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AnNahar takes pages out of six defunct newspapers

Impact BBDO and AnNahar bring back publications that were shut down due to political failure and pressure.

On Monday, December 12, AnNahar newspaper was unlike any edition it had published in 90 years: each spread inside the daily edition was a different Lebanese newspaper that had ceased to exist in the last two decades or so. In a startling stunt under the name Newspapers-Inside-The-Newspaper, AnNahar used each spread within its daily edition to bring back to life an extinct newspaper, inviting those publications’ journalists to write again and publish the news for that one day in celebration of press freedom.

Timed to launch on the death anniversary of AnNahar editor-in-chief Gebran Tueni, who was assassinated for his voice, the campaign draws attention to the crisis that has affected Lebanese publishers and media houses who are struggling to survive in a country drowning in repetitive economic failures due to a corrupt political system. Till date, the crisis led to the closure of dozens of publications and the resignation of thousands of journalists who left to seek other jobs, while others like Gebran Tueni have lost their life for the sake of their cause.

Gebran Tueni’s fiery writing against occupation and ruling authorities became a rallying cry in 2005 that inspired thousands of Lebanese to take to the streets and demand freedom in what was called “The Cedar revolution”. With this activation, AnNahar has broken the silence imposed on these past publications, dedicating its space for the journalists who worked in them and are continuing their struggle to convey the voice of truth and establish a sense of democracy in Lebanon.

Nayla Tueni, current editor-in-chief of the newspaper, said: “For AnNahar it is not enough to just say that we support the freedom of the press. We have to prove it. And what better way to do that than to bring back to life some of the publications that were silenced, and to give them one more chance to speak freely.”

AnNahar’s message is as usual courageous and liberating: those who oppose freedom might have silenced Gebran, but they will never be able to silence the voice of the free press.

The campaign has been put together by Impact BBDO in Beirut and Dubai.