Ghassan Charbel

Manama: Al Sharq Al Awsat, a London-based Saudi daily with a global outreach, has appointed Gassan Charbel as its editor in chief, the first non-Saudi to hold the position in more than two decades.

Charbel, a veteran Lebanese journalist who recently resigned as editor in chief of another major Saudi newspaper Al Hayat, takes over the pan-Arab daily printed simultaneously each day in 14 cities on four continents, starting on Thursday.

“The appointment is in line with the vision of the Saudi group that seeks to empower the best journalistic leaders to elevate the status of all publications and maintain their edge,” Prince Bader Bin Abdullah Bin Mohammad, the chairman of the Saudi Group for Research and Marketing, said.

The Saudi Group has a prominent position in the fields of publishing, media, educational aids, advertising, distribution and printing in the in the Middle East and North Africa region.

“Gassan Charbel is among the best known figures in the media and culture fields and has a distinguished experience accumulated throughout his long media career. We thank Salman Al Dossari, the former editor in chief, for his distinguished efforts and he will remain as a columnist with the paper,” Prince Bader was quoted as saying by Al Sharq Al Awsat on Thursday.

Charbel is familiar with Al Sharq Al Awsat where he was appointed in 1990 the editor at the political desk before moving to Al Wasat magazine, edited by Al Hayat. In 1996, he became the editor in chief of Al Wasat before being appointed deputy editor in chief of Al Hayat and then editor in chief in 2004.

He is the ninth editor in chief of Al Sharaq Al Awsat since it was established in 1977.