Samir Kassir was assassinated on June 2, 2005, in Beirut, when a bomb placed under his car was detonated. The tragic death of this journalist and writer was one of many attempts to silence Lebanese free thinkers, put an end to the Independence Intifada, and prevent Beirut’s winds of liberty from spreading across the region. Samir Kassir, who wrote Beirut’s history, has therefore become a part of this history.
The model of intellectual renaissance embodied by Samir Kassir during his life and at the moment of his death, through his articles and academic research, has placed him at the avant-garde of Lebanese and Arab opinion leaders who have paid their life to fight tyranny and lead their country to freedom and independence.
Committed to Samir Kassir’s values and aspirations, and believing in the need to renew the Arab culture through freedom of expression, several intellectuals and friends of Samir Kassir established the Samir Kassir Foundation, officially incorporated in Beirut under registry number 30/A.D., dated February 1, 2006.
The Samir Kassir Foundation is a non-profit civic organization, working within the civil society and cultural circles to spread the democratic culture in Lebanon and the Arab world, encourage the new talents of free press, and build the movement for a cultural, democratic, and secular renewal. These are the conditions to lift the Arab populations out of their state of despair.
The Samir Kassir Foundation’s mission is built around three pillars:
- The first pillar: preserving, translating, and spreading Samir Kassir’s literary, academic, and journalistic heritage.
- The second pillar: promoting cultural freedom and free thought, through conferences, specialized seminars, and an annual art festival providing all social categories with access to international cultural expression.
- The third pillar: defending press freedom, through monitoring and documenting violations perpetrated against journalists and media professionals, and awarding prizes to young journalists.
The Foundation’s actions are not limited to the three aforementioned pillars. The Foundation is involved in all what honors Samir Kassir’s memory, and contributes to the fulfillment of his thrive for freedom and renaissance. These were the two aspirations to which Samir Kassir dedicated his life.