Lebanese newspaper Al-Anwar stops printing

“Dar Al-Sayyad has decided to stop publishing Al-Anwar from next Monday,” the political daily said on its website. (Screenshot of Al-Anwar’s website)
Updated 28 September 2018

Lebanese newspaper Al-Anwar stops printing

  • Al-Anwar is the latest victim of the country’s media crisis.
  • Founded in 1943 by Lebanese writer Said Freiha, Dar Al-Sayyad has offices in London, Dubai, Riyadh, Cairo and Damascus, as well as Beirut.

BEIRUT: Lebanon newspaper Al-Anwar on Friday said its publisher was suspending its print version, as it became the latest victim of the country’s media crisis.
“Dar Al-Sayyad has decided to stop publishing Al-Anwar from next Monday,” the political daily said on its front page.
The newspaper, which was first issued in 1959, said the demise of its print version was due to “financial losses.”
The publisher’s eight other publications — including popular cultural weekly Al-Shabaka — would also cease to be printed, it said.
It was not immediately clear if there were any plans for the publications to continue to have a presence online.
Founded in 1943 by Lebanese writer Said Freiha, Dar Al-Sayyad has offices in London, Dubai, Riyadh, Cairo and Damascus, as well as Beirut.
The press in Lebanon has been in crisis for several years, both as it struggles to adapt to the digital era and faces economic difficulties.
In June, prestigious pan-Arab newspaper Al-Hayat closed its Lebanon offices, where it was first founded in 1946 before later becoming Saudi owned.
Its printing presses in Beirut stopped the same month, leaving its international version only available online.
In late 2016, Lebanese newspaper As-Safir shuttered 42 years after it published its first edition, with the founder saying it had run out of funds.
Other newspapers have carried out mass layoffs or suspended salary payments.


Arab films set for Red Sea Film Festival screening

Updated 24 February 2020

Arab films set for Red Sea Film Festival screening

  • MBC Group to support young film makers with training from industry professionals

LONDON: Young Arab film makers will have the opportunity to have their work showcased at next month’s Red Sea International Film Festival as investment in Saudi cinema gathers pace.

The Red Sea International Film Festival has announced a partnership with MBC Group, which will also broadcast the event’s opening ceremony on March 12.

As part of the deal, MBC Al Amal, MBC’s corporate social responsibility arm, will hold a Shorts pitch competition.

Ten short film projects will be selected from Saudi Arabia and the MENA region, with filmmakers being given a one-day workshop to prepare for a pitching session. 

Italian director and producer Stefano Tealdi will train the candidates to strengthen their skills and give them tips for better pitches, MBC said.

“We strongly believe that this new generation of talent is key in influencing change and creating the difference to the region’s media and entertainment content landscape, which of course includes independent film and mainstream cinema,” said Peter Smith, managing director of MBC Studios.

The region’s biggest broadcaster will also host talent days on March 17 and 18 to support Saudi scriptwriters, directors and producers.

The inaugural Red Sea International Film Festival takes place March 12-21 in Jeddah Old Town, under the theme “Changing the Script.” It aims to support and help grow Saudi Arabia’s emerging film industry which is attracting a slew of investment from homegrown dramas shot in the Kingdom to the construction of cinemas countrywide.

Real estate broker CBRE estimates that 45 new cinemas are expected to open this year.

The boom in cinema construction coincides with a push to develop the domestic Saudi film industry.

That is being driven by both the big and small screen as video-on-demand players that include MBC, Netflix and Amazon compete to deliver content that speaks to a young Arab audience.