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Saudi Arabia’s ‘King of Press’ laid to rest

Thousands pay emotional homage to Al Sudairi who was a pioneer in the country

Image Credit: Saudi Gazette
Turki Al Sudairi
Gulf News

Manama: Saudi Arabia laid to rest one of its best-known media figures, Turki Al Sudairi, the former editor-in-chief of Al Riyadh daily.

Riyadh Province Governor Prince Faisal Bin Bander, his deputy Prince Mohammad Bin Abdul Rahman and the kingdom’s Grand Mufti Shaikh Abdul Aziz Bin Abdullah Al Shaikh led the thousands of mourners at the funeral in Dariah near the Saudi capital, Riyadh.

Al Sudairi, or the ‘King of the Press’, as he was called by former King Abdullah Bin Abdul Aziz Al Saud, died on Sunday at the age of 73.

He was deeply mourned by friends, colleagues and officials who paid tribute to his 43 years in the media during which he regularly travelled with kings on their state visits and delegations that represented Saudi Arabia at international gatherings and forums.

Al Sudairi was born in 1944 into a poor family in Riyadh. His father died when he was 10.

He studied in Riyadh and fell in love with reading and writing. He contributed short articles and authored a book at the age of 20. He then took up a career in the media initially in sports before switching to politics and moved up in the field until he became the editor-in-chief of Al Riyadh daily in 1974, a post he held until he handed in his resignation in 2016.

During his tenure, he radically transformed the daily, turning it into one of the most-read publications in Saudi Arabia and the Arab world, winning several awards.

He was twice elected as chairman of the Gulf Media Union.