Prominent Lebanese publisher, filmmaker, researcher, organizer, and commentator Lokman Slim was found dead Thursday morning. He was 59:
Slim’s partner, Monika Borgmann, and his sister, the author Rasha al-Ameer, had both posted to social media overnight that he had gone missing and was not answering his phone. This morning, Lebanese TV reported he had been found dead in his car Thursday morning, shot in the head with two bullets.
According to The Associated Press, Slim was found in Addoussieh village in the southern province of Nabatiyeh.
AUB Professor Makram Rabah told Al-Arabiyah, “Lokman is an outspoken voice against Hezbollah and he went missing deep in the region and their areas of control and this is the technique they’ve used before.” Slim’s sister, Rasha al-Ameer, told AFP: “He had a political stance, why else would he have been kidnapped.”
Slim was born in Haret Hreik, a southern suburb of Beirut, in 1962. He studied philosophy at the Sorbonne, then returned to Lebanon in 1988, before the end of the country’s civil war. He co-founded Dar al-Jadeed, a prominent publishing house, in 1990. It has brought out both nonfiction, such as translations of writings by Muhammad Khatami, and literary works by Inaam Kachachi, Rasha al-Ameer, and Mahmoud Darwish.
In 2004, he co-founded Umam Documentation & Research, a non-profit based in Haret Hreik that brings together archival documents, mostly related to Lebanon, although also including the broader region, as with their MENA Prison Forum project.
He also co-directed the films Massacre (2015) and Tadmor (2016); in the latter, eight Lebanese men recall the years they spent in Syrian prisons, then reenact those experiences as an act of exorcism, attempting to expel them from their lives.
Mishka Mourani wrote the following as a remembrance for Slim, which Aida Haddad translated to Arabic.
Son of Woman
The Earth is blue like a mother,
her hero son executed.
Deadly, silent bullets
Scatter gutted words
in search of fleeting meaning.
Thundering and bloody
The Earth is words and loss and tears
Like all our mornings
Emerging from our dreams in Beirut
الأرض زرقاء مثل أم
لحظة أعدم ابنها البطل
رصاص صامت قاتل
يبعثر أحشاء الكلمات
بحثا عن معنى عابر، زائل
ما الأرض الا كلمات وغياب ودموع
مثل كل صباح
حين ننفض عنا