National Geographic “isn’t just about animals”: that’s the message the Editor-in-Chief of the Arabic version intends to convey.
National Geographic Magazine is one of the most exciting magazines on the planet. With 50 million monthly readers, its commitment to conservation, culture, and science is virtually unparalleled.
To date, the National Geographic Society has awarded 9,000 research grants that enable scientists to continue uncovering our planet’s sacred wonders. And then the magazine paints those in living color.
Translated into 31 different languages, National Geographic has extraordinary potential to inspire even more people on the planet, if only it can overcome its image as an “animal magazine.” That is what the Editor-in-Chief of the UAE-based Al Arabiya Magazine aims to achieve on his tour of the UAE.
In order to generate more interest not just in the magazine, but in its multi-faceted content, Mohamed al Hammadi will visit a series of universities throughout the United Arab Emirates. Better awareness could lead to paying better attention to what ails us environmentally, culturally, and socially.
Speaking to The National, he likens our relationship to the planet’s health to our personal relationship with our own health:
“Just like we feel pain and take care of ourselves and go to the hospital when we get sick, we should feel pain when we see the world gets sick,” he said.
To show his support, the Minister of Higher Education and Scientific Research – Sheikh Nahyan bin Mubarak – joined al Hammadi at his first stop: the Higher Colleges of Technology (HCT) in Khalifa City.
Al Arabiya was first published last October, and sales have since increased, according to Hammadi. Currently the content is translated from English, but next year, Emiratis will be able to enjoy locally-produced stories. The magazine’s 6th issue is currently available.
Published by the Abu Dhabi Media Company, the magazine suprised certain university students.
“People think it is a geography magazine, all about nature, environment and animals, but that is not true. It is also about different cultures, tribes and new discoveries in health and science.
One student claims that many of her peers do not read enough, and that they might benefit from reading magazines like Al Arabiya nearly as frequently as they read celebrity magazines. (We couldn’t agree more!) Al Hammadi acknowledged his concern that lack of interest in reading would impact badly on sales, but also expresses confidence that eventually people will be drawn in by the content.
He adds that if the UAE tour is successful, he may travel elsewhere in the Arab world to drum up even further support.
:: The National
More on travel and nature in the Middle East: