Two years ago, on this sad day, our publishing colleague, Lebanese publisher, Lokman Slim was assassinated. Lokman co-founded Dar Al-Jadeed publishing house in Lebanon with his sister, Rasha Al Ameer.
One of the biggest honours of my time as IPA Vice President was to attend the 2021 IPA Prix Voltaire ceremony at the Guadalajara International Book Fair. To be able to sit next to Rasha, to give her the certificate for the Prix Voltaire as the representative of Dar Al-Jadeed, to hear her poetic words enchant the audience as she recounted not just the loss of her brother, but what a great colleague we had lost from the publishing community.
It was impossible not to be moved, and to be reminded, as Khaled Lotfy put it at the 2019 Prix Voltaire ceremony, that ours is a noble profession. As we start receiving nominations for the 2023 IPA Prix Voltaire, it is vital that we recognize and remember our colleagues who take risks to keep publishing. And especially those who make the ultimate sacrifice.
Two years on, no-one has been held to account for Lokman’s death. Has his murder scared others into silence? Probably.
A commemoration is being held for Lokman in Lebanon. Details here:
In memory of Lokman Slim and the countless others like him who have fearlessly and courageously fought censorship and repression, the International Publishers Association remains committed to upholding their principles and defending the freedom to publish around the world.