Condolences over the death of the “Dean of Journalists” in Lebanon Ghassan Tueni continued to pour in on Friday and Saturday with French President Francois Hollande expressing his “great” sorrow over his passing.
He said in a statement: “Despite all the tragedy that struck his family, he remained a free man who was committed to serving Lebanon.”
“I want to praise this great journalist and diplomat has been recognized in Lebanon and abroad for his intellectual and professional prowess,” he stated.
“An Nahar newspaper is a testament to this major success whereby he transformed it into one of the most beautiful achievements of Arab journalism during the past decades,” he remarked.
“France, which has enjoyed a deep friendship with Ghassan Tueni, is sad for his loss,” concluded Hollande.
French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius meanwhile also expressed his “sadness” over the news of Tueni’s passing, describing him as a “prestigious” individual who “passionately struggled for the sovereignty of his country.”
He saluted “Tueni, the great Francophile and man of literature and culture who embodied the diversity of Lebanon.”
Kuwaiti monarch Shiekh Sabah al-Ahmed al-Sabah expressed his deep condolences over Tueni’s death, sending a cable to President Michel Suleiman on Friday praising the pioneering role the deceased played in Arab media and Lebanese journalism.
Condolences continued to pour in Lebanon, with the Vice President of the Higher Islamic Shiite Council Sheikh Abdul Amir Qabalan saying that the country “has lost one of the great Lebanese men” who have left their mark on the national and Arab scene.
“He embodied wisdom and courage in his national positions and he served as the best representative for Lebanon on the Arab scene,” he said of the former ambassador.
“His bold writings helped bolster national unity and mutual coexistence in Lebanon,” he continued.
For his part, Lebanese Forces leader Samir Geagea offered his condolences over Tueni’s death, remarking: “He was long imprisoned by grief, the greatest of which was the loss of his son Gebran, who defied oppressors by advocating life and freedom in Lebanon.”
“Ghassan Tueni knew and we knew that he knew that love could be as powerful as death and life in prison is stronger than death,” he added.
“Whoever can survive life behind bars can overcome death,” he declared.
Foreign Minister Adnan Mansour noted on Friday that “through his death, Lebanon and the Arab world have lost a symbol of intellect, journalism, and diplomacy as he took brave stances that will be remembered in Lebanese political life and handed down to future generations.”
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