Saturday, July 20, 2013

Al-Akhbar and Syria

It is not my intention to defend Al-Akhbar newspaper: I write for the paper but I have had disagreements with it.  On four occasions, my articles were not published in the paper (and two of the four articles dealt with the Syrian situation).  But I have come to notice that Western journalists refer to the paper as "pro-Syrian", which is quite inaccurate but those non-Arabic speaking reporters get their labels from their friends in the Hariri press office in Beirut.  They judge a paper that they don't read.  What is more hilarious is that they come to refer to newspapers of Saudi princes as "pan-Arab" (whether Al-Hayat or Ash-Sharq Al-Awsat).  But Al-Akhbar's position on Syria is more complex and nuanced.  It has placed free ads calling for the release of communist prisoners in Syrian jails, for example.  You wont know that the front page of Al-Akhbar today is about the arrest of Syrian communist artist, Yusuf `Abdlaki.   Do you think that any of the Saudi or Hariri papers will ever dare devote the front page of the paper to a Saudi dissident, EVER?  Moral (it is moral and not morale as is commonly written) of the story: do your homework.