BEIRUT: Friends and relatives mourned the death of young researcher and activist Wajih Ajouz over the weekend following his death in a car accident early Friday. Ajouz, a researcher at the Samir Kassir Eyes Foundation and a producer at Al-Arabiya television station, was driving home through the coastal town of Jal al-Dib when the accident occurred. He was 25.
A graduate of the American University of Beirut, Ajouz was also a writer and a strong critic of media censorship and the suppression of freedom of expression in states around the region.
As an activist, he helped organize a number of demonstrations in solidarity with Syrian protesters facing a brutal crackdown by the Syrian regime.
Ajouz had also been a producer (in Beirut) for Dubai-based Al-Arabiya’s "Studio Beirut" program since 2007.
Friends and colleagues gathered at AUB’s Main Gate Saturday to hold a tribute to his work and his activism.
A campaign has also been launched to compile his writings and photographs into a book in his memory.
“He will be greatly missed. Today we are gathering Wajih’s writings and pictures, and we want to publish a booklet in his honor,” SKeyes executive director Ayman Mehanna told The Daily Star Sunday.
“Wajih worked on monitoring all forms of violations of press and cultural freedoms in Syria and was a point of contact for the SKeyes correspondents in Syria,” Mehanna said.
“He also provided support to Syrian citizen journalists who sought refuge in Lebanon,” he added.
Ajouz was laid to rest in Beirut Saturday. Condolences will also be held Monday in Bashoura’s Hajj Izzat Shafiq al-Jaroudy cemetery between 1 p.m. and 7 p.m.
A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Daily Star on September 17, 2012, on page 4.