The Yemen Times through its readers’ eyes [Archives:2006/1002/Reportage]

November 27 2006

Fatima Al-Ajel
[email protected]

The Yemen Times took its 1,000th issue celebration to its readership, finding out what they think of the newspaper after 15 years of achievement and what they want to read in its future pages. Many congratulated the Yemen Times and wished the best for its staff as they expressed their viewpoints for this report.

YALI level 5B student readers' comments

Jamal Mohammad Al-Ajel, a level 5B student at the Yemen American Language Institute (YALI), comments, “Firstly, I congratulate the Yemen Times on its achievements – keep up the success. I consider the Yemen Times a guide for those who want to improve their reading skills because it's the easiest way to take topics and discuss them with friends, as well as learn different styles of writing.”

He adds, “I hope to write opinion articles for the Yemen Times and publish them on the Youth page, which is especially for youth.”

Ismail Yahya Taj Al-Deew hopes for more such successes in the future. “I consider the Yemen Times one of the most trustworthy newspapers. I read every issue because they're rich in vocabulary, which provides us many advantages and improves our English speaking skills. Because I like to read about sports in English, I wish the Yemen Times would report weekly sports news.”

Ibrahim Al-Mahbishi sends his best wishes to all Yemen Times employees, who have achieved this amazing work. “I sometimes find interesting topics and use them in our presentations and studies. However, some topics are untouched in Yemen Times articles, such as news about technology and software programs, so I hope you'll publish something about these in the future. Also, I hope there's a chance for us as teenaged readers to express ourselves in your newspaper regarding political issues.” [Ed. note – Youth readers and writers may do so on the Yemen Times' Youth page.]

Sana'a University Faculty of Languages, English department student readers

Khalidoun Al-Sharjabi, a fourth-year English language student at Sana'a University. says, “The Yemen Times is my favorite English newspaper. I think it's a good source for those interested in reading it. As a reader, I'd like to see more about sports and politics.”

Fellow seniors Na'eem Ahmad and Salem Hatim highlight that the Yemen Times helps increase students' vocabulary and knowledge of English and hoped the newspaper would continue on the same path for a long time.

Senior Lu'ay Zahaeh says of the newspaper, “It's not a bad attempt at creating a new order in the Yemeni press because it's one of the main references in the current Yemeni English press. Frankly, the Yemen Times is one source to read English; however, there are several newspapers, so it's hard to make a real contrast among them because they're similar.

“The Yemen Times absolutely gives a clear way of writing the English language and, in general, newspapers are useful to those concerned. Many topics are interesting to read. I'm concerned about international political news and I always search for European sports, especially football.”

Zahaeh adds, “I wish this outstanding newspaper would be more objective toward those affairs regarding Yemen's domestic circumstances because your newspaper is more concerned about presidential news than other important affairs. I mean, let's not waste newspaper space by showing the president's picture all the time!”

Sana'a University Faculty of Education, English department student readers

Third-year student Aisha Al-Bashiri considers the Yemen Times her source for information, noting, “You present various topics, which are good for us as students and from which we can benefit.”

Fellow junior Khouloud Saleh congratulates the newspaper on celebrating issue No. 1,000. “I consider the Yemen Times my teacher and it teaches me a lot. I read it to improve my reading skills, as well as for entertainment,” he remarks.

Shahama Zedan, another junior, wishes the best for the Yemen Times and expresses, “The Yemen Times is an important friend to me that I can't live without. It has a lot of information and its writing styles are simple so that all students from different levels can read and benefit from it.”

Junior Raghda Jameel comments that she always depends on the Yemen Times when researching information or new topics, noting, “I turn to Yemen Times subjects whenever I must research.”

Ahmad Al-Qiyadi, assistant professor of applied sociolinguistics in the department, emphasizes the Yemen Times' importance as an information source for Yemeni students because it helps them develop their reading and writing skills. “The Yemen Times should keep the same level of development and progress and always try to be as close to the people as possible,” he adds.

Sana'a University Faculty of Arts, English department student readers

While sophomore Nashwa Al-Laithi congratulates the Yemen Times, she also criticizes its staff members, who don't make field visits to observe student problems or cover their activities. “We have many activities, but no one cares about our problems or activities,” she laments.

She suggests the newspaper publish a series for issues relating to the Yemeni community, such as Yemeni proverbs and phrases used on special occasions, which she notes, “will help us as students to practice real English communication in society.”

Fellow second-level student Lina AbdulRahman wishes the newspaper the best, but notes, “The Yemen Times' language is difficult for beginner students studying English. I also hope you will publish horoscopes, which are entertaining and funny.”

Yusra Al-Mutawakil considers the Yemen Times is an ideal newspaper, commenting, “Its topics are varied and interesting. Generally, it's attractive and famous to its readers.”

Other readers' comments

Sana'a University engineering graduate Rafeeq Ali is interested in reading national and world news. “I like the news writing style and I always follow Al-Qaeda news,” he states, adding, “I wish the Yemen Times was a daily newspaper.”

Al-Kuwait Secondary School student Ali Aziz is proud of the Yemen Times newspaper for being Yemen's first English newspaper. He often visits the online version to search for topics, especially those related to the Yemeni community.

“I select most of my research topics from the Yemen Times online. Also, if one of my friends can't find a Yemen Times issue, I help him find what he's looking for. I hope the Yemen Times will develop its web site further,” he adds.

Foreign readers' comments

Sana'a resident Abu Daoud says, “I really enjoy the online version, since it's so easy to open up things and save them for reference later. When the Yemen Times started up, it was really great to start getting news in English.”

An American mother whose son proofread the Yemen Times several years ago notes, “Our son really enjoyed working with Dr. Saqqaf as well.”

Sana'a resident Umm Yahya says, “I've read the Yemen Times on a semi-regular basis since 1993. I used to like the paper, but I felt it took a nosedive after Abdulaziz Al-Saqqaf died. I always appreciated his bravery in presenting government corruption. Since his death, the Yemen Times has been much more cautious in publishing what's really happening in the government.

She adds, “The quality of the paper also has taken a down-turn in the past several years. Before your recent proofreaders, the English was pretty pathetic as well, but it's now much better. I still buy the paper because I like to read the front page, as well as the health section, but the opinion section isn't worth reading.”