The role model
The presence of a role model is the compass that guides any junior journalist. Without it, they might repeat the same mistake in the media industry. The human hierarchy when it comes to transferring knowledge from one generation to another is the foundation upon which the progress of nations is built. This is what the Lebanese journalism professor, Youssef Khazem, did.
The first meeting
On the morning of April 25, 2011, I received a call from Mr. Youssef Khazem. He asked me, due to my content creation activities on YouTube at the time, if I would like to join the team of the Saudi Al-Watan Newspaper. I immediately agreed and saw it as a golden opportunity. So, he asked to meet with me at the newspaper’s office in Jeddah. When I arrived, he welcomed me with his fatherly smile and encouraging words, which expressed his support for my content creation-related hobbies. At the time, my community and the people around me considered content creation as a waste of time and a field that did not generate any income.
Mr. Youssef Khazem was the first to support me in the media field, while also fostering my journalistic talent.
What did I learn from Yousef Khazem?
A professional first-place runner passes his banner to a novice runner in a relay race, while he fears that the rookie might lose the race due to his limited capabilities. This is how Youssef Khazem was keen to develop my skills, as he saw me as the person carrying his banner in the journalistic life.
At the time, it was difficult for me to understand what he had gone through on the journalistic scene. This got me intrigued and I wanted to know him better, while he was even more keen to teach me everything he knew and more. It was as if he was building a strong foundation for the rest of my life in the media field.
Mr. Youssef Khazem taught me the basics of journalism and what the journalist’s life looks like. He told me that journalism is the profession of searching for trouble and that it is not just a profession, but a way of life from which one cannot retire.
I learned the ethics, arts and honor of journalism from him. He also told me that revealing the truth is more important than personal gains and taught me how to start and develop my career in the media field.
My professional life after Youssef Khazem
I did not work with Youssef Khazem for a long time. This is due to the fact that he developed my journalistic skills to the point where they caught the attention of MBC Group, which wanted me to produce the most prominent Saudi talk show in the channel’s history, “Eight O’clock” with Daoud Al-Sharyan.
The largest television channel in the Arab world is not ready to risk its most prominent show, “Eight O’clock”, by getting a junior journalist, who did not have sufficient journalistic skills. However, its brought in the young student of Youssef Khazem.
After “Eight O’clock”, I established Al-Arab News Channel. I then launched my company under the name of HABKA Productions and established its digital journalism training department. The secret has always been the courses of Youssef Khazem.
Youssef did not die
Youssef Khazem has left behind people who are similar to him and share the same message in life: a professional media content and the training of the new generations. This is exactly what I am doing today.
During my next visit to the tomb of my teacher Youssef Khazem, I wish to lay my media works and achievements on it, as these are the roses he prefers.
In support of the step taken by Arab News to rename its training department after Mr. Youssef Khazem, I am happy to offer, through HABKA, a free video editing course, using the Adobe Premiere program, to all the trainees of the Youssef Khazem unit and the newspaper’s employees. It consists of a digital course, which is recorded and published on the international Udemy website. This initiative aims at keeping Youssef Khazem’s training efforts alive after his death.
If the newspaper’s administration accepts this offers, I would be pleased if you would contact me to organize the process of registering trainees through my mobile number: 0502593488.