Beirut, Asharq Al-Awsat-The Voice of Lebanon radio has shone brightly once again after broadcasting the last words of Syrian Interior Minister General Ghazi Kanaan who committed suicide last Wednesday. The conversation was based on his request after contacting the office of media professional Warda (whose real name is Rose Zamel) and insisting on giving her what he described as the last statement in person. Kanaan described Warda as an "objective journalist".
This event placed the "voice of Lebanon" and the most important presenter of its political programs, Warda, in the spotlight. Warda is considered one of the pioneers of audio media in Lebanon. She has worked in this field during war and throughout the changing historical stages of Lebanon.
Warda began her career in the media in the late seventies when worked in a commercial department, specifically for the advertisements branch with Ili Salibi who was the director of this department. At the beginning of the eighties, Warda was heard on various shows focusing on artists” and social news. She was the first and last presenter who could interview Fayrouz in such a brilliant manner to the extent that Fayrouz herself described the interview as rare. After becoming the manager of the commercial department, Warda exerted considerable efforts to attract the largest possible number of Lebanese advertisers and achieved the highest rates of commercial advertising for audio media to the extent that the people said "Voice of Lebanon" broadcasted commercials instead of programs.
After presenting a number of shows such as "Ewaa Tewaa," "Al-Bayt Al-Saeed" and "Kol Ahad Wento Bkheir", Warda turned to presenting political programs. All her efforts were put into this new project and her program, "Salon Al-Sabt" broadcasted for over ten years, became a media landmark listened to by observers and political analysts due to its valuable information and appealing interviews. On that show, Warda interviewed many politicians, religious, economic and social activists including former Prime Minister Rafik Hariri, and his wife Nazik in her only interview after Hariri”s assassination. She also interviewed Minister Walid Junblat, Former president Amin Al-Jameel in addition to General Michel Aoun with whom she managed to conduct his last interview before he was exiled to France. Moreover, she frequently accompanied former Lebanese president Ilyas Al-Harawi on his trips abroad and interviewed him many times. She was a candidate for the position of political advisor for numerous political figures and was nominated by many of them to enter parliament.
Warda has a pleasant voice that inspires many of her listeners. She was popular for her objectivity and the way in which she skillfully questioned her guests. Despite her address complicated political issues, she considers herself an amateur still at the beginning of her journey.
As for the "Voice of Lebanon," it is the first private Lebanese radio station. It was founded by the Al-Kata”ib party in the late 1970”s. It was considered the voice of the Christians during the Lebanese conflict. In 1994 however, the radio changed its policies to become committed to the law of audio and visual media, and was transformed into an independent company with new capital.
Its administration set out to sign agreements with the Radio Canada International (RCI) and the German Deutsche Welle radio and more recently with the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC). Moreover, the administration is keen on exchanging news information as well as a technological exchange with major radio corporations in the world to train its staff and present co-produced programs.