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Sunday, July 22, 2007

Freedom of the press, Saudi-style

The Saudi-based Arab News notes:
A 49-year-old Makkah institution was bailed out of financial troubles with a SR10 million cash infusion from Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah’s personal account yesterday.

Al-Nadwa, which has chronicled the daily life of Islam’s holiest city in modern times, has been unable to meet payroll for the past three months, according to Hesham Kaaki, the 30-year-old editor in chief of the newspaper.

“King Abdullah ordered the payment of the amount to the Al-Nadwa newspaper from his personal account to help it overcome its current financial crisis,” said Culture and Information Minister Iyad Madani in a statement to the Saudi Press Agency.

The culture and information minister said that the kind gesture is proof of the king’s support for the Kingdom’s media. Madani added that he hopes the newspaper will regain its glory and competitiveness through the king’s donation.
And we are all sure that Al-Nadwa will continue its hard-hitting editorial policies with this cash infusion from the King.