Former Arab News journalist loses life to COVID-19 in India

Former Arab News staffer Javed Jivani died on Wednesday in Mumbai as a result of COVID-19. (Supplied)
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Updated 25 June 2020

Former Arab News journalist loses life to COVID-19 in India

  • Jivani left Arab News in 1988 after eight years during which he won many admirers thanks to his excellent headlines
  • He was described as “a jovial and affable person and a wonderful colleague”

JEDDAH: Former Arab News staffer Javed Jivani died on Wednesday in Mumbai as a result of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19). He was 84 and the last member of his family.
Known to colleagues simply as J.J., he joined Arab News in 1980. Initially he worked on the business desk, where it soon became clear he had an amazing knack for writing punchy and clever headlines. In recognition of this, the newspaper’s Editor in Chief, Khaled Almaeena, promoted him to front-page editor, a position in which he excelled.
“The bespectacled man never failed to amaze us with his choice of words,” Almaeena wrote about Jivani in the newspaper’s 20th anniversary edition, published in 1995. “Very thin, he weighed not more than 40 kg.”
After hearing that Jivani had died, Almaeena posted a tribute on Twitter that described him as: “A witty man with a twinkle in his eyes, and an editor who could compete with the best headline writers in the industry.”
K.S. Ramkumar, a former Arab News employee now based in Mumbai, said Jivani was “a jovial and affable person and a wonderful colleague.”
He added: “He was full of life, always smiling, cracking jokes and delivering sharp one-liners.”

Ramkumar, who worked at Arab News from 1982 until 2012, said Jivani had fallen down three days ago. A day later he developed a fever and tested positive for the coronavirus. He died on Wednesday morning in hospital in Mumbai.
Jivani left Arab News in 1993 after 13 eventful years during which he won many admirers thanks to his excellent headlines. Former colleagues said he was often lost in thought and would pace the floor of the office while searching for inspiration for the perfect headline. His eyes would light up when he thought of a good turn of phrase or clever wordplay.
He had a tremendous nose for news, they said. As soon as he saw the copy he knew immediately what the story was about and how best to craft and edit it.
Before joining Arab News, one of half a dozen Indian journalists hired by the late Editor in Chief Farouk Luqman, Jivani worked as a sub-editor for The Times of India. After leaving Arab News, he returned to Mumbai and wrote scripts for Bollywood. He never married.
“In the absence of any family, he led a lonely life,” added Ramkumar.


TWITTER POLL: UK decision to exclude Arab nations from COVID-19 quarantine ‘unjust’

Updated 07 July 2020

TWITTER POLL: UK decision to exclude Arab nations from COVID-19 quarantine ‘unjust’

  • Saudi Arabia's infection rate is similar to UK, Egypt is even lower
  • Poll reveals Arab News readers believe quarantine rule is unjust

DUBAI: The UK government’s decision to not include people traveling from any Arab nations in its waiving of the coronavirus quarantine requirements is unjust according to an Arab News Twitter poll.

The recent announcement that it was lifting quarantine requirements for people arriving in England from 59 different countries failed to include any Arab nations, despite many having significantly lower COVID-19-related fatality rates and similar proportions of infections.

Of the 1,039 people who took part in the poll, 56 percent said they did not believe that the United Kingdom’s decision was justified, while 27.3 percent said they did.

According to ourworldindata.org more than 15 percent of confirmed COVID-19 cases lead to a fatality in the UK, while in the UAE that number was significantly lower at 0.62 percent, and in Saudi Arabia 0.91 percent.

People traveling from the countries not included in the list of 59 will still be required to self-quarantine on arrival into the UK for two weeks.

The UK currently has an infection rate of approximately 0.42 percent of its total population, while in France the rate is at 0.25 percent and Germany a slightly lower 0.23 percent – both the latter countries are included in the exemption list.

 

But Saudi Arabia’s infection rate is currently at 0.61 percent of its total population, Egypt is at 0.075 percent and Tunisia even lower at 0.01 percent – and yet none of these countries are included.

The UAE which has a significantly lower population  of less than 10 million, has an infection rate of 2.88 percent.

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