President Hafez al-Assad with veteran journalist Yasser Abd Rabbo in 1984

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Yasser Abd Rabbo (1932-2006) at the time was working with the Paris-based al-Mustaqbal Magazine, run by the Lebanese journalist Nabil Khury. In 1993, Abd Rabbo returned to Syria to establish a Syrian magazine called Al-Shahr. He served as its editor-in-chief until 1997.