned pan-Arab journalist and writer, he founded his own weekly, Al Hawadeth (Arabic: الحوادث‎‎) after buying an existing licence of the same name. In 1957, it took the side of opposition to the Lebanese government during the rule of President Camille Chamoun, and because of his criticism was jailed and his magazine temporarily suspended in May 1957. He returned after release launching his weekly into a prominent pan-Arab weekly.

With the Lebanese Civil War of 1975, his criticism of the Syrian role in Lebanon escalated leading to serious threats on his life. The Hawadeth main building was destroyed during the war. Fearing for his life due to the threats he was receiving, Lawzi chose self-exile in London, from where he continued editing his magazine.[3] He particularly criticized harshly the Syrian interference in Lebanon during the Lebanese Civil War.

Death[edit]

When his mother died in February 1980, Lawzi decided to return to Lebanon to attend her funeral. Despite close friends and relatives strongly advising him not to, he refused to listen and decided to return to Lebanon for a few days. After descending in Beirut International Airport, he was kidnapped by gunmen on the Airport Road on 25 February 1980. His heavily bruised tortured body was found nine days later on 4 March 1980 in Aramoun, on the outskirts of Beirut.[3] Forensic reports found heavy signs of torture, including a broken and dislocated right arm, maimed and disjointed writing hand, fingers burnt and blackened through use of acid and phosphoric substances, pens pierced into abdomen and intestines (obvious messages in mutilation for other critics of Syria) and an assassination-style bullet in the head. Alleged perpetrator was the Syrian intelligence agents.[4] Salim Lawzi was a brilliant journalist and considered a martyr of the press journalism after his murder.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Ghadbian, Najib (Summer 2001). "Contesting the state media monopoly: Syria on Al Jazira Television" (PDF). Meria. 5 (2). Retrieved 4 October 2013. 
  2. ^ Al Mustakbal: الاستخبارات - سورية في دائرة الاتهام منذ اغتيال المتني حتى تويني (in Arabic)
  3. ^ a b Fouad Ajami (29 May 1992). The Arab Predicament: Arab Political Thought and Practice since 1967. Cambridge University Press. p. 2. ISBN 978-0-521-43833-9. Retrieved 15 March 2013. 
  4. ^ Nisan, Mordechai (Spring 2011). "Of Wars and Woes. A Chronicle of Lebanese Violence". The Levantine Review. 1 (1). Retrieved 12 June 2012.