Dubai-The Arab Media Forum concluded on Wednesday by honoring Al Arabiya’s Former General Manager Abdulrahman Al-Rashed with the “Media Personality of the Year” award, which was handed to him by UAE Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum.
The Saudi writer and journalist received this award in recognition of his efforts in enriching the Arab media march, where he had many important contributions throughout a historic career laden with different achievements.
Al-Rashed is a former editor-in-chief of the London-based leading Arab daily Asharq al-Awsat, where he still regularly writes a political column. He has also served as the editor-in-chief of al-Majalla magazine.
The award was presented during the Arab Journalism Awards ceremony, which coincided with the conclusion of the two-day Arab Media Forum, in its 15th edition. A short movie about al-Rashed’s journalistic life was played during the event.
The ceremony was attended by Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashed, Sheikh Maktoum bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Deputy Ruler of Dubai, and Sheikh Mansour bin Mohammad bin Rashid Al Maktoum.
A total of 15 winners representing daily newspapers, magazines, online web portals, and media organizations from Arab and Western states were honored at the ceremony; they were chosen among more than 5,500 nominations.
The award ceremony started with a short video about the late Khalfan Al Roumi, former Chairman of the Board of the Arab Journalism Award and one of the major personalities in the UAE’s cultural, educational and media landscape.
This was followed by displaying a short film about the “Arab Journalism Award” that highlighted key events in the Arab media industry recently.
Iraqi singer, composer, and poet Kadhim al-Sahir performed a song inspired by the poem written by Sheikh Mohammed entitled ‘Hope’.
For his part, Sheikh Maktoum bin Mohammed bin Rashed Al Maktoum handed over the Best Newspaper Column Award for the Lebanese writer and critic Ibrahim al-Arees.
Al-Arees founded two monthly magazines in Beirut: “Al Masira” and “Al Maqasid” and previously headed the cultural section of ‘Assafir’ newspaper in Beirut and “Al Youm Sabia” in Paris. He translated and published 40 books from Italian, French, and English languages ranging in their subjects as they included cinema, criticism, philosophy and economy.
In addition to that, Smart Journalism Award was handed to Moroccan web portal “Hespress,” which aims at spreading awareness in modern techniques and urging journalistic institutions to develop their potentials and stay up to date with the contemporary press.
The Arab Journalism Award was established in November 1999 following the directives of Sheikh Mohammed in order to contribute to the development of the Arab media.
By honoring outstanding and distinguished journalists, it contributes to encouraging creativity in Arab journalism.
The award included 14 categories, and received a total of 5,598 submissions by journalists competing from across the Arab world. This year marks the highest level of participation, an 11.8 percent increase from 5,008 last year and a great increase from the awards’ first edition in 2000, which saw 800 participants.
This year’s edition included around 60 jury members from journalists, academics, intellectuals, renowned researchers in the Arab region.