The ceremony at Ezdan Palace Hotel's Jawaher Hall was attended by a number of dignitaries from various walks of life. Speaking on the occasion, HE Sheikh Hamad bin Thamer al-Thani praised the role played by Al Arab in being the first Qatari newspaper and the first print media platform in the country.
Al Arab played an important role in documenting the events that Qatar went through, and it was the newspaper around which all Qataris gathered to get news and be informed of the events, he recalled while wishing the newspaper continuity and success in the future.
Anchored by journalist, academic and writer Dr Abdullah Faraj al-Marzouqi, the event witnessed the honouring of a number of prominent media personalities, who led Al Arab newspaper since its inception. A documentary about Al Arab was screened.
In his speech, Jaber al-Harami, executive vice president, recalled the biography of the founder of Al Arab, the late Abdullah Hassan al-Nama, who launched the publication on March 6, 1972 to put a road map for the newspapers in Qatar.
"Al Arab's celebration is the celebration of various newspapers and media institutions in our beloved country Qatar: Arrayah, Al Sharq, Al Watan, Lusail, Gulf Times, The Peninsula and Qatar Tribune," he described while lauding the efforts of behind these publications to provide a high-end and professional media service that meets the aspirations of the readers and contributes to the success in conveying the truth, building bridges with the different sectors of society, and making partnerships with both government and private sectors, in order to highlight the achievements of the country in different fields under the wise leadership of His Highness the Amir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani.
Al-Harami pointed out that the first issue of Al Arab newspaper was reprinted for the occasion exactly in the same shape, size and paper. The first edition bore a prominent title: “Long live free Qatar.. Glory be to you” and this title will remain, its past, its fans, its present and its present, and we translate it into reality in the field, in work and achievement, because Qatar is not a homeland we live in, but rather a homeland that lives in us.
Shireen Abu Akleh's death condoled
The news of the Israeli occupation’s assassination of Al Jazeera correspondent Shireen Abu Akleh, while covering the storming of Jenin in the West Bank, cast a pall of gloom over Dar Al Sharq Group's Al Arab newspaper golden jubilee celebrations.
Jaber al-Harami, executive vice president, stressed that this crime represents a clear picture of the extent of the heinous crimes committed by the Israeli entity on the land of Palestine, pointing to the occupation’s endeavour to assassinate the truth that Shireen has always sought to convey to the world through Al Jazeera Channel.
He expressed the condolences of the media family in Qatar to Shireen's family in Palestine, and her family at Al Jazeera Channel, led by HE Sheikh Hamad bin Thamer al-Thani, also chairman of the Board of Directors of Al Jazeera Media Network, and all the media professionals and journalists in the field.
Al-Harami recalled an important stage in which the newspaper stopped communicating directly with its readers for a period of eleven years between 1996 and 2007. "But there was a man who believed in the importance of media to communities and that of preserving this media institution. It is HE Sheikh Thani bin Abdullah al-Thani who accepted the challenges, assumed full responsibility, harnessed all possibilities and sacrificed a lot in order to reissue it again in October 2007."
In a speech, Al Arab editor-in-chief Abdullah Talib al-Marri said the newspaper faced many challenges over the past five decades, but with willpower it was able to overcome them and celebrate its golden jubilee.
The ceremony witnessed the honoring of the following dignitaries: HE the Minister of State Dr Hamad bin Abdulaziz al-Kawari was represented by his office director Abdul Razzaq al-Kuwari. HE the Minister of Culture Sheikh Abdulrahman bin Hamad al-Thani was represented by Sheikh Fahad bin Thamer al-Thani. Al Arab founder Abdullah bin Hussein al-Naama was represented by Farouk Abdullah al-Naama. Nasser bin Muhammad al-Othman, Dean of Press in Qatar, was represented by Khalid Ahmed al-Jufairi.
The editors-in-chief who headed Al Arab over the years or their representatives were also honoured: Khalid bin Abdullah al-Nama (1975 - 1986), Abdulaziz bin Ibrahim al-Mahmoud (2007 - 2009) Ahmed bin Saeed al-Rumaihi (2009 - 2014), Abdullah bin Hamad al-Athba (2014 - 2020) and Abdul Latif Abdullah al-Mahmoud (2020-2021).
HE Sheikh Hamad bin Thamer al-Thani was honoured by Dar Al Sharq chairman HE Sheikh Dr Khalid bin Thani bin Abdullah al-Thani.