Abdelbari Atwan, Editor-in-Chief of al Quds al Arabi, announces his resignation
In a surprise announcement, Abdelbari Atwan, Chairman and Editor-in-Chief of Arabic daily newspaper al Quds al Arabi, has resigned due to what he described as
“certain circumstances and individuals who have pushed me towards this decision.\"
Atwan, one of the best-known editors of an Arabic language newspaper published in the last three decades, has witnessed many fierce battles waged by foreign occupations and corrupt dictatorships since the launch of the London-based newspaper.
On more than one occasion the independently-run newspaper has suffered financial crisis, running the risk of closure, but through sheer determination and doggedness and with the support of his comparatively small team of less than 20 staff, Atwan has, until now, defied the odds.
The Gaza-born journalist and al-Qaeda expert has admitted to receiving death threats from Arab, foreign and Israeli entities for his outspoken views on Arab and Palestinian issues, which has also led him to be blacklisted by certain media.
Atwan had been a regular contributor to Qatari channel Al Jazeera since its launch, but his political stance concerning the Syrian, Libyan and Egyptian revolutions did not square with those of the Doha-based channel, which resulted in him being banned.
In 1996, Atwan travelled to Afghanistan where he spent three days interviewing the former al-Qaeda leader, Osama Bin Laden, in his then hideout in the caves beneath the Tora Bora mountains.
The now-famous encounter was the trigger for a 10-year quest by the Palestinian writer to gather information about the al-Qaeda network, which culminated in his book, The Secret History of al-Qaeda, published in 2006.
Abdelbari Atwan\'s editorials will be missed by many in the Arab and Muslim world. Sometimes outspoken and witty, always insightful, heartfelt and fearless, Atwan never shies away from pinning his colours to the mast, particularly those of the Palestinian flag.
It would be surprising if such a veteran member of the Arab press withdraws from the spotlight for too long, but in the meantime, he wishes to spend more time at his London home where he lives with his wife and two children. He has been known to say that \"journalism stole me away from home\" and now he has an opportunity to repay some of that debt.
A new book is also on the horizon on an, as yet, undisclosed topic. It will be written in English for a European publisher.