Thursday, February 4, 2021

On the assassination of Lokman Slim

Artwork by Tarek Chemaly

Can you be in Lebanon and avoid politics?

Short answer: No.

Lokman Slim, the publisher behind the fantastic Umam has been found murdered. He was a prominent critic to the Hezbollah, which sadly means that his murder will be pinned on the Hezb. I am not an intelligence officer or anything, but honestly, I think this is the last thing the Hezb needs at this stage, which means in my opinion that the Hezb did not do it.

But people will want simple answers. Actually, in Lebanon, mostly they will get no answers at all - just go back to all the unresolved crimes that happened. So the simple answers leads to the wrong way if you ask me. But Slim really was a fierce driver for change that is for sure, and on all fronts - along with his wife Monica Borgman. 

His loss at such a time when Lebanon is trying to see where it stands when it comes to freedom of speech is indeed tricky. But to be honest as well, outside a certain tight circle of intellectuals and people involved in civil society, the name Lokman Slim was not widespread... And yet, today, everyone seemed to know who he is. Or to quote a friend who phoned me: Are you writing anything about Slim's death? I had to google him to find out who he was....