Introductionالسمير, As-Sameer, (also known as Al-Samir and translated to English as The Entertainer) was an Arabic-language newspaper published in Brooklyn, New York. It was founded in 1929 and published until 1959. Initially, as-Sameer was a monthly journal. In 1931, it acquired its own printing press, and on November 2, 1936, it moved to a semi-weekly news format, publishing three times a week, except for legal holidays, with few irregularities.
The newspaper was started by Elia abu Madey, إيليا أبو ماضي (also known as Elia Daher Madey, Elia abu Madi, and Iliya abu Madi). Abu Madey was born on May 15, 1889 in al-Muhayditha, Syria (now Bikfaya, Lebanon) and immigrated to the United States in 1911, settling first in Cincinnati before moving to New York City in 1916. Though he had very little formal education, Abu Madey was drawn to literature from a young age, publishing his first collection of poetry in 1911. In New York, abu Madi became associated with the Arabic literary movement al-Rabita al-Qalamiyya, or the Pen League, and was published in their literary journal al-Funun. Abu Madey was widely recognized across the Arabic-speaking world for his skill as a poet, and he remains a highly influential literary figure to this day.
In addition to his literary works, abu Madey was a successful and influential publisher. Both professionally and personally, Abu Madey became linked with Najeeb Diab, founder of the long-running newspaper Mira’at al-Gharb [Mirror of the West]. In 1918, abu Madey became editor in chief of this long-running paper; two years later, he married Diab’s daughter Dorothy, or Dora; the two had three children together. In 1929, he departed from his position at Mira’at al-Gharb to create As-Sameer. When the paper expanded from monthly publications in 1936, abu Madey wrote regular columns and editorials. The paper reported on world events, particularly as they related to the impact that the world wars and decolonization had on the Arab world. Abu Madey was recognized for his prominent role in journalism, and in 1948 he was one of the representatives of the immigrant press to the third UNESCO in Beirut. As-Sameer ceased publication in June 1957; several months later, on November 3, 1957, Elia abu Madey passed away.
Scope and contentIn partnership with the descendents of Elia abu Madey, the Khayrallah Center has digitized As-Sameer from November 2, 1936-June 28, 1957. This represents the entirity of as-Sameer during its publication as a daily newspaper.
MATERIALS NOT AVAILABLE ONLINE. Available to researchers only, please contact the Khayrallah Center for further information regarding access.
Elia abu Madey
إيليا أبو ماضي
Moise A. Khayrallah Center for Lebanese Diaspora Studies
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