Arab News launches Pakistan edition as part of global expansion

South Asia Bureau Chief Baker Atyani (Left) and Arab News Editor-in-Chief Faisal J. Abbas (Right). (AN Photo)
Updated 08 February 2018
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Arab News launches Pakistan edition as part of global expansion

ISLAMABAD: Arab News, the Middle East’s leading English-language daily, today announces the launch of a Pakistan online edition, as part of the newspaper’s ongoing global and digital expansion.
The service — available in English at www.arabnews.pk — covers news and views from Pakistan and the wider region, with a particular focus on Islamabad’s ties with Saudi Arabia and the Arab world.
It is updated daily by a multimedia news-gathering team led by the award-winning journalist Baker Atyani, head of Arab News’ Southeast Asia bureau.
The www.arabnews.pk site is the first of a series of country-specific online editions that the newspaper is planning to launch, and is part of the brand’s “more digital, more global” strategy which was announced last year.

Faisal J. Abbas, Editor-in-Chief of Arab News, said that the new service aims to develop “a two-way conversation with an extremely important target market for us,” citing the strategic significance of Pakistan and the historic ties it shares with Saudi Arabia and the Middle East in general.
“Arab News is already a recognizable brand among many Pakistanis, given its deeply-rooted relationship with the huge expat community in Saudi Arabia, where our newspaper was founded in 1975,” he said.
“There are numerous shared ambitions, opportunities and areas of common interest between Pakistan and Arab countries — from religion and culture, to defense and trade ties. All of these areas will be covered extensively by our new dedicated digital service,” concluded Abbas.  
The Arab News Pakistan digital edition will have its base in Islamabad, and will managed by the newspaper’s Southeast Asia bureau chief Baker Atyani.
Atyani said that www.arabnews.pk would help throw light on a part of Asia which is not always well-understood by English-speaking audiences.
“It is an honor and a big responsibility to be handling this exciting project for Arab News,” said Atyani.
“It is a natural extension for an already influential brand into a geographic area which is extremely important and badly misunderstood.”
Arab News is part of the regional publishing giant Saudi Research and Marketing Group (SRMG). It has been the English newspaper of record for Saudi Arabia and the region for over 40 years.


News anchors join New Zealand women wearing headscarves for mosque attack victims

Updated 22 March 2019
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News anchors join New Zealand women wearing headscarves for mosque attack victims

  • The AM Show news anchor Amanda Gillies said the gesture 'shows we are united'
  • Newsreaders began broadcasts with Islamic greetings

CHRISTCHURCH: News anchors in New Zealand joined women across the country in wearing headscarves as a show of solidarity on Friday for the victims of last week’s mosques shooting. 

The newsreaders covering the memorial events for the 50 people killed by a white supremacist at two mosques in Christchurch, began broadcasts with Islamic greetings.

They included The AM Show news anchor Amanda Gillies, who said she agonized over whether to cover her hair with a peach-colored scarf.

"There's no way a week ago that I would have, because I would have thought it would have been deemed inappropriate, not right, that I was insulting the Muslim community," Gillies said.

"I'll be honest - I did angst over it today whether I should wear it, because I didn't want to be inappropriate or offend the Muslim community. But I know that they are so welcoming and accepting of it, and I know that a lot of women will wear it today because it just shows that we are united - the solidarity is there, the love and support is there."

Elsewhere, women across the country wore hijabs on an emotional day when the shocked  nation came together to remember those killed.

 A journalist wearing a headscarf as tribute to the victims of the mosque attacks uses her phone before Friday prayers at Hagley Park outside Al-Noor mosque in Christchurch, New Zealand March 22, 2019. (Reuters)

Rafaela Stoakes, a 32-year-old mother of two, said wearing the Islamic head covering gave her an insight into what it means to stand out and feel part of the minority.

On Friday morning she covered all but a few locks of her dark chestnut-coloured hair in a loose red and white scarf, crossed neatly beneath her chin and tucked into a black hiking jacket.

She was one of many women embracing #HeadScarfforHarmony, to make a stand against the hate espoused by the Australian man who killed dozens of worshippers.

Headscarves were also worn as a mark of respect by policewomen and non-Muslim volunteers directing the crowds around the site in Christchurch holding communal prayers on Friday.

Many were wearing a headscarf for the first time.

"It is amazing how different I felt for the short time I was out this morning," Stoakes told AFP.

"There were a lot of confused looks and some slightly aggressive ones," she said.

"I did feel a sense of pride to honour my Muslim friends, but I also felt very vulnerable and alone as I was the only person wearing one."

"It must take a lot of courage to do this on a daily basis."

The gesture caught on nationwide -- in offices, schools and on the streets -- as well as at the ceremonies held in Christchurch to mark one week since the killings at the hands of a self-avowed white supremacist.

Women flooded Twitter, Facebook and other social media -- which played a key role in allowing the gunman to spread his message -- with their images.

Kate Mills Workman, a 19-year-old student from Wellington, posted a selfie on Twitter wearing a green headscarf.

"If I could I would be attending the mosque and standing outside to show my support for my Muslim whanau but I've got lectures and I can't really skip them," she told AFP, using a Maori language term for extended family.

"Obviously this is all spurred on by the terrible tragedy in Christchurch, but it's also a way of showing that any form of harassment or bigotry based on a symbol of religion is never okay," she added.

"As New Zealanders, we have to make a really strong stand."

Although the headscarf has been the subject of contentious debate over gender rights in the Islamic world, for Stoakes the day has been a lesson in how pious Muslim women often do not have the option to melt away into the background when they feel vulnerable.

"We can nod and pretend to agree with people who we are afraid of, or plead ignorance if we feel in danger of confrontation," she said.

"But a Muslim is just right out there. Like a bullseye. Their hijabs and clothing speak before they do."