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Saudi Arabia appoints first female editor-in-chief to national newspaper

Somayya Jarabti has the distinction of being the first female to be appointed editor-in-chief of a Saudi Arabian national newspaper, a promotion she said comes with great responsibility as she makes a crack in a glass ceiling she hopes "will be made into a door."

By
JC Finley

JEDDAH, Saudi Arabia, Feb. 21 (UPI) -- Somayya Jarabti has the distinction of being the first female to be appointed editor-in-chief of a Saudi Arabian national newspaper.

Formerly the deputy editor of the Jeddah-based English daily Saudi Gazette, Jabarti replaced Khaled Almaeena at the helm of the national newspaper earlier this month. Almaeena called it an "historic" move; "in Saudi Arabia it's a major achievement."

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Speaking to Al Arabiya News, Jabarti described the significance of her promotion in a country known for restricting women's rights.

"There’s a crack that has been made in the glass ceiling. And I’m hoping it will be made into a door... This is a first for a Saudi daily… A mold has been broken where editors-in-chief of Saudi daily newspapers are concerned. ... Being the first Saudi woman [newspaper editor] is going to be double the responsibility... One’s actions will reflect upon my fellow Saudi women ... The success will not be complete unless I see my peers who are also Saudi women in the media, take other roles where they are decision makers."

Jabarti joined the Saudi Gazette in March 2011, and earlier worked for nine years at Arab News.

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[Al Arabiya News]

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