42 Years After the First Issue, Majalla is a beacon of light in the world of Arab Journalism

Ministers, Writers, and Media Professors Attest to Majalla as Landmark in Arab, Int’l Journalism

42 Years After the First Issue, Majalla is a beacon of light in the world of Arab Journalism

Experts have said that Majalla magazine has contributed for 42 years to the development of the Arab World at the political, social, and economic levels. It has raised many issues that concern the Arab region, and discussed them within a professional framework and with a great objectivity, swerving away from naivety. Over the past years, the publication has shaped the conscience of the Arab readers. Majalla has also helped in fighting extremism and unmasking terrorism by discussing dialectical and philosophical issues and putting forward moderate ideas. Moreover, it has attracted Arab writers and provided them with the space to freely present their views. This has enriched the Arab society across many fields, especially investment.

Dr. Mohamed Shouman, Dean of Communication and Mass Media at The British University in Egypt – Cairo, believes that Majalla magazine has played its role with utmost perfection for more than 40 years. Since the founding of the magazine in 1980, and from the very first issue, the magazine has adopted a state-of-the-art approach in the topics its raised and the content it published. Its rhetoric was highly moderate, and it has abided by rules of the profession. At that time, it represented a major shift in the world of print journalism, especially magazines. Throughout the years, many Arab and international magazines and newspapers, some of them even older than Majalla, have stopped printing. The magazine, however, survived. According to Dr. Shouman, that is a major challenge that Majalla must live up to. Accordingly, it needs to keep pace with the communication revolution and the use of technology. E-platforms will emerge as the better candidates in propagating the discourse of a cross-border magazine that enjoys an international, regional and external influence. There also arises the need to pay attention to the digital content that requires more effort, especially video journalism.

The Website

Dr. Shouman has underlined the need to expand and develop Majalla’s website, and to utilize it more than printing in order to reach a wider audience worldwide. Dr. Shouman holds hope that the magazine would be a unique model in digital, as it was in print. In the time of technology, he opts for the website because it reaches the largest number of Arab masses, especially the diaspora. Amidst the major developments that digital publications are making on mobile devices and phones, it has become difficult to make scope in print newspapers and magazines. This is the natural evolution of any publication whose form is changing. Journalism, meanwhile, is constant and is here to stay. Accordingly, one must commend Majalla’s multi-lingual website that has helped mend a major gap in propagating the Arabic rhetoric to neighboring countries and other countries in relation to the Arab World. As aforementioned, this is the natural evolution of the role of the cross-border Arab journalism, and not the local one.

Dr. Shouman called on Majalla’s board to enable the e-access to the magazine’s previous issues, in order to preserve the memory of Majalla, which is part of the common memory of the Arabs and the Arab World.

For his part, Nabil Fahmy, Former Minister of Foreign Affairs of Egypt, extended his congratulations to Majalla’s editorial board on the occasion of the 42nd anniversary of its publication. He believes that the magazine has nurtured the Arab World with information and various points of view on different critical subjects. It has also presented a new content that helped it win readers. After all, it did not only put forward contemporary issues, but also scrutinized political events, presented an objective reading and realistic analysis, and contributed to coming up with solutions to many issues and crises that have faced the Arab region. Therefore, Majalla needs to keep up the momentum in the upcoming period, and continue to descend on subjects with an audacious spirit. Most of all, 65% of the Arab world’s population is young people. Raising their issues, following up on them, and contributing to their discussion are therefore extremely important.

Nabil Fahmy, Former Minister of Foreign Affairs of Egypt

Tackling Terrorism-Related Topics

Umar Farouq, an Egyptian expert in the affairs of extremist movements, sees Majalla a landmark of Arab journalism. Throughout the years, it has discussed many intellectual issues that have contributed greatly to combating terrorism and extremist groups. The magazine has also conveyed several opinions, which raised general awareness among the magazine’s readers and followers. Majalla’s pages have beheld solid and bold topics, objective opinions, and enlightened moderate ideas advocated by the religion of Islam. That being the case, Majalla has approached terrorism-related topics, discussed extremist ideas, and proposed solutions. Accordingly, it exposed the lies of terrorist organizations and laid bare the exploitation of youth. With the help of specialists, it put forward solutions to eradicate terrorism.

Umar Farouq, an Egyptian expert in the affairs of extremist movements

Dr. Amani Albert, a Media Professor at Beni Suef University in south Egypt, assures that Majalla has played an enlightening role, shedding the light on topics that cultivate the public taste and contribute to liberating minds and discussing ideas, all while exercising the freedom of thought. The magazine’s writings, she assures, is a form documentation that has created a cultural memory, one of the soft power tools that build and shape public opinion. On the other hand, the magazine was also a tool for demolition, to raze down all misleading ideas by rooting the correct concepts that preserve the Arab identity. One can safely say that the magazine’s topics stand out for their depth, yet their simplicity. This antinomy has clarified concepts and terminologies in a sound but simple theoretical framework suitable for the general public.

One of the Most Important Arab Publications

Egyptian film critic Ahmed al-Samahy said Majalla is considered one of the most important Arab publications in the field of politics. Its role is no less than that of the prestigious magazines, Rosal Youssef and Al-Hilal, or the world’s most renowned magazines.

“We have been following it for many years when we were still students and it used to distribute its editions in Cairo,” he told Majalla, stressing that its keenness not to publish superficial topics makes it special.

“All the topics tackled offer insights that are rich in content,” he added, noting that it holds in-depth discussions and has interviewed senior political, artistic and cultural figures in the Arab world over the years. Majalla introduced many stars and in the Arab world before satellite channels and the Internet.

Samahy said Majalla is one of the entrenched magazines, especially in tackling art-related topics. “It presented a new vision of the concept of art through the dialogues it has conducted with many artists.”

Egyptian film critic Ahmed al-Samahy

He affirmed that the Arab community was introduced to great Arab stars through these interviews, such as Duraid Laham, Mona Wasfi, Rashid Assaf, Mustafa al-Akkad and many others. It has been playing an educational, cultural and developmental roles and raising Arab cinema-controversial issued within an objective framework. It published all sorts of opinions since its establishment, maintaining its good reputation.

The critic considered Majalla a beacon of light in the world of Arab journalism that has been facing many challenges and has been able to overcome all crises and remain able to avoid being biased.

Calls to Redistribute Hard Copies

Samahy underlined the importance of redistributing the magazine’s hard copy in Cairo because it has many readers who are aware of its value and the subjects it raises objectively.

“Egyptian readers have been following Majalla for many years because it raises the topics in a simple and objective manner and avoids intimidation, constituting a promising cultural platform.

Emad El-Din Hussein, Editor-in-chief of El-Shorouk newspaper and member of the Egptian Senate, expressed his pride in Majalla on the occasion of the 42nd anniversary of its publication. He wished for it continued progress in light of the challenges faced by the press in general and the weekly publications in particular. He underscored Majalla’s key role in the Arab journalism, especially those that publish overseas.

It has echoed the influential opinions of many Arab writers throughout this period, during which they touched on the Arab culture and various other issues. He wished Majalla to overcome all the challenges faced by digital media and to be able to keep up with the development in the world of technology.

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