As-Safir (Arabic: السفير, lit.'The Ambassador'), was a leading Arabic-language daily newspaper in Lebanon. The headquarters of the daily was in Beirut.[1] It was in circulation from March 1974 until December 2016.[2] The last issue of the paper was published on 31 December 2016. The online version was also closed on the same date.[2]

As-Safir front page, 16 April 2013
TypeDaily newspaper
PublisherDar Al Safir
EditorTalal Salman
Founded26 March 1974
Political alignmentPan-Arab
Ceased publication31 December 2016
HeadquartersBeirut, Lebanon
WebsiteOfficial website

History and profileEdit

As-Safir was first published by Talal Salman on 26 March 1974 as an Arabic political daily.[3][4] Talal Salman also served as chief editor of the paper.[5] One of the early contributors was Palestinian cartoonist Naji Al Ali.[6] In 2005, the daily's chief editor was Joseph Samaha.[7][8] Another contributor was Samir Frangieh.[9] The publisher of the daily which was published in broadsheet format was Dar Al Safir.[1][10]

On 18 July 2011, the paper, together with Al Akhbar, another daily published in Lebanon, was banned in Syria.[11]

As-Safir had a weekly page on the environmental issues.[12]

Political approachEdit

As-Safir stated its mission as to be "the newspaper of Lebanon in the Arab world and the newspaper of the Arab world in Lebanon."[13] This remained the slogan printed on the paper's masthead.[4] It also adopted the slogan "The voice of voiceless". 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.[14] It also focused on issues pertaining to the Muslim world, advocated Arab nationalism, was close to Hezbollah and had a pro-Syrian stance.[15]

Another Lebanese daily, An-Nahar, was cited as the biggest rival of As-Safir.[16] In the mid-1990s, the paper was described as a left-of-center paper, whereas An-Nahar as a right-of-center paper.[17] During the same period, As-Safir was also described by Robert Fisk as a Syrian-backed newspaper.[18] In the 2000s these papers were supporters of two opposite poles in Lebanon, in that An-Nahar supported March 14 alliance, whereas As-Safir supported March 8 alliance.[19]

Circulation and websitesEdit

As-Safir had the second highest circulation in Lebanon in the 1990s after An-Nahar.[17] Its circulation was 45,000 copies in 2003, making it the second best selling paper in Lebanon.[10] The paper sold more than 50,000 copies in 2010.[20] In 2012, the Lebanese Ministry of Information reported that the daily had a circulation of 50,000 copies.[3][19][21] The circulation of the paper was less than 10,000 copies in 2016 when it folded.[20]

In addition to its Arabic website, the paper had also an English website.[22] The paper's online version was the 16th most visited website for 2010 in the MENA region.[23]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ a b "Media Landscape". Menassat. Archived from the original on 20 February 2019. Retrieved 22 September 2013.
  2. ^ a b "Lebanese newspaper As-Safir to stop publishing after 40 years". An Nahar. 9 December 2016. Retrieved 1 March 2020.
  3. ^ a b "Lebanon. Media Landscape". European Journalism Center. Archived from the original on 8 September 2014. Retrieved 15 September 2014.
  4. ^ a b "Lebanon" (PDF). Publicitas. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2 December 2012. Retrieved 8 June 2012.
  5. ^ Ranwa Yehia (27 January – 2 February 2000). "Salam bid farewell". Al Ahram Weekly. 466.
  6. ^ Michael R. Fischbach (2005). "al-Ali, Naji". In Philip Mattar (ed.). Encyclopedia of the Palestinians. New York: Facts on File, Inc. p. 18. ISBN 978-0-8160-6986-6.
  7. ^ Jad Mouawad (9 March 2005). "Lebanese Lawmakers Bring Back Pro-Syrian Prime Minister". The New York Times. Retrieved 18 March 2013.
  8. ^ Serene Assir (21–27 April 2005). "Divided we fall". Al Ahram Weekly. 739.
  9. ^ Who's Who in Lebanon (19th ed.). Beirut: Publitec Publications. 2007. p. 132. ISBN 978-3-598-07734-0.
  10. ^ a b "World Press Trends" (PDF). Paris: World Association of Newspapers. 2004. Archived from the original (PDF) on 8 February 2015. Retrieved 15 February 2015.
  11. ^ "Press and Cultural Freedom in Lebanon, Syria, Jordan and Palestine" (Annual report). SKeyes. 2011. Retrieved 10 October 2014.
  12. ^ Najib Saab. "The Environment in Arab Media" (PDF). Arab Forum for Environment and Development. Archived from the original (Report) on 10 October 2014. Retrieved 7 October 2014.
  13. ^ 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.
  14. ^ Nick Cumming-Bruce (18 February 2013). "U.N. Rights Officials Urge Syria War Crimes Charges". The New York Times. Retrieved 26 April 2015.
  15. ^ "Mikati unveils 30-member Cabinet dominated by Hizbullah and March 8 allies". The Daily Middle East Reporter. 14 June 2011. Retrieved 10 March 2013.
  16. ^ Mohalhel Fakih (2–8 September 2004). "Pulling at Lebanon's strings". Al Ahram Weekly. 706.
  17. ^ a b Yahya R. Kamalipour; Hamid Mowlana (1994). Mass Media in the Middle East: A Comprehensive Handbook. Westport, CT: Greenwood Press. ISBN 978-0313285356.
  18. ^ 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.
  19. ^ a b "Mapping Digital Media: Lebanon" (PDF). Open Society Foundations. 15 March 2012. Retrieved 19 September 2013.
  20. ^ a b "The Lebanese Print Media Landscape". Media Ownership Monitor. Retrieved 6 May 2022.
  21. ^ "Lebanon Press". Press Reference. Retrieved 27 September 2013.
  22. ^ "English - جريدة السفير".
  23. ^ "Forbes Releases Top 50 MENA Online Newspapers; Lebanon Fails to Make Top 10". Jad Aoun. 28 October 2010. Archived from the original on 29 July 2016. Retrieved 11 September 2014.

External linksEdit