Faisal J. Abbas appointed editor-in-chief of Arab News

SRMG Chairman Prince Badr bin Abdullah bin Mohamad bin Farhan Al-Saud (left) and Faisal J. Abbas, the new editor-in-chief of Arab News.
Updated 26 September 2016
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Faisal J. Abbas appointed editor-in-chief of Arab News

RIYADH: The Saudi Research and Marketing Group (SRMG) — the Middle East’s largest integrated publishing company — has announced the appointment of Faisal J. Abbas as editor-in-chief of Arab News effective Tuesday, Sept. 27, 2016.
“The decision complements SRMG’s future vision of taking our titles to new heights by empowering young Saudi media leaders capable of meeting the aspirations of the new generation who are today’s biggest media consumers,” SRMG Chairman Prince Badr bin Abdullah bin Mohamad bin Farhan Al-Saud said.
“Faisal J. Abbas is among the most prominent Saudi journalists on the international scene; he brings an impressive track record of successful media brands re-launching as well as expanding newsroom operations,” said Prince Badr.
He thanked the outgoing editor-in-chief of Arab News, Mohammad Al-Harthi, for his “enormous efforts.”
“We will continue to benefit from his expertise in various fields within our group. In addition, Al-Harthi will continue to maintain his position as the editor-in-chief of Sayidaty and Al-Jamila Magazines as well as their websites,” the chairman said.
Abbas thanked Prince Badr and the SRMG Board for their trust, saying: “I look forward to be working alongside the board and the team at this prestigious international Arab daily. Together, we will drive it to achieve its full future potential.”
Prior to joining Arab News, Abbas was the editor-in-chief of the Dubai-based Al Arabiya News Channel’s digital English service between 2012 and 2016.
He has also worked as a senior Middle East correspondent for the International Resource Journal and a blogger with the Huffington Post since 2008. Between 2004–2009 he was the media editor at SRMG’s London-based Pan-Arab daily, Asharq Al Awsat.
Abbas is a regular speaker at the World Economic Forum (Davos), Institute for Public Diplomacy (Berlin) and Aspen Institute Italia. He is a fellow of the US State Department Edward R. Murrow Excellence in Journalism IV program, as well as an associate member of the Cambridge Union Society (CUS). He holds a Masters in Marketing Communications from London’s University of Westminster and a bachelor’s degree from the Lebanese American University.
Arab News, which is based in Jeddah, was founded in 1975. For over 40 years, it has been renowned as Saudi Arabia’s premier English language daily, covering local, regional and international affairs. It is available online via www.arabnews.com and across a number of social media platforms including Facebook and Twitter.


Houthi threat to holy sites in Makkah condemned

Updated 21 May 2019
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Houthi threat to holy sites in Makkah condemned

  • Iran-backed militias have no qualms about attacking the holiest place in Islam, says analyst
  • This is not the first time that Houthi militias have targeted Makkah, having fired on the city in July 2017

JEDDAH: The Royal Saudi Air Defense Forces intercepted and destroyed two missiles launched from Yemen by Iran-aligned Houthi militias on Monday. 

The missiles were reported to have been heading toward Makkah and Jeddah. 

A spokesman for the Arab Coalition said that the missiles were destroyed over Taif in the early morning, and that fragments from the first projectile had landed in Wadi Jalil, a valley that extends toward Makkah.

Residents in Jeddah told Arab News that they heard a loud blast early on Monday morning.

This is not the first time that Houthi militias have targeted Makkah, having fired on the city in July 2017.

Videos circulating on social media reportedly show the second missile being intercepted and destroyed in the skies over King Abdulaziz International Airport.

Bahrain’s Foreign Ministry denounced the Houthi attack and commended the Royal Saudi Air Defense Forces for their vigilance. 

Dr. Hamdan Al-Shehri, a Riyadh-based Saudi political analyst and international relations scholar, said: “This isn’t the first time that the Houthis and their masters in Tehran have fired missiles close to the holy city of Makkah.” 

They have no qualms about attacking the holiest place in Islam, he added. 

“They care nothing for the sanctity of the holy month of Ramadan. What they did today, and what they did in the past, clearly reveal their sinister designs to strike at the heart of the Muslim world,” Al-Shehri said.

“Now is the time for all Muslim nations in the world to come to the defense of the holy land. Our sacred places are under attack from Iran, the Houthis and their militias,” he added.

“Mere condemnation won’t do. Iran and the Houthis have crossed a red line, and this calls for deterrent action against Tehran,” he said.

Yemen’s internationally recognized government also condemned the Houthis’ attempt to target Makkah, calling it “a full-fledged terrorist attack.”

Monday’s aggression came as Saudi Arabia warned that recent drone attacks against its oil-pumping stations by the Houthis will jeopardize UN peace efforts in Yemen and lead to further escalation in the region.

Abdallah Al-Mouallimi, Saudi ambassador to the UN, said “seven explosive drones” directed by the Houthis attacked pumping stations on May 14 in the cities of Dawadmi and Afif “on the east-west oil pipeline that transfers Saudi oil to Yanbu port and to the rest of the world.”

He urged UN Security Council members, in a letter circulated on Monday, “to disarm this terrorist militia in order to prevent the escalation of these attacks which increase regional tensions and raise the risks of a broader regional confrontation.”

Al-Shehri said Monday’s attack is a reminder to Muslim nations about the clear and present danger from Iran.  “Tehran timed the attack just as King Salman has called for a meeting in Makkah to discuss the threat from Iran to the Muslim world,” Al-Shehri said.

Saudi security forces have intercepted and destroyed 227 ballistic missiles launched by the Houthis at the Kingdom since 2015.