A daily newspaper in Arabic is being published in London to cater for the four million people from the Middle East expected to visit Britain and Europe this year and the thousands more already living there permanently.
CU ZOOM OUT FROM Al'Arab newspaper TO Arab reading paper in London
CU Another Arab reading newspaper
SV A group of Arabs reading newspaper aloud on Arabic
CU INTERIOR Operator monitoring radio programme from Saudi Arabia
TV Technician operation new linotype screen (4 shots)
CU Ticker transferring editorial material
SV Technician taking roller containing paper print
CU Checking editorial material before going to print
SV News editor reading through English newspapers
CU Chief editor Mr. Houini speaking in Arabic
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Background: A daily newspaper in Arabic is being published in London to cater for the four million people from the Middle East expected to visit Britain and Europe this year and the thousands more already living there permanently.
SYNOPSIS: The new paper, called simply Al'Arab can be found alongside the other international dailies, at most newspaper kiosks outside the big London hotels. Al'Arab is the only European-based Arabic daily in existence, but its hope of keeping this potentially lucrative market all to itself will not last. A second Arabic newspaper is expected to hit the streets of Europe in November.
At the Kingston-on-Thames officas of Al'Arab, staff monitor a news broadcast from Saudi Arabia for the latest information. It's an advantage over the imported Middle East newspapers where the news is days old.
While most of Britain's national newspapers are still struggling with outdated equipment, Al'Arab is a model of the new technology. Here, all incoming editorial material is fed into a computer and is simultaneously displayed on this new electronic linotype screen. Altogether nearly one million pounds has been spent to set up the new machinery.
The computer quickly transfers the information to be printed to a coded tape, where it is then reproduced as it will appear in the paper, on this roller.
And then it's one final check before the paper goes to print. In its first few months of publication, Al'Arab is clearly enjoying success. Already its circulation has topped ten thousand and it's hoped to build that up to 50,000.
Responsible for the paper's success is its editor 40-year old Libyan, Rashid al-Houini, and his cousin Ahmed, a former Libyan Minister of Information. Publishing a newspaper for Arab people can have its problems. In the Middle East, politics is a many-sided affair and can often provoke heated debate. Mr. Houini says that his paper does not keep to any political line, and claims the paper is not backed by any Arab countries. He says his only aim is to bring Arabs in Europe up-to-date international current affairs and news form their home countries. Mr. Houini owns Libya's largest publishing house and a film company. He says he chose London to establish the new paper because it's still the journalistic capital of Europe and the world's best communication centre.