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Simply Second to None

By Mashhour Abudaka

As I have followed the development of This Week in Palestine, published by Turbo Design and its director Sani Meo, since its inception in the late 1990s, I was asked to write a paragraph or two about the magazine. When I did not know how or where to start, I decided to seek assistance from the AI program ChatGPT and what it knows about TWiP. The result was as follows:

This Week in Palestine is a monthly publication that focuses on the political, cultural, social, and economic issues related to Palestine and its people. It was founded in 1998 and is published by the Palestine Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities. The publication features articles written by Palestinian writers and journalists, as well as international contributors, providing an in-depth perspective on the Palestinian situation. Its content covers a wide range of topics, including current events, history, art, literature, tourism, and more. In addition to its print edition, This Week in Palestine has an online presence, with a website that features articles, interviews, videos, and other multimedia content. The publication is known for its quality journalism and its commitment to promoting Palestinian culture and heritage.”

That is all good and in line with my impression of TWiP, except that the publisher and team behind this magazine are not linked to the Palestinian Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities. Apparently, ChatGPT thinks that creating a publication of this quality and magnitude can only be accomplished by a large establishment such as a ministry!

Turbo Design and Sani Meo and his highly professional, innovative team that includes designers, editors, specialized writers selected for each issue according to the topic of the publication, and an independent advisory board work hard to produce this fine publication. The knowledge of the publisher, Mr. Meo (a Jerusalemite born and bred), regarding Palestinian society, history, and cultural and religious diversity is impressive. The advisory board is selected from among eminent, mainly local men and women who represent various economic strata and come from diverse cultural backgrounds. This board is changed every year to ensure that the published material is up-to-date and covers universal and diverse points of view.

TWiP is meticulously edited and enjoyable to read. Every month, I am particularly intrigued by the design, selection of colors, and quality of photographs that are carefully selected from a bank of photographs from Palestine, shot by professional photographers.

The breadth and quality of TWiP are reflected in its articles that are refined and profound in their analysis, light on politics, and yet easy to read and follow. They are well suited as an introduction to Palestine for independent-minded or casual visitors who wish to acquire knowledge about Palestine and its people and culture.

  • Mashhour Abudaka holds a master’s degree in engineering from Manchester University, UK, and a PhD and DIC in engineering from the Imperial College of Science, Technology and Medicine at the University of London, UK. He has taught at Birzeit University, was executive director of the Palestinian IT Association of Companies (PITA), and served as Minister of Transport (2007–2009) and Minister of Telecom (2009–2012).

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