Umm Al-Qura (newspaper)

Umm Al-Qura (Arabic: أُم القُرى, The Mother of Villages) was the first Arabic language Saudi Arabian daily newspaper based in Mecca,[1] and the official gazette of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. The paper has been in circulation since 1924.

Umm Al-Qura
TypeWeekly newspaper
PublisherMinistry of Media
Founded12 December 1924; 97 years ago (1924-12-12)
HeadquartersMecca, Saudi Arabia

History and profileEdit

Umm Al-Qura was established by Ibn Saud, the Kingdom’s founder, and the first issue was published on 12 December 1924.[2][3] In fact, the paper was a successor of Al Qibla which was the official gazette of the Kingdom of Hejaz.[4] One of the reasons behind the establishment of Umm Al-Qura was the harsh criticisms of an Egyptian newspaper, Al Muqattam, against Ibn Saud.[5] He started the paper to counterweigh this negative propaganda of Al Muqattam through the paper.[5]

Umm Al-Qura was initially a weekly newspaper issued in four hand-printed pages before it had turned into a government gazette – an announcer of royal decrees and other state-related news.[6][7] Shortly after its start Umm Al-Qura frequently featured articles supporting Wahhabi doctrine which was given as a branch of Sunni Islam.[8]

The founding editor-in-chief of the paper was Yusuf Yasin, an advisor to Ibn Saud.[9] Ghalib Hamza Abulfaraj, a Saudi businessman, also served as the editor-in-chief of the paper.[10] One of the early contributors was St John Philby.[11]

Significant events covered by the paperEdit

Financial crisisEdit

During World War II all newspapers at that time, Sawt Al Hijaz, Al-Madina Al manawara, and Umm Al Qura experienced financial crises, leading to the suspension of them from 1941-1946 except Umm Al Qura which continued to be issued.[12]


  1. ^ Mark J. R. Sedgwick (November 1997). "Saudi Sufis: Compromise in the Hijaz, 1925-40". Die Welt des Islams. 37 (3): 360. doi:10.1163/1570060972597039. JSTOR 1570657.
  2. ^ a b "Umm al-Qurá, Number 1131, 1 November 1946". 1 November 1946. Retrieved 4 February 2019.
  3. ^ "Leading monitor of crucial events in the Saudi Arabia for 100 years: Umm Al-Qura newspaper". Arab News. 21 May 2018. Retrieved 4 February 2019.
  4. ^ Joshua Teitelbaum (2020). "Hashemites, Egyptians and Saudis: the tripartite struggle for the pilgrimage in the shadow of Ottoman defeat". Middle Eastern Studies. 56 (1): 43. doi:10.1080/00263206.2019.1650349. S2CID 202264793.
  5. ^ a b Noha Mellor (2021). "The Saudi Press: The Combined Power of Wealth and Religion". In Noureddine Miladi; Noha Mellor (eds.). Routledge Handbook on Arab Media. London; New York: Routledge. p. 328. ISBN 978-0-429-76292-5.
  6. ^ Joseph A. Kechichian (21 January 2011). "Nationalist adviser". Gulf News. Archived from the original on 14 December 2020. Retrieved 29 November 2020.
  7. ^ Sebastian Maisel and John A. Shoup. (2009). Saudi Arabia and the Gulf Arab States Today: An Encyclopedia of Life in the Arab States. Westport, CT: Greenwood Press. p. 329. ISBN 978-0-313-34442-8.
  8. ^ David Commins (2015). "From Wahhabi to Salafi". In Bernard Haykel; Thomas Hegghammer; Stéphane Lacroix (eds.). Saudi Arabia in Transition: Insights on Social, Political, Economic and Religious Change. New York: Cambridge University Press. p. 159. ISBN 9781139047586.
  9. ^ C. C. Lewis (July 1933). "Ibn Sa'ūd and the Future of Arabia". International Affairs. 12 (4): 523. doi:10.2307/2603605. JSTOR 2603605.
  10. ^ Who's Who in the Arab World 2007-2008 (18th ed.). Beirut: Publitec Publications. 2007. p. 48. doi:10.1515/9783110930047. ISBN 9783598077357.
  11. ^ Daniel Silverfarb (1982). "Great Britain, Iraq, and Saudi Arabia: The Revolt of the Ikhwan, 1927-1930". The International History Review. 4 (2): 241. doi:10.1080/07075332.1982.9640276.
  12. ^ William A. Rugh (2004). Arab Mass Media: Newspapers, Radio, and Television in Arab Politics. Greenwood Publishing Group. p. 77. ISBN 978-0-275-98212-6.

External linksEdit

Official website