KINGDOM

Dhahran News: Eastern Province’s first newspaper

JEDDAH: Dhahran News was the first newspaper in the Eastern Province. Its first issue appeared on Dec. 26, 1954, and lasted for two and a half years, with the last issue published on April 29, 1957.
The publication aimed at spreading awareness among citizens and was sometimes critical of Saudi issues at the time, which led to it being monitored by a special supervisory authority. Two conflicting scenarios emerged about the reason behind the newspaper’s closure.
The first suggests that an article about colonization was the last straw that broke the camel’s back, while Abdul Karim Al-Juhaiman, then editor-in-chief, said an article calling for girls’ education, which was not well received, led to the weekly publication’s closure.
Al-Juhaiman published the first article calling for women to be educated like their male peers and was not fearful of the public opinion at a time where men monopolized the right to education.
Speaking of the controversial article about girls’ education, Al-Juhaiman said in a TV interview before he died in 2011: “One day I received an article by Mohammed bin Abdullah about girls’ education. I read the article and I found it moderate. He calls for the education of girls like their male peers. I was convinced and published it in the newspaper on my responsibility.
“When the officials read it, they were surprised it was published without their approval and they asked me about the writer. I said his name is Mohammed bin Abdullah and I do not know him personally, but this article came to me late and I published it without censorship,” Al-Juhaiman said.
The bold move later led to Al-Juhaiman’s detention in a 16 square meter room with one closed window.
“I stayed in this room for 20 days and then was released. I left everything behind … the company, the newspaper and left to Riyadh.”

Posted by: TimesofSaudia.com Courtesy Arab News

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