Moncton’s Ali Ettarnichi, founder of the new regional newspaper Arabic Atlantic, says the venture is so much more than just ink on newsprint.
What makes this publication unique is that it’s not written in English or French. It’s in Arabic.
Ettarnichi said it will fill a gap for the growing Arab community in Atlantic Canada.
“People would love to see their own language and to speak in their own language and to hold the newspaper in [their] hand and actually read it in Arabic,” he told Information Morning Moncton.
“We want to add that magic piece from Arabic culture, to paint this beautiful canvas of diversity.”
Online and hardcopy
The monthly paper includes local and regional news, immigrant success stories and cultural pieces, Ettarnichi said.
The publication’s stories can be found online, but also in hardcopy.
Ettarnichi said he’s “old-school” and likes to hold a physical paper when getting his news. And even though people questioned why he would enter into print when other publications have struggled to get out of it, he said he wanted to provide an option for everyone.
There’s also something nostalgic about it, he said.
Ettarnichi is also the founder of Atlantic Arabic TV online. It started as a platform to cover Muslim celebrations such as Eid and Ramadan on YouTube. But this week, he said, it will expand to feature anything to do with Arab culture and will be broadcast in Arabic, but with English translation. There will also be a show called Good Morning Atlantic, he said.
Ettarnichi has been distributing the newspapers, which he said can be found in Arabic stores, at the Dieppe, Moncton and Riverview public libraries, at the Multicultural Agency of the Greater Moncton Area and in some cafés.
He also plans to put some at the airport for immigrants coming to Canada for the first time.
Sometimes, Ettarnichi said, when people leave everything to start a new adventure in a new country, they question whether they made the right choice. But he said if they see their language represented during their first encounter with the new place, it will act as a link to home.
Ettarnichi said he would often hear from Arabic speakers in Atlantic Canada who wanted an alternative news outlet where their culture and identity would be represented.
That’s when the wheels started turning.
“[I] said they are right, they have the right to have something in their own language. That’s where the idea started. And here we are holding a newspaper in our hand and celebrating this big day.”
Source : CBC