Wednesday, October 13, 2010
National Geographic Al Arabiya
The picture-packed science magazine lining countless bookshelves plans to issue its first Arabic edition next month, making its more than century-old publisher the latest Western media company to tap the growing Middle East media market.
"The stories in this magazine talk about all countries and all cultures," said Mohamed al-Hammadi, editor-in-chief of the new edition, who expressed hope it would give Arab readers a deeper understanding of the planet and how others live. "The readers here, they need this," he said in an interview.
With backing from the oil-rich emirate of Abu Dhabi, "National Geographic Al Arabiya" aims to reach readers across 15 countries from Morocco to the Persian Gulf. It will contain translated articles from the 122-year-old U.S. edition and original pieces tailored to the region.
On Wednesday, the magazine named a panel of seven Arab experts who will serve as advisers and contributors. They include Egyptian archaeologist Zahi Hawass, female Saudi medical researcher Khawla al-Kuraya and Essam Heggy, a Libyan-born planetary specialist at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory.
The goal is to produce at least a fifth of the articles locally, al-Hammadi said.
This is great news. Merhaba National Geographic-Al Arabiya!