Simultaneous interpretation in Arabic, French and English. The attendance to the Forum is free of charge.

Friday 12 December 2008

9:00 - 9:15
Welcome Address by Timothy Balding, CEO, World Association of Newspapers

9:15 - 11:15
Panel I: Oblique Government Tactics that Impede a Free Arab Press

This panel will address new tactics used by governments and the judiciary to impede and sanction the independent press in Arab countries. Subjected to domestic and foreign pressures to implement democratic reforms, certain governments replaced the outright attacks on the press by behind-the-scene manoeuvres, but hasn't the price paid by critical news media remained as high?

Moderator: Said Essoulami, Executive Director, Center for Media Freedom MENA, Morocco

Abdel Karim Al-Khaiwani, former Editor-in-Chief of Al-Shoura, Yemen
Wael Sawah, Journalist and Political Analyst, Syria
Ibrahim Essa, Editor-in-Chief of Al-Dostour, Egypt
Moussa Ould Hamed, Publisher of Biladi, Mauritania

11:15 - 11:45: Coffee Break

11:45 - 13:30
Panel II: The Changing Face of Arab Blogging

This panel will look into the increasing political relevance and influence of blogs in Arab countries , as they reach out and engage in a broader public sphere. Are blogs becoming a fifth estate, challenging governments that hold a monopoly on news and evading mechanisms of censorship?

Moderator: Nora Younis, Blogger and Multimedia Manager, Al-Masry Al Youm, Egypt

Kizzie Shawkat, Blogger, I Have No Tribe, I'm Sudanese, Sudan
Sami Ben Gharbia, Blogger, Fikra, and Global Voices Advocacy Director, Tunisia
Mohammad Al-Abdallah, Blogger, I'm Leaving and I'm not Coming Back, Syria
Fouad Al Farhan, Blogger, Saudi Arabia

13:30 - 15:00: Lunch

15:00 - 16:30
Panel III: Opportunities and Choices Facing Arab Newspaper Editors

This panel will address editorial policies, trends and innovations in Arab newsrooms. The emergence of new media, new technologies, changing readership and squeezed budgets will also be discussed.

Moderator: Xavier Vidal-Folch, President, World Editors Forum

Jamil Mrou, Publisher, Daily Star, Lebanon
Ahmed Nachatti, Editor-in-Chief of Assada Almassaia, Morocco
Dr. Mohammad Al Rumaihi, Founder and Editor-in-Chief of Awan, Kuwait
Rana Sabbagh, Executive Director, Arab Reporters for Investigative Journalism, and former Editor-in-Chief of Jordan Times, Amman, Jordan
Hazem Ameen, Columnist of UK-based pan-Arab newspaper Al Hayat, Saudi Arabia

16:30 - 18:00
Tunisia Monitoring Group
(TMG) special panel on the increased censorship and harassment facing journalists and civil society activists in Tunisia, chaired by Rohan Jayasekera, Associate Editor, Index on Censorship.

Mohamed Abbou, noted Human Rights Lawyer and former prisoner of conscience
Naziha Rjiba, Editor of Kalima online magazine and Vice President of the Observatory for the Freedom of Press, Publishing and Creation in Tunisia (OLPEC)

Saturday 13 December 2008

9:30 - 11:30
Panel IV: The Business of Newspaper Publishing in the Arab World

This panel will focus on challenges and opportunities facing newspaper publishers in Arab countries. What are the specificities of local media markets and the potential for circulation and advertising revenue growth? What are the strategies to transform newspapers into genuine, successful multi-media businesses?

Moderator: Eamonn Byrne, Business Director, World Association of Newspapers

Hisham Kassem, Newspaper Publisher, former CEO of Al-Masry Al-Youm, Egypt
Omar Belhouchet, Publisher, El Watan, Algeria
Aspen Aman, Middle East Business Development Manager for BPA Worldwide, Dubai, United Arab Emirates
Mansoor Al Jamri, Editor-In-Chief, Al Wasat, Bahrain

11:30 - 12:00: Coffee Break

12:00 - 12:45
remarks by the Forum's moderators Said Essoulami, Nora Younis, Xavier Vidal-Folch, Rohan Jayasekera and Eamonn Byrne

12:45 - 13:00
Closing speech by WAN President Gavin O'Reilly, Group Chief Operating Officer, Independent News & Media PLC

13:00 - 14:30: Lunch

17:00 - 19:30
Gebran Tueni Ceremony and Award

In commemoration of the 3rd anniversary of the assassination of Gebran Tueni, an outstanding press freedom advocate, the World Association of Newspapers and An-Nahar newspaper are pleased to invite you to the 3rd Annual Gebran Tueni Award ceremony.

Nayla Tueni, Member of the Board and Deputy General Manager of An-Nahar newspaper

Gavin O'Reilly, President, World Association of Newspapers 

Presentation of the third Gebran Tueni Award by Timothy Balding, CEO, World Association of Newspapers

The Gebran Tueni Ceremony and Award will be held at the Convention Center Antlias.

The ceremony will be followed by a cocktail for the Arab Free Press Forum's participants and WAN Board members and Association Directors

20:00 - 21:00
Visit at An-Nahar 

The event is organised by:


The event is supported by: