Bienvenue! Arab and French-speaking world salutes the launch of Arab News en Français

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Updated 16 July 2020

Bienvenue! Arab and French-speaking world salutes the launch of Arab News en Français

  • New digital edition creates a unique window of communication, Saudi Minister Adel Al-Jubeir says

LONDON: The publication of a French-language digital edition of Arab News was warmly welcomed on Wednesday across the Arab and French-speaking world.
François Gouyette, the French ambassador to Saudi Arabia, launched Arab News en Français on Tuesday — France’s National Day — at a videoconference event attended by Saudi, Arab and French officials, diplomats and journalists, and special guests.
The Arab News French-language edition created “a window of communication between an independent Arab media outlet and French speakers everywhere,” said Adel Al-Jubeir, the Saudi minister of state for foreign affairs.

 

“Human beings share common human values ... and language is an important communication tool,” the minister said.
Video footage of a colorful light show at the Burj Khalifa in Dubai, marking the launch and congratulating France on its national day, was shared by social media users and commentators around the world.
Ludovic Pouille, the French ambassador to the UAE, said the launch was great news for the French-speaking world.
“I hope that Arab News will become the new Francophone bridge between France and the UAE, between the Gulf and Europe and between Europe and Africa, this big francophone continent with which we have so much to share,” he said.
The publication of Arab News en Français was “a great day for us, for information and for culture, and for relations between France and the Arab world,” said France’s former Culture Minister Jack Lang.
“A French edition can help to publicize the riches and the projects of Saudi Arabia today, and highlight the multiple economic, cultural, educational and scientific projects that this country is giving birth to.”
Lebanese politician and media chief executive Nayla Tuéni said: “The launch of a digital news platform in French by Saudi media is a first. Arab News throws out challenges today against a backdrop of international turmoil and uncertainty.”
 

 


Algeria journalist acquitted after year in detention

Updated 23 September 2020

Algeria journalist acquitted after year in detention

ALGIERS: Algerian journalist Belkacem Djir, sentenced to three years’ jail in a common law case, was acquitted Wednesday and is expected to be released after over a year behind bars, his lawyer said.
“The Algiers court has announced that journalist Belkacem Djir has been acquitted,” Fatiha Rouibi wrote on Facebook.
Djir had been accused of using a “false identity” and “blackmail.”
No other information was available on the case against him, with lawyers refusing to discuss it publicly while acknowledging privately that his case was “sensitive.”
Djir, a 34-year-old journalist for private television channel Echourouk News, was detained in July 2019.
He is one of several Algerian journalists currently in prison.
They include Khaled Drareni, Casbah Tribune news website editor and correspondent for French-language TV5 Monde, and Abdelkrim Zeghileche, head of a web-based radio station.
They are being prosecuted in cases linked to “Hirak,” the anti-regime protest movement that began in February 2019.
Drareni was on September 15 handed a two-year jail sentence for his coverage of the movement that toppled Algeria’s longtime president Abdelaziz Bouteflika last year.
Zeghileche was sentenced in late August to two years in prison for “undermining national unity” and “insulting the head of state.”
A total of 61 people are currently behind bars for acts related to “Hirak,” according to CNLD, a rights group that lists prisoners of conscience in Algeria.