On one of the TV talk shows, the interviewer posed the following question to me: In your experience in the media, and as editor in chief of four publications, what was the most pleasant and interesting experience for you?
I responded that the period I spent with Arab News was the most pleasant.
I answered with complete honesty, and I still hold to it, because the experience was truly fruitful and rich with challenges that became opportunities for success, both editorially and financially thanks in large part to a unified team spirit.
At an important newspaper such as Arab News, a work experience of roughly a year and a half takes you on a professional journey, rich with learning and fun in addition to challenges. The learning came from beautiful human interactions and connections gained by working with a team with the desire and ability to deliver Saudi content that reflected Saudi culture and society honestly with all its successes and failures along with its challenges and opportunities.
Arab News, since its founding, has played a positive role, and has become a platform for communication between the world and Saudi society. Since its beginning, it has contributed to reporting on key issues taking place in the Kingdom. When the media realized its role in presenting the news four decades ago, Arab News served as the world’s window into Saudi Arabia and into the Arab world. The editorial staff has always worked to achieve this editorial policy and expand it, and this is what I also sought to do.
We found it necessary to expand local editorial content in Saudi Arabia, and we highlighted a broader range of views regarding different issues and opinions in Saudi society. The business content was expanded to cover vital sectors, and specialized pages were added to incorporate the views of thinkers and leaders in the private sector so as to present their opinions and predictions regarding economic issues, challenges they faced, and their predictions for the future.
The expansion in the publication of opinions and views of the political, economic and intellectual elite gives the opportunity for residents in the Kingdom and those abroad to learn the truth about any situation, exchange opinions, and to see how Saudis face the challenges of both present and future.
One of the pleasant and interesting aspects of working at Arab News was the exchange of knowledge and growth of experiences resulting from working in an environment of diverse cultures, experiences and interests. This was a motivation to gain the knowledge and understanding of cultures and societies in our world and respect different values. The media in general has a humanitarian and moral responsibility to improve cooperation and understanding between peoples. The building of peace and stability in the world is achieved from closeness between peoples and from their efforts in areas that bring us together rather than pushing us apart.
In summary, the work experience was very beneficial and interesting, and gave me the opportunity to meet new colleagues and learn from their experiences. I wish to see Arab News continue along its path of excellence and growth. It is an essential medium for us as Saudis, as Arabs, and as Muslims.
• Abdulwahab Al-Faiz was Arab News editor in chief from Oct. 9, 2011 to Jan. 3, 2013.