About Yemen Times Establishment
“To make Yemen a good world citizen”
After the founder of Yemen Times sacrificed his life for the sake of press freedom in 1999, Yemen Times continues to carry his legacy for promoting press freedom and professional journalism and defense of human rights.
Yemen Times mission statement involves promoting development of the country including media development. Yemen Times founder Prof. Abdulaziz Al-Saqqaf won the National Press Club Award for Freedom of the Press in 1995 for his pursuit of the truth and making it available through Yemen Times to the people. He was also one of the founders of the Arab Human Rights Organization 1983.
With a history of decades of independent and objective reporting since its establishment in 1990, Yemen Times has created a reputation as a credible source of information provided by professional staff.
It is probably the only institutional media establishment in Yemen, with specific departments and job descriptions and performance evaluation of staff.
Over the years Yemen Times has taken many projects to promote media development and succeeded remarkably. We have worked with international organizations such as Oxfam- GB, Fredrich Ebert Stuftung, Danish Media Support, Free Voice, Article 19, IREX, UNICEF, American Embassy, WFP, BBC World Trust, UNDP, etc. And national organizations such as HRITC, SAF, The Yemeni Observatory, HOOD, Yemeni Journalists Syndicate, etc.
Over the years we have provided extensive consultancy to many international media and non media organizations about Yemen and Yemeni issues. The paper is both editorially and financially independent; it even has its own printing press.
Yemen’s Most Widely Read English-Language Newspaper
Today, Yemen Times stands as the most widely read English-language newspaper in the Republic of Yemen.
With its emphasis on human rights and democratic values, it is among the strongest in influencing the government and in reflecting public opinion. It includes various categories ranging from politics to society, and covering local, regional, and international news, the independent newspaper has proven to be the leading English-language newspaper with little competition in the whole country.
Founded in 1990, and having its first issue come out in 27 February 1991, Yemen Times is the first English-language newspaper in the Republic of Yemen. The newspaper continued to promote the values that it was founded upon, namely, freedom of the press, democracy, human rights, and civil society.
Award Winning Newspaper
National Press Club Freedom Award Its founder, Prof. Dr. Abdulaziz Al-Saqqaf was one of the most prominent and admired personalities in the country. His fame crossed borders to the Arab and International community. With his role as the Editor-in-Chief, Yemen Times obtained one of the most prestigious awards of journalism in the world. This was the Washington, D.C.-based National Press Club’s Press Freedom Award. Dr. Saqqaf describes the role of Yemen Times by saying,
"We use the Yemen Times to make Yemen a good world citizen."
Middle East Publishers Conference Award
Yemen Times founder late Dr. Abdulaziz Al-Saqqaf (1952-1999) won on March 2006 the Middle East Publishing Conference Lifetime Achievement award, which was handed over to his son and YT journalist Walid Al-Saqqaf in an official ceremony in Dubai. The selection was made by a special committee, comprising representatives of the three co-organizers of the Middle East Publishing Conference (MEPC) - the International Federation of Periodical Publishers (FIPP), the World Association of Newspapers (WAN) and Dubai Consultancy Research and Media Centre.
“Dr. Abdulaziz Al-Saqqaf was one of the most prominent human rights activists… He was the founder of Yemen Times, which is the first and most popular English newspaper in Yemen.” the organizers of the MEPC said.
International Press Institute Free Media Pioneer 2006
The International Press Institute (IPI) has announced its decision to honor the independent newspaper, Yemen Times, with its 2006 Free Media Pioneer Award. Mr. Raidan Al-Saqqaf, Member of the newspaper’s Board of Directors, received the prize on behalf of the Yemen Times at an award ceremony on May, 2006 during the IPI World Congress in Edinburgh, Scotland.
The Yemen Times operates in a part of the world known for harsh government restrictions on the media. The closure of independent and opposition newspapers and the criminal prosecution of journalists for critical coverage of sensitive issues are routine in the Middle East and North Africa and have led to a climate of fear in which self-censorship is common. Violent attacks against journalists are also on the rise, making the practice of their profession more dangerous than ever.
Against this backdrop, the Yemen Times continues to provide accurate and timely news and information on Yemen and the region, and actively participates in efforts, outlined in its mission statement, to support "press freedom, respect for human rights, political pluralism and democracy."
Gebran Tueni Award 2006
Nadia Al-Saqqaf, Editor-in-chief of the Yemen Times, has been awarded the 2006 Gebran Tueni Award, a new prize from the World Association of Newspapers to honour an editor or publisher from the Arab region.
Ms Al-Saqqaf, is the first woman ever to be appointed an editor in Yemen.
The prize, which honors the memory of Gebran Tueni, the Lebanese publisher and WAN Board Member who was killed by a car bomb in Beirut last December, was presented to Ms Al-Saqqaf for demonstrating the values incarnated in Mr Tueni: attachment to freedom of the press, courage, leadership, ambition, and high managerial and professional standards.
"Despite a difficult media environment, Ms al-Saqqaf intends to make a difference by bringing to the readers of the Yemen Times accurate and meaningful information that they can trust. In this regard, her ambitions to raise journalistic skills within the newsroom, to improve the position of female journalists and to support independent news media in Yemen are most commendable."
Ms Al-Saqqaf, took over the position of Editor-in-chief of the Yemen Times from her brother Walid in 2005. It is one of the most outspoken newspapers in the country.
She considers the Yemen Times to be a newspaper with a mission: it should not only criticize the government but also furnish solutions. Editorially, she focuses on raising the newspaper's general standards, with a strong focus on human rights, gender issues and women's rights.
Credible and Reputable
The newspaper’s qualities lie in its strong basis, which is built on qualified staff and accurate and independent reporting. Unlike many other newspapers in the country, Yemen Times continued to hold strong to its journalism values of reporting independently, professionally, honestly, and without being biased to any side. This gave the newspaper the credibility and fame it enjoys today.
The international community has known YemenTimes.com as a vital source of information on Yemen. Established in 1997, www.yementimes.com became the first known Yemeni media website. The newspaper is the leader of all news sources about Yemen on the Internet, and it is by far, the most widely read Yemeni newspaper by the Yemeni expatriate community. According to a recent study, Yemen Times website (YemenTimes.com) come out on the first page of results of query searches concerning Yemen on most internet search engines. It is the first result that comes out on the world’s largest search engine “Google” when searching the keyword ‘Yemen’.
Human rights defender
Yemen Times has been known for its very strong role in defending and supporting human rights. It had organized a number of significant events on human rights including a seminar in 2000 celebrating the 50th anniversary of the UN declaration of Human Rights with the presence of the President of the Republic, who gave an important speech during the event.
The founder of Yemen Times made sure it maintains a line of support for human rights and democracy under any circumstances. He was imprisoned, threatened, and even tortured by government security offices for standing through his strong critical articles strong with the ones deprived of their human rights. Today, the newspaper continues to promote the very same ideas on the same lines its founder, Dr. Abdulaziz Al-Saqqaf had drawn.
The Yemen Times Printing Press
As a result of continuous success the Yemen Times establishment has its own printing press since 2003. Through this step, the establishment endorses its position in the investment market in Yemen and confirms to its independency and mission statement. The press consists of high quality Rolland German Machinery and efficient staff ready to produce best results in optimum time. The printing press offers to print a wide range of publications starting from newspapers, magazines and brochures and ending by booklets and books of all sizes. The YT also provides a distribution service in the other governorates across the country.
Yemen Times 21 Forum
The forum embraces various intellectual events and activities such as conferences, seminars, workshops and training programs. It promotes human rights.
The Y21F was created in 1998 as a deliberate effort to serve as a catalyst in mobilizing local input in support of the democratic process of Yemen.
The forum was created by Ministry of Culture decree number 132 /1998 on 14 November. Y21F has the general object of helping Yemen move into the 21st Century. To do that, the country has to be confident in itself and aware and respectful of its past flirt and future destiny.
At the same time, it must be at ease and comfortable with eth rest of the world. This means, Yemen needs to be a good world citizen, interacting constructively with all partners as our civilization makes headway into the 21st century.
The main approach of the form plans to use in its efforts is by instilling the world’s values among the Yemeni people. These includes respect for human rights, press freedom, tolerance, denouncing violence, plural politics, liberal economics, a better awareness and appreciation of other peoples and nations and the ability to constructively interact with them.
But the main tool remains its work through and with nongovernmental organizations. Thus the Y21F is seen as one of the mechanisms to support the rise and fewer of NGOs in the country.
Family and Development Magazine
This magazine in Arabic was established in 2003 as Yemen’s first family oriented monthly magazine printed in high quality glossy paper and covering wide range of topics from politics to kitchen maintenance.
It is based in Taiz and distributes around the country reaching out to Yemeni families and providing them with an tool of education through entertainment.
Yemen Times Arabic
Starting from January 2012, an Arabic supplement of Yemen Times newspaper has been published twice a month in order to reach out to new demographics, non English speaking readers in Yemen.
The supplement maintains the Yemen Times style and line of ethics in order to expand its influence and impact.
This is the latest addition to the Yemen Times establishment which is an FM radio which will be launched in March 2012 becoming by that Yemen’s first independent FM radio channel.
Yemenna which translates to “Our Yemen” is a radio broadcast in Arabic that aims at spreading awareness, international values and tolerance especially targeting the youth that make up the majority of the country’s population.
It has specific focus on helping Yemen both decision makers and citizens sail through the difficult transition period for a better Yemen with ownership and pride in our country.