The Alexandria Trust has founded a new independent publication called Al-Fanar Media "الفنار للإعلام" (The Lighthouse), dedicated to covering higher education in the Arab region. Visit Al Fanar's website at www.al-fanarmedia.org
Al-Fanar Media provides balanced, accurate, and insightful coverage of academic life in the Arab world. It seeks to be a watchdog for academic freedom, monitors whether women, minority groups, and the poor have full access to education, and champions universities as beacons of arts, culture, and scholarship. Al-Fanar Media serves as a much-needed platform for public debate among higher education institutions within and beyond the Arab world. The publication is bilingual in Arabic and English, and has launched online in March 2013, with a print publication to follow. Al-Fanar Media will convene roundtables and discussion forums about critical issues in higher education and, in a subsequent phase, will seek out ways to support the training of young journalists interested in covering higher education through responsible and accurate reporting.
David L. Wheeler, formerly managing editor of the U.S.-based Chronicle of Higher Education, is Al-Fanar Media's founding editor. Its senior editor is Rasha Faek, a Syrian journalist based in Amman. The publication is housed inside the Alexandria Trust but is independent of it. Al-Fanar Media has received grants from the Ford Foundation, the U.N. Democracy Fund and the Carnegie Corporation of New York.
In May 2012, the Trust held a workshop in Cairo with more than sixty academics from the region to discuss prospects for a publication like Al-Fanar Media. The project received a ringing endorsement. The links below offer a selection of interviews with workshop participants about the need for an independent publication dedicated to higher education in the Arab world.