After eight years as Editor-in-chief of Asharq Al Awsat, a newspaper dear to my heart, I tendered my resignation earlier this year to the chairman of the Saudi Research and Marketing Group (SRMG), Prince Faisal bin Salman bin Abdulaziz. This will take effect as of January 1st next year. This resignation is borne out of my conviction that being Editor-in-chief of a newspaper of Asharq Al Awsat’s stature for eight years is too long.
During these eventful eight years, with all the twists and turns, I have enjoyed the complete support and patience of my boss. During these eight years the newspaper has adopted stances I can take pride in, along with a group of colleagues who are responsible for all the newspaper’s excellent output, in all forms of journalism. During these eight years I have received great support from several distinguished figures, yet I know for sure that it would not be appropriate for me to mention their names for they were not standing by me personally as much as they were standing for a vision or a principle, and I am greatly indebted to them. During these eight years I have also enjoyed wonderful support from my family; my wife, daughter and three sons, and now it is time for me to repay them part of this debt, which is substantial. Finally, during these eight years I have been surrounded by the support and prayers of my parents, may God protect them.
I am leaving the post of my own volition. This is not my first resignation, nor is it a rash or thoughtless move, but rather it is based on my simple belief that life has chapters and each chapter lasts for a specific amount of time. The chapter of my life as Editor-in-chief of Asharq Al Awsat has come to an end, eight years is long enough, and it would be wrong to repeat the same thing forever. Ever since the beginning of my career I have always sought to decide for myself when to quit, rather than being forced to leave or frustrated in staying. This is part of successful management, wherever the position, and especially in the world of journalism where it is important to know when to stop. Of course, I am not going into retirement; I am heading towards broader horizons in the media domain. I will be an advisor to the chairman of SRMG and I will continue to write my daily column from Saturday to Thursday in this newspaper. After a period of rest, and spending more time with my family, I plan to continue working in the exciting and evolving world of media, God willing.
In truth, as I leave the position of Editor-in-chief, I thank God for my many blessings. I am happy that God has allowed me to follow the path I wished, and has allowed me to serve the people. I also thank God that I can be proud of every stance Asharq Al Awsat has adopted. This great newspaper has sought to consecrate rationalism, reject extremism and violence, support openness and reform, and entrench the concept of the state. This newspaper can be considered a media miracle in itself, in the sense that all the Arabs see it as their newspaper, whether Saudis or Gulf residents, as well as Egyptians, Iraqis, Syrians and so on. This is something great in the age of satellite television and technology. Whatever has been said and is being said against this newspaper, it was, is and will remain hugely influential. I always say that Asharq Al Awsat is praised retrospectively, and this is testament to its strength and stature.
I wish all the best for this newspaper, those who stand behind it, and its staff. Finally, I offer my sincere thanks and gratitude to the readers.
Goodbye, until we meet again.