Asharq Al Awsat Versus Mona Eltahawy

There was an article today in Asharq Al Awsat in response to Mona Eltahawy’s latest article in the International Herald Tribune. Tariq Alhomayed, editor-in-chief, fires back at what he claims are Mona’s lies.

It’s an interesting read. Here’s an excerpt:

First, her claim that she was banned on orders of the Egyptian government is an outright lie! Yes, a lie. Asharq Al Awsat has not received a single message, either to myself, the Editor-in-Chief, or my deputy, and no one has ever discussed the issue with us, not the Egyptian government or even those close to it.

Eltahawy is not the only one to have written about Egyptian issues in a critical manner, which, of course, does not correspond to the official Egyptian position. Dr. Mamoun Fandy, Fahmi Huwaidi and Dr. Amro Hamazawi, have all written on the subject in Asharq Al Awsat. We have also published news articles, analyses and interviews on the subject. I even asked an American journalist who contacted me seeking an explanation about Eltahawyâ??s article, to select a neutral person and ask them to review our coverage of Egypt and all Arab countries, without exception, to see for themselves the size of Eltahawyâ??s lies! We do not focus on one country at the expense of another! Allow me to take this opportunity to thank the Egyptian government for its patience!

In addition, and this both comical and depressing, Eltahawyâ??s article, where she attacked the elections and the Egyptian government, was published in the International Herald Tribune itself and not in our newspaper. The article was published on 22 December 2005 while the last article she wrote for Asharq Al Awsat appeared on 28 February 2006, meaning she wrote seven more articles in our paper, three of which were critical of the Egyptian government!


  • gee. strange he never said exactly why her articles no longer appear in the paper. instead we get some long rambling diatribe. oh well.

  • I cannot believe that this guy is in charge of a â??leadingâ? publication.
    It does not matter if Eltahawy was inaccurate in her claims or not, his reply is absolutely unprofessional. It gets pathetic when he tries to inject his sense of humor, and start bragging that he is receiving death threats because he is so great and credible. It is just disturbing that he kept using words like â??lyingâ? â??liesâ? â??non-existent credibilityâ? repeatedly and shamelessly in referring to a former colleague, using an approach that is absolutely unfit for an alleged Editor0in-Chief

  • I cannot believe this guy is in charge either. My wife, a Saudi, knows Mr. al Homayed and his wife personally. He went to school here in the DC for awhile and then ran home after 9/11.

    The al Homayed family is well known in Saudi. The guy has a bachelor’s degree in journalism from a Saudi univeristy and some years experience in the media industry. Here in the US he would never have made it to editor in chief, certainly not as quick as he did.

    He made it because of who his family is and “wasta” or connections. He was appointed by a member of the Saudi royal family to his position. Asharq al Awsat is widely known as the voice piece of the Saudi establishment, so it is little surpise they handle things in this manner.

    He is right that other journalists have been as critical as Mona, but I would venture to say they were mostly men. I am sure this woman upset someone’s sensibilities. It is one thing to have a critical Arab man writing, but an “upstart” woman? I think that is the straw that broke the camel’s back.

    His English skills are lacking. I talked to him briefly on the phone a few years ago. His verbal skills are worse than his English skills, if that is possible.

    I am not impressed at all, then again, I cant stand anything that comes from the Saudi establishment, so that is not surprising. This man is the typical connected Saudi and depends on his entire life on these conenctions and EVERYTHING he writes needs to be seen in this light.

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