Last Friday, 22 December, Watani celebrated its 59th anniversary, stepping thus into its 60th year and carrying a rich credit of journalistic contribution and service to our cherished Egypt. In 2008, we marked Watani’s golden jubilee; today, we proudly treasure another 10 years of hard work and challenges overcome. It is an honour to acknowledge Watani as the oldest surviving independent paper in Egypt.
Over 60 years, successive generations have carried the Watani torch. Watani’s mission covered not only journalistic facets, but also national, enlightenment, and service features too. It entered the information age of the Internet with its www.wataninet.com as well as its Facebook page and Twitter account, catering to our electronically oriented times and rapidly unfolding events.
Milestones in the life of any institution reflect significant posts that compel contemplation on the time elapsed and achievements attained. They offer excellent opportunities to refresh memories, evaluate performance, and draw conclusions. Without looking back into their past, it is impossible to mull over the present or make careful plans for their future.
Throughout 2008—Watani’s golden jubilee year—a team of our reporters delved into the paper’s 50-year long archive, and offered readers 52 weeks of glimpses into pages, stories, and events covered by Watani in the half-century since it was founded. The material chosen by the team was re-published as it appeared back then; no adjustments were made to texts, pictures or layout. The aim was to preserve the flavour of the past, and transport the reader on a journey that involved more than mere reporting on past events; it revealed a record of 50 years of progress in the journalistic world, writing, reporting, page design and printing techniques.
The 2008 experience was significant and enriching to both the reader and the then new team of reporters. It helped revive memories, document Watani’s work, and shape visions for the future. It also opened the door to researchers who discovered the wealth of material archived by the paper. Many have since knocked on our door, seeking to consult our archives. They were happy with what they found: first-hand material documenting a half-century of Egypt’s contemporary history.
Today, the newest team of Watani reporters is delving into its archives of the past 10 years, in order to carry out an extension of the 2008 task. Watani will dedicate a full page in its paper editions of 2018 to shed light on the past 10 years with their diverse events on both the local and international scenes. This in addition to an overview of the pages, services and national contribution offered by Watani in its paper and electronic version throughout the last 10 years.
We hope to enrich our readers with our 10-year credit, and illuminate the path the paper will be treading with new generations of Watani reporters for years to come.
24 December 2017