Al Quds Al Arabi (Arabic: القدس العربي, English: "Arab Jerusalem") is an independent pan-Arab daily newspaper, published in London since 1989 and owned by Palestinian expatriates. The paper's motto is (Arabic: يومية سياسية مستقلة "daily, political, independent"). Its circulation is estimated to be somewhere between 15,000 and 50,000. From the start until July 2013, its editor-in-chief was Abdel Bari Atwan, who was born in a Palestinian refugee camp in Gaza Strip in 1950.
|Owner(s)||Al-Quds Al-Arabi Publishing and Advertising (Overseas) Ltd |
|Editor||Abdel Bari Atwan (1989-2013)|
Sana Aloul (2013- )
The paper has a reputation for being more populist and aggressive in its defense of the Palestinian cause and by extension more confrontational toward Israel, particularly when compared to the other prominent off-shore pan-Arab dailies, like Asharq al-Awsat or Al-Hayat, which are owned by members of the Saudi royal family. As indicated by its motto, the paper stresses this distinction by emphasizing its independent ownership and viewpoint relative to the other prominent pan-Arab dailies.
Al Quds Al Arabi was founded in 1989 and is headquartered in London. The paper first came to global attention after Atwan traveled to Afghanistan in 1996 to interview Osama bin Laden. Like Al-Jazeera, contacts with terrorist groups such as Al-Qa'ida have consistently stirred attention and controversy in the West toward Atwan and the paper, particularly in the immediate aftermath of 9/11.
The fatāwā of Osama bin Laden in 1996 were first published in the paper. Several statements from the person or people who sign themselves the Abu Hafs al-Masri Brigades were also published in the paper. On the fifth anniversary of the 9/11 attacks, Atwan wrote: "The events of 11 September will be remembered as the end of the US empire. This is because all empires collapse when they pursue the arrogance of power."  However, Atwan explicitly condemned terrorist attacks on innocent Western civilians, as he wrote in one of his two books, The Secret History of al Qa'ida: "I do not endorse or in any way support al-Qa'ida's agenda" and "I utterly condemn the attacks on innocent citizens in the West".
Atwan unexpectedly left the paper as its chairman and editor-in-chief on 10 July 2013 and Sana Aloul became the editor-in-chief. The exact reason for Atwan's sudden departure isn't publicly known, but according to himself, "We had on-going and never-ending financial problems whose resolution, ultimately, required political compromises that I was not able to make. Sacrificing professional integrity, our independent editorial line and the space we allowed for free comment were red lines I could not cross."
The paper is owned and published by Arabic: مؤسسة القدس العربي للنشر والاعلان "The Al Quds Al Arabi Foundation for Publishing and Media". The only editor listed on the masthead was editor-in-chief Abd al-Bari Atwan. The newspaper is printed in London, New York City, and Frankfurt, and then circulated in Europe, the Middle East, North Africa, and North America. In addition to London, the paper has offices in Cairo, Rabat, and Amman.
The paper is currently 20 pages in length. The first half or so of the paper is devoted to political news from around the world, with a focus on what it terms Arab affairs. The paper has also sections devoted to cultural news and other miscellaneous items, as well as business (2 pages) and sports sections (1 page). The paper devotes three pages to op-ed writing, divided into what it calls Arabic: منبر القدس "The Al Quds Pulpit" (a forum for reader submission), Arabic: مدارات "Orbits" (or trends), and Arabic: رأي "Opinion". The paper devotes more space to opinion and less space to business news and sports, as compared with competitors like Al-Hayat or Asharq Al-Awsat. Additionally, Abd al-Bari Atwan wrote a well-known opinion column, featured prominently on the front page until his leave on 10 July 2013.
Circulation data for Arab media is based on estimates, which vary widely for Al Quds Al Arabi. Former American diplomat and media scholar William Rugh estimated the paper's circulation around 15,000 in 2004 which is also stated by Arab Reform Bulletin. More recent estimates cite significantly higher circulation numbers of around 50,000. By point of comparison, rival London-based Arabic press such as Al-Hayat and Asharq Al-Awsat are generally estimated in the 200,000 to 300,000 range.
Marc Lynch of Foreign Policy called Al Quds Al Arabi "the most populist/'rejection camp' of the major Arab papers". It is often paired with Asharq Al Awsat to represent the polar extremes in the pan-Arab press.
- Companies House: Al-Quds Al-Arabi Publishing and Advertising (Overseas) Limited Linked 2013-11-09
- "Al Quds Al Arabi". 26 April 2011. Archived from the original on 20 May 2011. Retrieved 26 April 2011.
- "Abdel Bari Atwan bio". Archived from the original on 11 June 2011. Retrieved 26 April 2011.
- "Statistics on Arab Media" (PDF). Arab Reform Bulletin. 2 (11). December 2004. Retrieved 19 September 2013.
- Atwan, Abdel Bari (12 November 2001). "Inside Osama's mountain lair". The Guardian. Retrieved 26 April 2012.
- "Bin Laden's Fatwa". PBS. August 1996. Retrieved 14 September 2012.
- London Editor Prays for Nuke Attack on Israel by Rick Moran, The American Thinker, 29 August 2007
- Press blasts US foreign policy, BBC News website, 11 September 2006
- The Secret History of Al-Qa'ida, Abdel Bari Atwan, Abacus (2006), ISBN 978-0-349-12035-5
- "I Bid Farewell to Al-Quds Al-Arabi". Bari Atwan Website. 10 July 2013. Retrieved 21 September 2013.
- Gulf News, 11 July 2013: Al Quds ex-editor: ‘Uncompromising integrity is what made us stand apart’ Linked 2013-11-09
- "Advertise on Al Quds al Arabi". Allied Media. Retrieved 26 April 2011.
- Marc Lynch (10 February 2009). "Arabs watching the Israeli elections". Foreign Policy. Retrieved 30 June 2012.