Front page of The Daily Star newspaper (13 August 2014)
|Publisher||Salma El Bissar|
|Associate editor||Hanna Anbar|
The paper was founded in 1952 by Kamel Mrowa, the publisher of the Arabic daily Al-Hayat, to serve the growing number of expatriates brought by the oil industry. First circulating in Lebanon, and then expanding throughout the region, it not only relayed news about foreign workers' home countries, but also served to keep them informed about the region. By the 1960s it was the leading English language newspaper in the Middle East.
Upon the death of Mrowa in 1966, his widow Salma El Bissar took over the paper, running it until the outbreak of the Lebanese Civil War forced the suspension of publication. With peace hopes running high in the beginning of 1983, the paper restarted production under the guidance of Mrowa's sons, but the intensification of the war again put the paper under pressure. The flight of the intelligentsia from the country depleted the paper's staff and its readership. Still, it continued as a daily until mid 1985 and then as a weekly for another year, before ceasing publication once again. One of daily's early editors was Jihad Khazen.
With the arrival of peace in 1991, and the development of a rebuilding program three years later, the paper again looked to publish. With Kamel's first son Jamil Mroue as leader, printing was recommenced in 1996 with modern presses, experienced foreign journalists, and an energetic Lebanese staff.
In 2004, The Daily Star merged its Lebanon and regional editions choosing to focus on Lebanese expatriates in the Persian Gulf region. Now, the unified edition appears in all countries except for Kuwait which has its own local edition published in partnership with Al-Watan, a Kuwaiti Arabic language daily.
In 2006, the newspaper announced that its paper would soon be available in print in the United States.
For two weeks (14 January to 31 January 2009), the printing of the paper was suspended by a Lebanese court order after financial difficulties. The website was not updated either. The newspaper resumed publishing the second week of February 2009 with certain agreements with creditors about payment of accumulating debt.
Although the website Industry Arabic named the Daily Star as the third most influential Arabic newspaper in 2020, on 4 February 2020, the newspaper announced temporary suspension of its print publication owing to financial difficulties.
The Daily Star signed an exclusive marketing representation, printing and distribution agreement with the International Herald Tribune in 2000. Under the terms of the agreement, The Daily Star represented the IHT in the GCC, Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, Egypt, Yemen and Iraq. The Daily Star also produced a local edition in Kuwait.
Under this agreement, The Daily Star was published and distributed alongside the International Herald Tribunes Middle-East edition. The Daily Star management however decided to break the agreement over a dispute regarding the newspaper's length, which the IHT management wanted to see reduced.
The paper considerably reduced in size after temporarily closing in January 2009. It is no longer distributed with the IHT.
The Daily Star still has a large online readership mainly from Lebanon, the United States, Canada, European Union, and Australia. In 2009, its website registered more than 80,000 unique visitors per day. The 2011 circulation of the paper was 29,940 copies.
Jamal Khashoggi has been a contributor as a Saudi political analyst and deputy editor of Saudi Arabia's English-language Arab News and has written several commentaries for The Daily Star. His opinions since 2002 included endorsing moderation and combating extremism in Western nations, referring to bin Laden as a moderate who was a victim converted to "extreme jihad," applying Geneva Convention articles in Gaza and the West Bank, and expressing skepticism of US-Israeli-Saudi relations, especially after the 1991 Gulf War honeymoon period, in view of demolition of Palestinian homes supported by Colin Powell and the Israeli government, and the lucrative target for potential seizure presented by Saudi Arabia's one-fourth of world's proven oil reserves.
One of the four 9/11 widows - known as the "Jersey Girls" - mentions the unusual timing of the disappearance of Khashoggi with respect to the release of documents by the Department of Justice, supporting the 9/11 Families' Litigation, that may implicate the Saudi government in the 9/11 attacks.