The view from within

26-12-2011 11:53 AM

Dalia Victor


It’s already 10 years on Watani International and seven for me on its team. It feels like I joined the team yesterday, yet it feels I’ve been there forever. Being at Watani is sort of being at home, and the experience of working with the Watani International team has been like spending a nice time every week with one’s family doing something extremely interesting enjoyable, and fruitful.

It’s already 10 years on Watani International and seven for me on its team. It feels like I joined the team yesterday, yet it feels I’ve been there forever. Being at Watani is sort of being at home, and the experience of working with the Watani International team has been like spending a nice time every week with one’s family doing something extremely interesting enjoyable, and fruitful.
The work
Working on every issue is like working on a different project every single week. With Watani, I learned to be always alert for news and events around me and to shape a critical opinion about them as well. The most difficult yet enthralling task which I face every weekly is to translate the material we’re handed in Arabic into English. I must admit that even after seven years of translation, I sort of find myself at a loss before nearly every piece I am assigned to translate. .
Finally, when the baby is born and the Arabic piece metamorphoses into an English translation, the most beautiful sense of achievement hits.
I have always reviewed with eagerness the pieces I’d translated after they are corrected, edited, and polished; it is always a pleasurable and informative experience. Comparing my original translation to the edited copy is like observing one’s reflection in the mirror after donning a gorgeous party dress, and then once more after one applies the make up that enhances the beauty of the face and the beautiful colours of the dress. 
Page design is always the most exciting stage, it is the sweet culmination of the entire week’s work. The work we get so engrossed in throughout the week is beautifully set up on the computer pages, together with the pictures we so carefully selected. It is so exciting to observe our layout editor decide on fonts, dimensions, pictures, colours, shades, in short: design. Having personally always lacked an artistic sense, I’ve always been enthralled by the artistic creation. I must admit that watching the page design has taught my eye to observe and to form an opinion too. Whenever I could contribute a good opinion to the design I am genuinely thrilled. 
The team
At Watani International I cherish the frequent, informal meetings during which we chit chat about current events, exchanging notes and opinions and making suggestions for the current, or future, issue of the paper. These have always been and still are easy going chats, but it was only lately that I came to realise their importance and how they contribute to our work process and substance. I must admit that this easy relaxed spirit between us was created and nurtured by our Managing Editor, Samia Sidhom, who always made every one of us feel special and a significant member of her team. She always studies the possibilities and considers every suggestion that we make, never disregarding any opinion. In spite of her expansive knowledge and experience, she has never stopped seeking our opinion and contribution to the teamwork. Sidhom has not only been an efficient editor but, throughout the seven years I spent on her team, she has instated a family spirit among us and has merited the title of head of this family. She raised her family members on values of love, devotion and hard work.
I now see all the members currently on the Watani International team, as well as those who left Egypt to live abroad, or the elderly members who departed from our world, as one big, united family, and I feel proud to be a member of this family. As Watani International steps into its 11th year, I remember that when I first joined, I dreamt of fulfilling the dream my grandfather Antoun Sidhom had, that of carrying on with the Watani mission he had begun some 50 years earlier. Today, after seven years working with the paper, I find that—in a totally spontaneous, dedicated manner, we are honouring that media mission by relaying to our readers the truth and nothing but the truth, defending those whose voices are not heard by carrying these voices to the whole world. 
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