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Ma'an celebrates 10 years
Published Wednesday 16/01/2013 (updated) 17/01/2013 11:50
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Employees of Ma`an Network pose for a group photo at a reception
in the West Bank city of Ramallah on Tuesday, Jan. 15, 2012.
RAMALLAH (Ma'an) -- Ma'an celebrated in Ramallah on Tuesday the 10th anniversary of the Palestinian online, TV and radio network's beginnings during the second intifada.

A black-and-white photo exhibition at the Movenpick Hotel narrated the history of Ma'an from its conception to its founding and work on the ground.

The 50-image display documented a decade of field and conflict reporting as well as the network's early days and later success stories.

Ma'an general director Raed Othman addressed dignitaries at a reception at the hotel and described Ma'an's humble start. At that time, several local TV stations were facing financial difficulties and decided to create a joint body they called Ma'an TV.

Othman said neither he nor his colleagues thought the idea would materialize in days or even months: "We fought for two successive years until we managed to get funding to establish Ma’an News Agency."

Ma'an published its first news report on May 26, 2005. Today, the website receives 5 million visitors every month and is by far the most popular Palestinian source of news.

The general director recalled giving a talk about Palestinian media in Germany, where a journalist told him the world did not know what Palestinians were saying.

"I kept thinking of those remarks and discussed them with my colleagues when I went back home," Othman told attendees. "A few days later, I met with the representative of the Dutch government to Palestine and asked him where he would look if he wanted information about Palestine.

"'Unfortunately, to (Israeli newspaper) Haaretz's English website,' answered the representative. That was a red light to me, and I started to tell my colleagues that we ought to establish a source for Palestinian news."




"The dream was not over as it was necessary to have radio and TV wings, so we established Ma'an Radio Network and Ma’an TV Network; then the dream was crowned with Maan-Mix satellite," Othman explained.

He announced that Ma'an-Mix would soon become solely Ma'an after the network completed its purchase of shares owned by the Haifa-based network.

Ma'an chairwoman Nibal Thawabta described Ma'an's vision as seemingly "too big a dream" at the time.

"When Raed Othman posed the idea of creating an independent Palestinian news agency to a number of young enthusiastic male and female journalists, they thought it was too big a dream. However, year after year, and challenge after challenge, the dream was materialized and became a reality," she said.

Thawabta acknowledged criticism over the years about Ma'an's claims to independence, but she defended the network's willingness to accept advice to develop successfully.

"The mild friendly reproach we hear from some people is painful at a professional level, and it makes us feel that maintaining a balance is a hard job, and being objective is still harder, but at least we try to present our opinion and listen to others' opinions appreciating everybody," she said.



Later a short film narrated by renowned Palestinian journalists Ahmad Rafiq Awad and Yousuf al-Mahmoud detailed the network's history.

"The dream which the young founders had has become a reality and a big success story. In that story, awareness, belief and will were more influential than planning and strategies set in advance," Awad said.

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1 ) mohamed / somalia
16/01/2013 18:58
congratulation ma'an
thi is the one of the visitors from mogadishu somalia.

2 ) Mohamed Mansour Ellabadi / Palestine
16/01/2013 20:10
Congratulations. Ma'an has truly become an international arena where Palestinian issues can be discussed.

3 ) at maan / .ps
16/01/2013 22:12
u must do better.much

4 ) Reader / from Edmonton
16/01/2013 22:49
It's not difficult to see why Ma'an is considered the best Palestinian news source. May you prosper.

5 ) Reader / from Edmonton
16/01/2013 23:12
Will you be conducting interviews with Palestinian leaders any time soon? Governance needs to be seen to be done. What affects one affects all. When any citizen of Palestine is under the occupier's administrative detention, or deprived of property or the pursuit of livelihood, all Palestinians are also. The citizens need to know what their government thinks and does about these things. Will you ask them and tell us what they say?

6 ) Robert / US
17/01/2013 00:27
Hopefuly we can see some more Positive stories on the Loving and Peaceful people of the state of Palestine & Israel !!. Articles of Arab/Jewish collaberation for Peace would be Great to see also. Image Peace.

7 ) Mel / USA
17/01/2013 02:04
Bravo Ma'an! Keep it up! I saw the documentary 'Live from Bethlehem' and it was great considering the circumstances/obstacles you guy's have to work in,under Israeli military OCCUPATION &economic punishment. There will be a GRAND day when there will be NATIONAL station with multi-factional programs,united,as a United Palestine Channel.
Never give up guys! National recognition &statehood is COMING!Because that's international LAW & GLOBAL CONSENSUS! Cheers!

8 ) Mary Ellen Torobin / Canada
18/01/2013 03:42
I sat in the office with the senior editor in 2006 and although it was stark it was clear something was becoming... I was an election observer from Canada and noted everybody read Ha'aretz.But another perspective clearly was needed... Nice going Ma'an, keep up the good work!

9 ) Mel / USA
18/01/2013 16:50
#8:Mary: I agree! I check out Ha'aretz every day & often wish that the voice of Ha'artez was the voice of ALL Israel,because that's a FINE,FAIR,intellectual,inclusive Israel we could ALL be proud to visit & defend.But while Israeli's allow their voice to be extremist Zionism?Well that's like Islam allowing al-Qaida to be its spokeperson. BTW Ma'an? I hope you're covering the"Media Coverage of International Justice" Conference,in Beirut too? http://www.beirut.com/l/20801

10 ) Yehuda Solomon / Israel
18/01/2013 18:35
I also want to add my Sincere, Genuine, High Praise and Congratulations for an Excellent site and Ma'an News Agency's 10-year anniversary. (I would have posted sooner but I was very busy a while ago.) Ma'an News Agency has displayed outstanding and exemplary reporting, editorial work, fairness, balance, tolerance, coverage and overall focus on the issues. It has gone above-and-beyond the demands of superlative journalistic standards time-and-time again by its devoted style of news (cont.)

11 ) Yehuda Solomon / Israel
18/01/2013 18:41
reporting and analysis. It should be greatly honored and appreciated by the international news media for its enormous, successful efforts these past 10 years with its deeply dedicated record of superb, diligent, honorable, widespread and accurate journalism.

12 ) anti usa,antiisrahell / ...........
19/01/2013 23:44
Maan should be reformed -by Palestinians
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