Monday, 9 January 2017
Talal Salman & Assafir Newspaper طلال سلمان و«السفير»
Written by Nasser Kandil,
Many people did not know what Assafir newspaper has represented in their lives, mornings, days, culture, emotions, laughter, tears, anger, joy, and sadness, until the arrival of the year 2017, when they knew the difficulty of the task which was awaiting for them, to rearrange their mind and heart according to the equation of emptiness made by the absence of Assafir. The generations which interested in the public affairs and respond to them from their different and disparate positions along the world, including the readers of Arabic from the generations of thirties, forties, fifties, sixties, seventies, eighties, and nineties, which means seven successive generations will be punished for the absence of the secret partner who drew the rhythm of the their lives for many days.
Talal Salman has mastered his work as the late Ghassan Tueni, but he has distinguished Assafir by three characteristics, first, its Arab area which is different from Al-Nahar ideologically, culturally, and psychologically despite its coincidence with the Arab official line in politics, Assafir has expressed the pulse of Arabism despite its thorny, volatile, and ambiguous relationship in many times with many regimes which agreed or disagreed it, but it won by keeping itself the pulse of Arabism. Second, its popularity, which means its belonging to the poor, needy, suffering, the oppressed and the vulnerable not by the force of the class or the human identity, but by the white identity without definition, that is felt by everyone who tried to classify Assafir. The third characteristic is the option of resisting the western project which stands beside Israel and justifies its aggression, so Assafir wins for resisting it, it forms the spirit of this cultural resistance, even if it inclines in politics to altercate forces that stand with the resistance and behind its barricades for fair or unfair considerations, it remained according to those whom it disagrees and those who feel of injustice by it that its injustice is better for them. Since it is Assafir and that’s enough.
Assafir has presented to the Arabic language, to the Arab nationalism, to the Arab resistance, to the Arab modernity, to the Arab democracy, to the woman and her issue, to the freedom and its issue, and to the justice and its issue what is more than what can be offered by countries and parties. Everyone wants it for him alone, does not satisfy with a share from it so he gets angry, it was for everyone but at the same time it was not for anyone in particular, even its owner, publisher, founder, and its editor- in –chief Talal Salman was conscripted and devoted for it. Everyone who knows Talal Salman, can smell the ink of Assafir when he sees him or when he shakes his hands with, or when he hears his voice or his name, agrees or disagrees with him. Whether in the moments of dispute or in the moments of understanding Assafir is not affected by anyone. The one who loves Talal Salman has loved Assafir with him, but it is difficult for the one who disagrees with him or gets angry from him to boycott Assafir or gets angry from it, even his sons feel that they are contrary to the people, because they are the sons of the father, the mother and Assafir.
Assafir has trained and taught many generations in press, politics, the civil institutions, and everything related to the public affairs, it was a university in its own; there are many who were distance-educated by Assafir and were not known by it, even they do not know its offices, and those who work in it, but they became leaders, ministers, ambassadors, and presidents, and at the time of the active virtual universities which are spread on the area of the world as a characteristic of the coming era. It must be said that Assafir was the first virtual university in the Arab world for training the practice of the public affair without charge for the affiliation, only the cost of daily copy of its issues which were of high sense and fine colors. It is enough to remember two great professors in this university with whom we have shared wonderful days and memories at Assafir University they are Naji Al-Ali and Joseph Smaha.
Talal Salman may feel doubtful towards what he is reading about himself, and maybe he sees it a compliment that exceeds the fact limits, but far from Assafir and through Assafir he is a leader of contemporary Arab renaissance par excellence for half of a century of struggle, he did not get tired or bored. He is a founder professor in modernizing our political life, refining our language, and spreading the pulse of resistance in us, we miss his words in the calamities and we will not forget while we were fighting at the outskirts of our beautiful capital Beirut his words in Assafir and their title at that terrible day. “ Beirut may get martyred but it does not surrender” we will not forget that files which are full with the love of the South suburb while it is resisting, or that mole while he was screaming against treason and tyranny without equivocation.
It is shameful to say goodbye to Assafir or to Talal Salman, and it is hypocrisy to say farewell, our oath to Talal and to Assafir is to love them together and that we will miss them every morning.
May God prolong the age of the Professor Talal and bless him with good health.
Translated by Lina Shehadeh,
– خرّجت «السفير» ودرّبت وعلّمت أجيالاً في الصحافة والسياسة والمؤسسات الأهلية وكلّ ما يتصل
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