Thursday, August 26, 2004

Cairo Times is gone!

For eight years, Egypt's sole independent English-language weekly, The Cairo Times, battled government efforts to muzzle its stories that highlighted human rights abuses and political paralysis.

In the end, though, it was the country's ailing economy that silenced the magazine in late June, its founder and publisher, Hisham Kassem, told The Associated Press on Thursday.

Kassem blamed a three-year Egyptian recession, a 45 percent fall in advertising revenues and a lack of investor interest for the magazine's US$200,000 debt.

"It got to the point where I was unable to keep the staff because they haven't been paid in months and I was no longer able to pay a single printing bill," said 44-year-old Kassem, who is also the chairman of the Egyptian Organization for Human Rights.

[...] State censors banned at least 10 editions of the magazine from being published, but its contentious stories still managed to be published on its Web site. (source)
What a shame ... it was a good magazine.

UPDATE: Oct. 9, 2004 story ...
[Hisham] Kassem, former publisher of the English-language Cairo Times magazine, recently launched a daily Arabic-language newspaper, Al Masri Al Youm (The Egyptian Today), which endorses civil rights, globalization and peace on its editorial pages. (source)