Bassam Said Freiha was born in Beirut in November 1939, son of Said Freiha, a prominent pioneer journalist and founder of Dar Assayad. At the age of 21, Bassam Said Freiha was appointed Managing Director of Dar Assayad by his father, after he graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from the American University of Beirut in 1961.
Run as a family business under the leadership of Bassam Said Freiha as CEO, his elder brother Issam as Chairman and his youngest sister Elham as Managing Director, Dar Assayad went through expansion to become one of the leading Pan-Arab publishers, with offices in Abu Dhabi, Cairo, Damascus, Dubai, Kuwait and Riyadh, and service offices in London and Paris, to ensure its competitiveness with the introduction of the latest printing techniques, state of the art internet technology and journalistic excellence.

At a time when many businesses pulled out of Lebanon – and many publications folded – during three decades of civil strife and difficult times, Bassam Said Freiha stood firm. He led the way by modernizing Dar Assayad and continued to launch new successful titles, with the unwavering support of his loyal team.
In addition to Assayad, the flagship weekly, Bassam Said Freiha oversees the creation and production of 11 publications, resulting in a diverse mix of news and special interest titles:

  • Assayad – weekly Pan-Arab news magazine (launched 1943)
  • Achabaka – weekly social feature newspaper (launched 1956)
  • Al Anwar – daily Pan-Arab newspaper (launched 1959)
  • Middle East Observer Magazine – quarterly marketing & economic magazine (launched 1970)
  • Samar – monthly photojournalism magazine (launched 1973) 
  • Al Idari – monthly business management magazine (launched 1975)                                                      
  • Arab Defense Journal  – monthly defense magazine (launched 1976 )
  • Background Reports  – tri-monthly economic reports (launched 1978) 
  • Sahar – weekly women’s magazine (launched 1980)
  • Fairuz  – monthly up market women’s magazine (launched 1981)
  • Al Computer & Electronics – bi-monthly IT magazine (launched 1984)
  • Al Fares – monthly up market men’s magazine (launched 1985)

His approach to the company is best summed up in Bassam Said Freiha’s own words: “My formula for success, growth, expansion and progress comes from the deep affection and love of my work and the people involved. I look upon the company as a large family. Every employee is a dear and valued member.”
Bassam Said Freiha also fulfills a diplomatic role. He has been a special diplomatic envoy to Lebanese presidents since 1978. As such, he travels widely to meet with Heads of State and political leaders. He has established deep friendships with Kings, Presidents, Rulers and top officials, in the Arab world and further afield.
During decades of hard work promoting Lebanon and Dar Assayad, Bassam Said Freiha has been recognized for his efforts and achievements by the Governments of: Bahrain, Belize, Comoros Islands, Egypt, France, Jordan, Lebanon, Malta, Morocco, Spain, Tunisia, the United Arab Emirates and Zaire. As such, he has been the recipient of numerous honors and awards from these governments.
Notably, in April 1991 Bassam Said Freiha was appointed as Ambassador of the State of Belize for UNESCO in Paris. He is still involved to this day, under the Chairmanship of three Directors-General: Federico Mayor, Koïchiro Matsuura and Irina Bokova.
Bassam Said Freiha gives unlimited support to The Said and Hassiba Freiha & Sons Foundation for Humanitarian Services, which he established in 1970. This charity supports the Children’s Clinic near Dar Assayad’s Headquarters in Beirut by offering free medical treatment to thousands of patients annually. The new headquarters being created for the Charity will support twice as many children, addressing their needs and giving them access to free healthcare.
Bassam Freiha is a caring father of three children: Hassiba, Issam and Elissa Bassima, who were educated in France, England and the United States of America respectively.