Yemen Times: 15 years of distinction [Archives:2006/1001/Opinion]

November 23 2006

By: Moneer Al-Omari
By publishing Monday's issue, Yemen Times reached issue No. 1000 and herein I congratulate all Yemen Times staff and our loyal readers as well as all those who stand behind our beloved newspaper's success.

I am not going to recount the Yemen Times history as it is already known to all and I should leave it for its people, those who have grown with the paper step-by-step until it has become what it is today.

Yemen Times, the first and the most widely English Newspaper in Yemen, has been issued over the last 15 years without any break, despite all harsh conditions and limited resources. The newspaper, established by late Dr. Abdulaziz Al-Saqqaf, which started with very few staff, has turned to be a leading private institution with about 50 employees.

Right from the very beginning, the paper clearly marked its own way. It is a paper for Yemen and about Yemen. It was meant to address the foreign reader in their language and it has excelled. It has become a source for dependent and impartial news concerning national affairs, particularly with launching its website which made it more readable and enabled the newspaper to get over distribution difficulties.

The paper has adopted defending human rights and freedoms as of its first issue published in 1991. It exerted its efforts to stand by all those wronged and marginalized people and defend women's and children issues. It participated and still participates to progress of journalism and journalistic practices. It deals with news from an unbiased stance while keeping a maximum degree of professionalism.

Yemen Times has been, and still is, Yemen's window to the world. In its pages, Yemen was introduced to the foreign reader. It has covered most of Yemen's historical and tourist sites, from north to south and from east to west, and shown Yemeni customs and traditions, from Sadda to Aden and from Hodeidah to Al-Mahara. Readers have been to many places they did not visit before and it gave them the chance to make trips free of charge.

Most people have come to know about the Yemeni culture via Yemen Times.

Yemen Times has become more varied with specialized pages including local and international news, community, culture, health and economic.

Youth are the key interest of Yemen Times and it has addresses their issues. Not only this but the paper has assigned a separate paper for youth to express themselves and vent to their feelings. This page has been a place for youth from different parties and trends. The door has been widely open for them to participate and voice their own views about wide-ranging subjects.

The paper, as confessed by many, has been the primary source for acquiring easy and day-to-day English and readers, especially at universities and foreign schools where students impatiently await each issue. It has also supplied students with an education supplement, aiming to make students develop their English or brush off the rust.

Youth make up the staff of the paper – with most of them under 30 years old, starting at the top with Chief Editor, Nadia Al-Saqqaf. Thus, it is one of the leading private sector institutions that encourages youth and gives them the chance to prove their merit and ability.

Here, I ask the public sector to give youth the chance and further senior officials are asked to give up their egoism and leave space for youth to move and participate actively in building the country.

The paper has objectively tried to treat women's issues: their sufferings, hopes and ambitions. They are given equal opportunities with men to work in the paper according to efficiency and eligibility standards. Further, children's problems and rights are at the core of the paper's issues, with an aim to create a safe and healthy environment for them.

A short article like this one cannot cover the story that is Yemen Times, but it addresses the key and most concerning points and issues for which Yemen Times was meant.

Moneer Al-Omari is a Yemeni writer. He is currently pursuing his Master Degree in Linguistics.