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Arab Media Review: Anti-Semitism and Other Trends
February - March 2004
RULE Arab Newspapers

Posted: May 11, 2004

Introduction Bahrain Egypt Jordan
Oman Qatar Saudi Arabia Focus: Israel's Security Fence
Focus: The Killing of Sheikh Ahmad Yassin Arab Newspapers

Akhbar al-Kahlij (Bahrain) - A pro-government daily and Bahrain's oldest newspaper; editor in-chief - Anwar Muhammad 'Abd ar-Rahman.

Al-Ahram (Egypt) - an Egyptian daily owned by the Egyptian government: the president appoints the editor. He (as the editor of the other government owned dailies, al-Gumhuriyya and al-Akhbar) is given substantial leeway in his editorial practices, assuming he avoids certain "taboos". Al-Ahram is the largest Arabic paper in the world and has established the Al-Ahram Regional Press Institute.

Al-Wafd (Egypt) - Al-Wafd is the main opposition paper in Egypt. The paper criticizes the regime on a wide range of issues - from economy to internal and foreign policy. However, it is important to note that the criticism is on subjects that are allowed by the regime. The paper is one of the most acceptable channels of opposition activism, since the Egyptians see themselves as supporters of freedom of the press, and the paper is supposed to be concrete proof of this idea. Al-Wafd expresses extreme anti-Israel and anti-Semitic views in articles and cartoons.

Ad-Dustur (Jordan) - a government-owned paper that expresses pro-Palestinian and anti-Israeli views. It is considered a high quality paper.

Al-Watan (Oman) - a government-backed daily. The paper was established in 1971 and its editor-in-chief is Muhammed Bin Suleiman at-Tani.

Al-Watan (Saudi Arabia) - a daily owned by the governor of the 'Asir district.

Ar-Riyadh (Saudi Arabia) - A Saudi daily, one of the four principal Saudi papers (the three others are: al-Madina, al-Jazira and al-Watan). The paper presents a relatively conservative attitude, while emphasizing (as most of the Saudi papers) its praise of the Royal family.

Generally, the Saudi government lays severe limitations on the freedom of press and has a strict censorship, even on the foreign press that enters Saudi Arabia. Since the Saudi press is government-oriented, it concentrates on praising the Saudi Royal Family. Of course, opposition or independent newspapers do not exist in Saudi Arabia. However, the London based Saudi press has more independent features

Al-Watan (Qatar) - Al-Watan is one of the five Qatari dailies. Al-Watan's chairman is Hamad bin Sahim al Thani, a member of the royal family (All of the papers are owned by different branches of the royal family). The Foreign Minister, Hamed bin Jasem bin Jaber al Thani, owns half of the newspaper.

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