Saudi editor said dismissed for accusing Qatar of « conspiracy » against kingdom (Elaph, 05/02/2013)

On Tuesday [ 5 Feb], the board of directors of the Al-Sharq Corporation for Journalism and Publication dismissed Qinan al-Ghamidi, chief editor of the Saudi Al-Sharq newspaper, while naming Jasir al-Jasir his successor. The reasons behind his dismissal, which Al-Sharq journalists considered a surprise, have not been officially announced. This is especially so because it came at a time Al-Ghamidi was preparing to supervise the printing of tomorrow’s edition, along with a number of other issues he had been assigned. Al-Ghamidi is considered one of the most audacious Saudi journalists when dealing with a number of files, as he stands out in the field of investigative journalism, the files of which have inundated almost every corner of his newspaper, Al-Sharq. This has been clear since he assumed the position of chief editor of the Saudi Al-Watan newspaper, which has been attributed the merit of raising the ceiling of media freedom in the kingdom.

In the past, Qinan al-Ghamidi dominated article writing in Saudi Arabia, as he was the prominent star and only chief editor who wrote on almost a daily basis. During that time, he dealt with the topic of the Muslim « Brotherhood » in the Gulf, specifically Saudi Arabia. The last article of the chief editor, who has been dismissed the most modern Saudi newspaper, again dealt with the « Muslim Brotherhood » and the role Qatar played in their influence and rise to power. The title of his article, « The Saudi Brotherhood and Qatar, again… Who Is Al-Hubayl Supporting? Get Some Rest So We Can Talk Frankly. » Qinan al-Ghamidi said in some parts of his article: « My objective, ladies and gentlemen, of everything I have written and what I will write, is to tell the Saudi people that this is the danger that is waiting to attack you; namely, a brother from the government of Qatar, not its people, and the Brotherhood inside [Saudi Arabia]. As far as the government is concerned, it knows without a doubt even more dangerous issues than I do. However, it is silent for reasons only God knows. They maybe political or other issues that have not been settled yet. »

In his article in Al-Sharq newspaper, just two months after the newspaper celebrated the first anniversary of its print edition, Al-Ghamidi wondered what the reason was behind what he called the « conspiracy » of the Qatari Government, and its move to « eliminate its brother the Saudi Government?! » At one moment in his article, in which he answered some of his critics – including writer Muhanna al-Hubayl and writer Muhammad al-Hudayf – Al-Ghamidi said that the Saudi position was ambiguous, « especially regarding the subject of Qatar. » Al-Ghamidi added: « I, in my national capacity as a ‘citizen,’ and in my professional capacity as ‘chief editor,’ have listened to the infamous speech of the Qatari foreign minister, which contained a clear conspiracy against my nation, the Kingdom [of Saudi Arabia]. I observed the clear political and financial movements of the Qatari Government. I found that they were movements that flowed in harmony with the plan, revealed by the « infamous speech. » I found that it was my ‘patriotic and professional’ duty to alert the two brotherly peoples, the Qataris and the Saudis, to the fact that the Qatari Government was dangerously playing with fire. »

Jasir Al-Jasir: From Being Relatively Unknown to Limelight

He takes over the helm of the recently established newspaper, audacious in its observation and opening of files considered by other papers untouchable, as the successor of Qinan al-Ghamidi. The Saudi writer and journalist, Jasir al-Jasir, has had numerous media experiences in a number of Saudi papers, the last of which was the Saudi Al-Watan Newspaper. Al-Jasir is not considered a stranger to a position of leadership, as he is not considered a stranger in the Al-Sharq Newspaper. He has been one of its most outstanding daily writers since it started printing. He is also considered one of the friends, in the [art of] words and the profession [of journalism], of his predecessor Qinan. Both of them started at Al-Watan, which is available all over Saudi Arabia and abroad.

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