Al Nadwa (Arabic: الندوة; The Forum) was a Mecca-based daily newspaper published in Saudi Arabia.[1] The daily was in circulation until 2013 when it was renamed Makkah.[2]

Al Nadwa
TypeDaily newspaper
Founder(s)Ahmed Al Subaii
PublisherMakkah Publishing and Information Establishment
Editor-in-chiefAhmad bin Saleh
Political alignment
  • Pro-government
  • Religiously conservative
Ceased publicationFebruary 2013

History and profileEdit

Al Nadwa was founded in 1958 in Mecca.[3][4] Its founder was Ahmad Al Subaii.[5] In fact, Al Nadwa incorporated with another paper, Hera (a name of holy mountain in Islam), under its current name.[6] In 1960 the paper became a daily publication.[7]

The publisher of the paper was Makkah Printing and Information Establishment.[8] Abdulaziz bin Mohieddin Khoja was the chairman of the general assembly of Makkah Establishment for Publishing and Printing.[9] Its editor-in-chief was Ahmad bin Saleh.[10][11]

In 2003, the paper experienced serious financial difficulty.[12] In February 2013, it was closed down due to unpaid financial dues.[4][13]

The paper was considered as pro-government.[14] It was also described as a religiously conservative daily.[15]

Al Nadwa sold 7,000 copies in 1962 and 15,000 copies in 1975.[7] The estimated circulation of the paper was between 25,000 and 30,000 copies at the beginning of the 1990s.[15] Its 2003 circulation was 30,000 copies.[1]

Although the paper had no high circulation levels, it enjoyed a special status as a result of being Mecca's hometown paper[16] and of having good editorial writings.[17] The U.S. diplomatic cables also indicated that small circulation of the paper made it difficult to see its influence.[15]


Al Nadwa's article about Avicenna, Zakaria Razi and Abu Reyhan Birouni dated 1964 caused a diplomatic crisis between Saudi Arabia and the Imperial Iran due to the fact that they were described by the paper as Arab thinkers.[18]

The U.S. diplomatic cables reported that Al Nadwa was the only paper condemned the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait in 1990 before the Saudi government displayed a clear official position concerning this event.[15] Additionally, in the 1990s, a series of articles, criticising extremist views, was published in the paper. The target of these criticisms were initially non-Saudi Islamic figures such as Sudanese Hasan Al Turabi.[19] However, later the paper began to criticise Safar Al Hawali and Ayidh Al Qarni. The criticism against these two Saudi Islamic figures led to public anger.[19] As a result, columnist Yousuf Damanhouri was removed from the paper's board of editors.[19] The paper, unlike many other Saudi daily papers, also reported the incident of fire in girls' school in Mecca in 2002, killing fifteen female students as a result of the muttawa's curtailing the attempts of rescue workers.[20] Furthermore, then-editor-in-chief of the paper, Abdul Rahman Saad Alorabi, employed women reporters to interview with the women in the family of victims and surviving female students.[20]

The paper openly reported the negative physical conditions experienced in Mecca. For instance, it reported in 2007 that although Al Bayary, an old street, is in close proximity to Masjid Al Haram, it seriously suffers from lack of electricity and water facilities as well as sewerage problems.[21]

See alsoEdit

List of newspapers in Saudi Arabia


  1. ^ a b William A. Rugh (2004). Arab Mass Media: Newspapers, Radio, and Television in Arab Politics. Westport, CT; London: Praeger. p. 61. ISBN 978-0-275-98212-6.
  2. ^ Abdullah Almaghlooth (2014). The Relevance of Gatekeeping in the Process of Contemporary News Creation and Circulation in Saudi Arabia (PhD thesis). University of Salford.
  3. ^ William A. Rugh (2003). "Arab cultures and newspapers". In Shannon E. Martin; David A. Copeland (eds.). The Function of Newspapers in Society: A Global Perspective. Westport, CT; London: Praeger. ISBN 0-275-97398-0.
  4. ^ a b Aarti Nagraj (26 March 2013). "Revealed: 10 Oldest Newspapers in the GCC". Gulf Business. Archived from the original on 25 December 2018. Retrieved 14 January 2014.
  5. ^ Mahmoud Abdul Ghani Sabbagh (4 March 2010). "Modernity in Makkah: History at a glance". Arab News. Retrieved 19 May 2012.
  6. ^ Abdulrahman S. Shobaili (1971). An historical and analytical study of broadcasting and press in Saudi Arabia (PhD thesis). Ohio State University.
  7. ^ a b Bilal Ahmad Kutty (1997). Saudi Arabia under King Faisal (PDF) (PhD thesis). Aligarh Muslim University. p. 140. Archived from the original (PDF) on 17 March 2022.
  8. ^ "Makkah Printing and Information Establishment". Gulfoo. Archived from the original on 16 January 2014. Retrieved 17 May 2012.
  9. ^ "King Holds al-Safa Reception". Saudi Press Agency. 12 August 2012. Archived from the original on 16 January 2014. Retrieved 13 August 2012.
  10. ^ "Arab media review" (PDF). Anti-defamation League. July–December 2011. Archived from the original (PDF) on 5 April 2012. Retrieved 15 May 2012.
  11. ^ "Arab Media Review (January-June 2012)" (PDF). Anti-Defamation League. 2012. Archived from the original (PDF) on 25 September 2013. Retrieved 21 September 2013.
  12. ^ Muhammad Salahuddin (5 October 2003). "The Future of the Print Media". Arab News. Al Madina. Retrieved 19 August 2012.
  13. ^ "Al Nadwa newspaper gets shut". Alapn. 19 February 2013. Archived from the original on 11 September 2014. Retrieved 10 September 2014.
  14. ^ "Al Nadwa". World Press. Retrieved 17 May 2012.
  15. ^ a b c d "The Saudi Press: Profiles of individual papers". Wikileaks. April 1991. Retrieved 16 May 2012.
  16. ^ Tom Pierre Najem; Martin Hetherington, eds. (2003). Good Governance in the Middle East Oil Monarchies. New York: Routledge Courzon. p. 114. ISBN 978-0415297400.
  17. ^ Anders Jerichow (1998). The Saudi File: People, Power, Politics. New York: St. Martin's Press. p. 209. ISBN 0-312-21520-7.
  18. ^ Banafsheh Keynoush (2016). Saudi Arabia and Iran. Friends or Foes?. New York: Palgrave Macmillan. p. 79. doi:10.1007/978-1-137-58939-2. ISBN 978-1-137-58939-2. S2CID 156413085.
  19. ^ a b c Mansoor Jassem (2011). Islam and Political Reform in Saudi Arabia: The Quest for Political Change and Reform. New York: Routledge. p. 112. ISBN 9780203961124.
  20. ^ a b Christopher Dickey; Rod Nordland (21 July 2002). "The Fire That Won't Die Out". Newsweek. Retrieved 16 May 2012.
  21. ^ "Mecca residents feel abandoned by Saudi government". Khaleej Times. 14 April 2007. Archived from the original on 10 September 2014. Retrieved 19 May 2012.