Somayya Jabarti takes the reins of the English-language newspaper from Khaled Almaeena, who becomes editor-at-large .
Jabarti, previously deputy editor of the Saudi Gazette becomes the first female editor of a national newspaper although women have led magazines in the kingdom.
“There’s a crack that has been made in the glass ceiling. And I’m hoping it will be made into a door,” she told al Arabiya News.
“Being the first Saudi woman [newspaper editor] is going to be double the responsibility… One’s actions will reflect upon my fellow Saudi women,” she said.
Jabarti said that she has never encountered any sexism in the media house: “The majority of our reporters are women – not because we are biased and choosing women over men. There are more women who are interested in being journalists, and who are journalists.”
The former editor-in-chief Almaeen said “She’s the first editor-in-chief of a Saudi paper – English or Arabic-language. In Saudi Arabia it’s a major achievement.”
Almaeena told Arabiya News in an article titled ” I was determined to have it our way” :”Today I proudly leave my nominee, a female journalist — Somayya Jabarti — who will take the helm of the paper. She has been associated with me for almost 13 years and I’ve had the goal almost as long of wanting to see a Saudi woman enter the male-dominated bastion of editors-in-chief. It was not a question of gender but of merit that decided and earned her this opportunity. I am proud to have played a role in her career. She is determined and dedicated, and I can assure her and the team that I will be there to assist and advise so that the Saudi Gazette further advances as a media unit in a highly competitive and digital age.