The richest ever

26-12-2011 11:51 AM

Ghada Tantawi

For one member of the Watani International team, the work experience has been…

For one member of the Watani International team, the work experience has been…
I joined Watani in September 2000, as the preparations for releasing Watani International were under way. At the time I had little acquaintance with the newspaper, its outlook, or the work atmosphere.
Now, after 11 years of working as part of the Watani International team, I would say it is my richest work experience ever. It was not just about upgrading professional skills or diversifying areas of knowledge. Rather, the surrounding work atmosphere was unique. Indeed, it was more of a family than a working group. We shared moments of happiness and sorrows. And there has been no place for fierce competition or striving to gain benefits or prestige. Everyone did her—I say her because with very few exceptions, the teamwork has been mainly composed of women—best, and our efforts are always appreciated. This resulted in an unprecedented bond between me and the place. 
Apart from Watani, I have never worked in a place where I would willingly offer to make extra effort at times of crises, such as during the Nag Hammadi massacre, the attack on the Two Saints Church in Alexandria and others. Even on these occasions, Madame Samia Sidhom, Watani International’s managing editor, was often keen not to shoulder me with extra work.   
Equally important are the new realities that became apparent to me after working with Watani. Even when I was young, I had a strong belief that Copts suffer from a kind of discrimination. But I never comprehended what discrimination really means in practice. Before working with Watani, I did not grasp Copts’ problems regarding the building of places of worship, the biases of government employees and security apparatuses, the suffering of those who want to convert back to Christianity…and so on. Now I have a clear picture of Copts’ problem and grievances and I have come to realise to what extent the Coptic question will affect the future of Egypt.
These reasons have made Watani a constant component of my life over the last ten years.
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