The Beirut newspaper Al Moharrer (The Editor) was founded by Hisham Abou Zahr, Walid Abou Zahr’s eldest brother. After the sudden death of his beloved brother, Walid Abou Zahr had to take the challenging responsibility of the newspaper under very difficult circumstances. In a record period however, he managed to turn it into the most prominent newspaper in the country, with the largest circulation at this time. It became the platform of the National Movement.
During this sensitive phase, Al Moharrer played a major role in the foundation of the Lebanese National and Progressive Movement. Its offices witnessed the beginning of the Palestinian resistance in Lebanon. Not only did the paper have a strong editorial guideline, it was also innovative; as an example, it was the first news outlet to dedicate a full section to sports.
Al Moharrer opposed the entry of Syrian troops into Beirut; as a result its offices in the Lebanese capital were surrounded by 100 soldiers and tanks of the invading army and their proxies. Shells and machine-gun fire hit the building in a ten-hour battle with security guards and four people including the newspaper’s manager were killed.
Despite the attack, Walid Abou Zahr was determined to issue the newspaper on time and the following day, the print was out with the tittle “Al Moharrer will not kneel” clearly stating his determination -as the Lebanese people- to stand and fight the Syrian aggression and invasion of the country. The Lebanese people gathered by the thousands to condemn this attack and support Al Moharrer. Despite this attack and continuous threats to his life, Walid Abou Zahr continued fighting for a free and independent Lebanon for all its citizens.
Back then, the political leader and martyr Kamal Jumblatt, commented in an open letter: “Al Moharrer is a remarkable newspaper but there is a certain ceiling that should not be exceeded. The only problem is that Al Moharrer had surpassed that ceiling.” In his words, the Lebanese politician was referring to the fact that Al Moharrer had opposed the geopolitical agreements of the great powers of the world and had become too powerful.
He wasn’t mistaken as seven months later; the daily was ultimately banned. After being chased by Syrian thugs and mercenaries for several days; Walid Abou Zahr was forced into exile narrowly escaping by boat -which got lost at sea for thirty hours- from Sidon to Cyprus with his family. Closing this chapter of this life which marked his last days in his beloved country.