Editor-in-Chief of KSA’s first English language daily discusses progress and reform in Saudi Arabia
DOHA, QATAR– Dr. Khaled Almaeena, Editor-in-Chief of Arab News, the first English language newspaper in Saudi Arabia, delivered an insightful lecture on Sunday as part of Carnegie Mellon University in Qatar’s LAS Speaker Series. In a lecture titled “Saudi Arabia: Past, Present and Future”, Almaeena acknowledges that Saudi Arabia shares many problems common to the Arab world – lack of job opportunities for the youth, absence of transparency in governance, restrictions on women – and spoke of the reforms that have begun that address these problems. Almaeena is a great advocate for change related to issues close to his heart and has directly implemented many on his own at Arab News.
“Khaled Almaeena is a great inspiration to our students,” said Amal Al Malki, Ph.D., assistant teaching professor at Carnegie Mellon University in Qatar. “He is credited with bringing Arab News, a leading English language newspaper in the region, to its respected position today. Carnegie Mellon University understands the importance of using English to reach out to a bigger audience, especially as all of our students are either bilingual or multilingual.”
“Further, Dr. Almaeena is known to be a great advocate of Saudi women and a great believer in their capabilities,” Al Malki continued. “At Carnegie Mellon, we also focus on empowering our female students and believe that just like their male counterparts they are capable of serving their countries in any field. It is enlightening to learn that 70 percent of the Saudi staff in Arab News are women including the managing editor, the senior correspondent from the Eastern Province as well as the manager in charge of the Life & Style section.”
Khaled Almaeena spoke about the positive changes occurring in Saudi Arabia and has great optimism that in the coming years we will see a different Saudi Arabia. “It is stereotypical to think that women only work as school teachers, however, women are now working as doctors and engineers. Women need to play a pivotal role in the change of the country. No reform will happen in Saudi Arabia unless women are given full rights.”
Almaeena went on to explain about the youth in Saudi Arabia and is hopeful that they are given the chance to make a difference. “The Saudi Arabian youth are seeking change, they are not looking to follow the west, they want to make their own reform, but within the perimeters of Islam. People want reform. This is why so many protests are taking place.”
“Many lessons can be drawn from Dr. Almaeena’s talk and his professional contribution to the reform era that Saudi Arabia is going through, because of the similarity between countries in the Arabian Gulf,” said Al Malki. Arab News is a widely-read English language newspaper in Saudi Arabia, popular among many groups of Saudi society including national and expatriate residents. It is the first newspaper to provide a Saudi perspective in English on a wide range of national, regional and global issues. As a result, the paper also enjoys a wide distribution in the region.
A well known businessman and media personality in Saudi Arabia, Dr. Khaled Almaeena has held a broad range of positions in Saudi media for over 30 years, including CEO of the Saudi Public Relations Company, Saudi television news anchor, talk show host, radio announcer, lecturer and journalist. Under his direction as the Editor-in-Chief of Arab News, Almaeena helped steer the paper through the Gulf Crisis and pioneered bringing newspapers back to a liberated Kuwait. Almaeena has represented Saudi media at many high profile Arab summits and has been selected as part of an elite media team to cover diplomatic issues involving Saudi Arabia. Highly regarded in his views, Mr. Almaeena’s political and social columns appear regularly in high circulation dailies across the region. He became Editor-in-Chief of Arab News in 1982.