Monday, 10 May 2010

AL KHALEEJ, AN UNDYING PROMISE

Every scholar, every writer and every reader has said all that is to be said about the institution that is Dar Al Khaleej publishing house. They spoke of its unbiased journalistic commitment, they marvelled at its unwavering, unapologetic position on Arab unity free from all political agendas. They praised its exclusive coverage of the news and its endless army of forward-thinking, visionary contributors. And acknowledged that throughout these 40 years and with all the struggles in the Arab region, Al Khaleej’s name remained at the forefront and on the frontlines of the media wars. Fighting in the name of all Arab rights regardless of country, politics or religion. In the face of all opposition it never stuttered, never lost its voice.

But that is what they had to say. What I have to say about Al Khaleej is less concerned with history and politics and more concerned with the personal element of Al Khaleej.
 Allow me to speak about the Al Khaleej family and not the institution. Throughout my life, and for as long as I can remember, I have lived among the voices of Al Khaleej, schooled by their ethics and liberalism and driven by their passion.

During these 40 years, sailing the treacherous waters of both local and international political turmoil, Al Khaleej the institution lost its captain, and Al Khaleej the family, its father. Taryam Omran Taryam passed away on the 16th of May, 2002. It was indeed the biggest and hardest blow to the heart and mind, to the soul of Al Khaleej. It was an almost impossible struggle for his brother and best friend to carry on sailing through his inconceivable grief. Yet he did, if only to keep Taryam Omran alive through the perseverance of his work and the perpetuation of his legacy.

And so on Al Khaleej’s 40th birthday, our hearts and minds cannot help but be consumed with the man, our captain, my uncle, for without his vision we would not be here today. We miss you everyday. May your soul rest in peace and your voice continue to echo through your Al Khaleej.

Al Khaleej is all that has been mentioned, but Al Khaleej to me is much more than that. It is my uncle, it is my father, it is a legacy that fills me with pride. It is a story of brotherhood and an undying promise. 

This piece was published on the 10th of May, 2010 in The Gulf Today in celebration of Dar Al Khaleej publishing house's 40th anniversary.

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