Image Credit: Al Bawaba

Giselle Khoury, founder of the Samir Kassir Foundation, dies at 62

Giselle Khoury, journalist and founder of the Samir Kassir Foundation, died early Sunday at age 62, following a lengthy battle with cancer. She is survived by her son Marwan, and daughter Rana.

Khoury was a Lebanese-French journalist. She was born in Okaibe, Keserwan District, and studied History at the Holy Spirit University of Kaslik, and Media at the Lebanese University.

She was a talk show host on BBC Arabic, where she interviewed prominent figures and high profile guests in the Arab World.

She later worked with Sky News Arabic in August 2020, where she became the host of her self-titled program, “With Giselle.”

Khoury was married to journalist, writer and historian Samir Kassir, until his assassination on June 2, 2005. While Khoury is often defined by her relationship to the late journalist, she will be most prominently remembered for her contributions to independent journalism in Lebanon.

Since his death, Khoury became adamant on spreading Kassir’s ideology and beliefs, before she founded the Samir Kassir Foundation (SKF) and the SKeyes Centre for Media and Cultural freedom.

To the very end, Khoury was a proponent of free speech and journalistic freedom. During a very moving speech at the 2023 Samir Kassir Freedom of Speech awards, Khoury expressed the long-standing sentiments the Lebanese public holds towards the current ruling class, despite various political figures being present amongst members of the audience. She concluded her speech by praising journalists’ strength and commitment to relaying the truth, despite all obstacles facing them.

Today, the Samir Kassir Foundation continues to support local independent media agencies, including Beirut Today, by connecting them to potential donors, service-based contracts, and offering comprehensive training sessions and workshops. Khoury’s legacy will not be forgotten.