Prince Naif: Outside the realm of glamour

Updated 17 June 2012
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Prince Naif: Outside the realm of glamour

Losing a dear person is hurtful. With the loss of a noble and a good man, nonetheless, the hurt gets magnified.
Prince Naif, in addition to having qualities that are rarely found in ordinary people let alone powerful people in today's materialistic world, held key types of power, and thus, his passing away is a big loss to humanity.
Holding power — be it political or economic — brings a certain glamor to a person that can be intimidating at times. Prince Naif, may Allah bless his soul, held all types of power but he never let anyone feel intimidated regardless of age, socio-economic class, or education. This was his unique quality.
Prince Naif always made everyone feel part of the group. He spoke softly on the phone, and talked quietly either in the public Majlis or during personal conversations in the corridors and halls. This comforting tone dispelled the fear of talking to one of the pillars of the royal family and the Saudi government, and soon one would be made to feel close to the great man and part of the group.
He also helped people starting on a new job to execute their duties by allowing them to make mistakes without holding it against them; encouraging them morally, and assisting them to possess the necessary tools to perform their tasks. Subsequently, the fear and the apprehension of failing just go away.
In the public Majlis, Prince Naïf received all people from all walks of life and heard their grievances or personal demands. Though many failed to present them in a proper manner, he never got angry with them; instead he spoke with patience and care, and responded all the time to their valid needs.
The only matter that got on his nerves was unjust attacks on the principles and foundations of Saudi Arabia. May Allah reward Prince Naif paradise in the thereafter.

— Dr. Abdulrahman Al-Zuhayyan is a Saudi academician based in Riyadh.

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Leading monitor of crucial events in the Saudi Arabia for 100 years: Umm Al-Qura newspaper

Umm Al-Qura was the first newspaper to be published during the time of Saudi Arabia's founder.
Updated 21 May 2018
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Leading monitor of crucial events in the Saudi Arabia for 100 years: Umm Al-Qura newspaper

  • It was the first newspaper to be issued at the time of the Kingdom’s founder, King Abdul Aziz
  • Al-Ahmadi clarified that the newspaper’s first issue was published in December 1924

MAKKAH: It is considered one of the most important and prestigious Saudi Arabian newspapers. 

It has witnessed crucial decisions in the country, observed the history of the region throughout a century, recording details of life in the Kingdom becoming a reference for historical decisions and events.

Umm Al-Qura’s Editor in Chief Abdullah Al-Ahmadi said the newspaper has the support and supervision of Minister of Culture and Information Dr. Awwad Al-Awwad, who has harnessed all the resources for its modern launch. Al-Ahmadi clarified that the newspaper’s first issue was published in December 1924.

It was the first newspaper to be issued at the time of the Kingdom’s founder, King Abdul Aziz. The headline in the first issue of the newspaper was “The Makkah Declaration,” and this story was accompanied by news and official statements.

Al-Ahmadi said that the paper continued its coverage during World War II, although its presses did stop for a period of up to eight weeks in 1924 before King Abdul Aziz ordered paper to be imported and printing to resume.

Umm Al-Qura’s first editor in chief was Sheikh Yusuf Yassin, who was followed by Rushdi Malhas. Both figures held diplomatic positions during King Abdul Aziz’s reign, along with Mohammed Saeed Abdul Maksoud, Fouad Shaker and Abdul Quddus Al-Ansari.

Al-Ahmadi added that the newspaper has monitored the personal stories of the Kingdom’s kings, giving precise details of the historical and political events of the last century. He added that it has the full Saudi archive and it has become a historical reference for history, the economy and politics.

Al-Ahmadi said the newspaper was a combination of news, sports and social events during 30 years of its foundation. It had adverts on some pages, reflecting the region’s identity and local, economic and cognitive dimensions.

Al-Ahmadi said that with its launch, the newspaper formed the memory, aspirations and ambitions of Saudi Arabia. It was the only media platform in which the world explored the local news, along with the cultural, educational and economic news. 

It covered their advocacy of the crucial decisions — notably the Palestinian cause that Saudi Arabia has defended since the time of its founder.

Umm Al-Qura’s editor in chief said his main concern, along with his former colleagues in the newspaper’s management, was its development and relaunch, pointing out that a number of challenges have been overcome. 

The newspaper has been developed across the board — from layout and content to its brand logo and colors, he said.

Al-Ahmadi added that new and modern printers have been provided, and the newspaper has improved in line with technical and modern changes. 

He said the government also helped restore the back issues damaged by moths.

The operation was carried out by specialized experts who supervised the whole operation to protect the issues from getting lost. All issues were archived online and missing issues are being updated, he added.

Al-Ahmadi said that the newspaper’s website will provide a digital media platform for the documentation process, giving integrated information about the newspaper.

Al-Ahmadi said the newspaper has a website archive for researchers and academics. 

He added that a large number of master’s and doctorate degrees as well as surveys took place with the help of the newspaper that has become a historic reference for scholars and researchers.