Delving into the conscience of a nation

26-12-2011 10:48 AM

Marina Ihab


The first time I started work at Watani I realised one thing: that even after completing school and university, I had a completely blank experience of the real world. Yes, that was 10 years ago, the feeling of a fresh graduate on the threshold of a journalism career

The first time I started work at Watani I realised one thing: that even after completing school and university, I had a completely blank experience of the real world. Yes, that was 10 years ago, the feeling of a fresh graduate on the threshold of a journalism career. At the time there were five of us who were planning for the launch of Watani’s English language pages. We sat on weekly basis round a huge wooden table with the editor-in-chief discussing which topics would interest English-speaking readers nationally and worldwide.
Like a toddler who watches grown-ups speak, walk and handle matters expertly, I watched, observed, listened and tried to learn timidly without exposing the naïve, ignorant and inexperienced me who would soon enough be asked to report, translate and write in the newspaper.
Celebrating 10 years of our beloved Watani International does not mean we only celebrate the achievement of covering and publishing exclusive stories on the Egyptian street but, for each one of us who contributed to the work, we celebrate the unique opportunity of delving deep into the conscience of the nation, realising that every story has many facets, and that it is our choice to be honest, comprehensive and nonbiased. 
After ten years, I know I am no longer a toddler with an innocent look. Experience has taught me that our success in making this paper thrive for a decade is that we were earnest in making a change; this change in making people more aware of their rights and responsibilities.
Though I am writing these lines thousands of miles away from Watani, I feel I am part of it and it holds a great part of me, in shaping part of my character and thinking and experience. It is true that I miss my friends and colleagues a lot, but every time, I open Watani’s website, I go back to my treasured memories of that small room on the second floor overlooking Abdel-Khaleq Tharwat Street where I spent ten cherished years of my life.
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