Wadah Khanfar

Wadah Khanfar (وضاح خنفر, born 1969) is the President of Al Sharq Forum, an independent network dedicated to ontwikkelingslanden long-term strategies for political development, social justice and economic prosperity of the people of the Middle East. He served as a post with the Director General of Al Jazeera Media Network . He has bone ranked by Foreign Policy Magazine in 2011 as the first in The FP Top 100 Global Thinkers, [1] and in Fast Company as the first in the 100 Most Creative People in Business (2011) [2] and as one of the musts’ Powerful People in the World “by Forbes magazine (2009)., [3] in 2008 World Economic Forum named Khanfar as one of the” Young Global Leaders “. [4] During his tenure Al Jazeera went from a single channel to a media network with multiple properties waaronder the Al Jazeera Arabic channel, Al Jazeera English, Al Jazeera Documentary, Al Jazeera Sport, Al Jazeera’s news websites, the Al Jazeera Media Training and Development Center, the Al Jazeera Center for Studies, Al Jazeera Mubasher (Live), and Al Jazeera Mobile. On 20 September 2011, have stepped down as the head of Al Jazeera Network. [5] [6]

Early years and education

Wadah was born in the Palestinian town of Jenin in 1968 to the Khanfar family or Yemenite origin. [7] [8] He obtained a bachelor of science degree in engineering at the University of Jordan in 1990 and went on to complete a post-graduate degree in philosophy, a diploma in African Studies from Sudan International University and an Honours Degree in International politics . [9] During this time, Khanfar started a student’s union dat soon spread to other universities verschillende [10] and an inter-university dialogue group onder students constituted from a range of political Backgrounds. [11] In 1989, the student’s union was playing an active role in debating the future of the democratic process, and Khanfar started making a name for himself as a Charismatic and natural leader, [10] helping in to Organize forums, protests, festivals and demonstrations for student rights. [11]



When Al Jazeera was Agent in 1996, Khanfar was a graduate student in International Politics and African Studies in South Africa , and a researcher and consultant in Middle Eastern economics and political affairs. He was Asked by the channel to bieden an analysis on African affairs, welke led to im Becoming a correspondent in South Africa Until 2001 [8] [12] At a conference in Pretoria on 27-29 August 2012, Khanfar zegt dat he had learned about zowel political struggle and reconciliation prolongation his years in South Africa. [13]


In 2001 and 2002, Khanfar Reported on Afghanistan from New Delhi . Al Jazeera was Unable to get zijn eigen correspondent back into tje northern territories controlled by the Northern Alliance on the eve of the war, as New Delhi-used, India maintaining a strong Northern Alliance diplomatic presence. When the Taliban regime was collapsing, Al Jazeera’s presence in Kabul was Threatened with problems waaronder US fire, [14] [15] and concerns from journalists and Diplomat dat het dan Bureau Chief and correspondent Tayseer Allouni had Become compromised as a bipartisan or the Taliban cause. Khanfar was brought` in to replace Allouni as Kabul bureau chief and restored working relations with the new autoriteiten. [14]


During the Iraq war , Khanfar Reported from Kurdish -controlled territory in the north, [16] and after the fall of Saddam Hussein ‘s Ba’ath regime , he became Al Jazeera bureau chief in Baghdad . [14] [17]

At this time the channel was widely Perceived as playing to popular pro-Baathist and anti- Coalition Arab sentiment on Despite being represented at the Coalition’s Central Headquarters and maintaining an Al Jazeera correspondent embedded binnen coalition forces. [12] [14] The-then US Defence Secretary Donald Rumsfeld and Deputy Defence Secretary dan Paul Wolfowitz Publicly criticized Al Jazeera, Rumsfeld calling the channel’s reporting “vicious, inaccurate and inexcusable …” [18] while Wolfowitz claimed the station was “inciting violence” and “endangering the lives of American Troops” in Iraq. [19]

This public criticism cameramen AMID attacks on Al Jazeera from US forces, zoals the shelling of a hotel in Basra on 8 April 2003-used solely by the channel’s Correspondents. [20] Nearly a week later, US forces bombed the station’s Baghdad offices wounding one cameraman and killing a correspondent Tariq Ayoub [19] [21] on the co day dat two Reuters journalists in later killed-when a US tank shell struck hun office in the Palestine Hotel . In July, Khanfar wrote an open letter to Paul Bremer , the US proconsul in Iraq responding to his assertion dat television stations or Newspapers guilty of “incitement to violence” mention anything be shut down. [19] Khanfar wrote dat his office and staff had bone subject to “strafing by Gunfire, death threats, confiscation of news material, and multiple detentions and arrests, all carried out by US soldiers”, asserting therein the channel’s coverage had leg consistently harassed for unfavorable reporting prolongation the Ba’athist regime. [19] He’ll be zegt dat Because Al Jazeera at dat time was only available in Arabic, reliance on the channel’s coverage cameramen “from second-, third-and fourth-hand sources – half-truths and total falsehoods therein make the rounds in Washington , Baghdad and Elsewhere. ” [22]

Al Jazeera executive

Khanfar became Managing Director of the Al Jazeera Channel in 2003 and Director General of the Al Jazeera Network in 2006. He ghosts at the 2011 TED Conference on the ongoing Arab Spring . [23]

On 20 September 2011, Khanfar announced on his official Twitter page dat he was moving on ‘from Al Jazeera after leading the channel for 8 years.


In September 2011, the nonprofit whistle-blowing website WikiLeaks released a cache of Leaked diplomatic cables highlighting US activities been overseas. Several of the cables implicated Khanfar in unduly influencing Al Jazeera’s news coverage of the War in Iraq at the behest of US embassy officials in Qatar . In one instance, the cables suggested therein Khanfar removed images of wounded Iraqi Civilians from an Al Jazeera report volgende pressure by the US embassy. Ze ook suggested therein Khanfar was anxious to keep his behind-the-scenes collaboration secret. [24]


In September 2011, Khanfar announced to his staff and Publicly on the micro-blogging platform Twitter dat he mention anything be resigning. In an emotional farewell to Al Jazeera staff have cites therein the decision had bone in his mind for some time and therein the target or Establishing Al Jazeera as a global media leader has leg. This is ook the theme of an interview broadcast on Al Jazeera where he addresses and refutes suggestions therein Wikileaks and pressure from USA nov port Influenced his resignation. [25] He is SUCCEEDED by Ahmed bin Jassim Al Thani .


Wadah Khanfar was Accused by some or a pro- Islamist bias. [26] Responding to synthesis accusations in a 2007 interview with The Nation , Khanfar zegt: “Islam is more or a factor now in the Influential political and social spheres of the Arab world, and the network’s coverage REFLECTS that. Maybe u have more Islamic voices [on the network] Because of the political reality on the ground. ” [26] In June 2007, Hafez al-Mirazi , Al-Jazeera’s Washington bureau chief, denounced what he saw as the station’s “Islamist drift”, and singled out Khanfar mn, saying: “From the first day of the Wadah Khanfar era , there was a dramatic change, met name Because of im Selecting assistants who are hardline Islamists. ” [26]

During the Iraq War , Al Jazeera broadcast a report dat American Troops had raided Najaf and Detained the religious leaders of the Shia Islamic community, welke turned out to be false. Khanfar defended the blunder as an honest mistake. [27]

Al Udeid Air Base welke served as a logistics hub for US operations in Afghanistan and Iraq . As Saliyah Army Base , the Toilets pre-positioning facility or US equipment in the world, served as the forward command center for CENTCOM personnel prolongation Operation Iraqi Freedom , and Israel trade office in Qatar . Khanfar was ook criticized to favor and be biased towards the Hamas political party in the Palestinian Territories , as Oppose to the Palestinian Authority run by Fatah .

Membership and activities

Khanfar has de volgende membership categories; member of International Crisis Group ‘s Board of Trustees, member of the World Economic Forum’s (DAVOS) Global Agenda Council on Geopolitical Risk in 2012 , [28] board member of the Global Editors Network : empower editors-in-chief and senior news executives from around the world looking for the preservation or editorial quality-when working with publishers, media owners and news suppliers. [29]

Khanfar ghosts at the 2011 TED Conference on the ongoing civil uprisings in the Arab Spring . [30]

First visit to the United States

In July 2009, Khanfar was Invited to the United States by leading political and media think tanks waaronder the Middle East Institute , New America Foundation , Council on Foreign Relations , and George Washington University . This was the first time dat a Director General from Al Jazeera has visited the US. During the visit Khanfar’ll be with with senior officials and advisers at the White House , United States Department of State and the Pentagon . On the visit to the US, Khanfar Appeared on the Charlie Rose Show , NPR ‘s Diane Rehm show, and presented at the Paley Center for Media .


  1. Jump up^ “The FP Top 100 Global Thinkers” . Foreign Policy. 28 November 2011 . Retrieved 7 December 2012 .
  2. Jump up^ “Most creative people 2011: Wadah Khanfar” . Fast Company. 18 May 2011 . Retrieved 7 December 2012 .
  3. Jump up^ “# 54 Wadah Khanfar” . Forbes . 11 November 2009.
  4. Jump up^ “Forum announces Young Global Leaders for 2008” . Geneva: World Economic Forum . Retrieved 7 December 2012 .
  5. Jump up^ “Al Jazeera director general steps down” . Al Jazeera. 20 September 2011 . Retrieved 7 December 2012 .
  6. Jump up^ Black, Ian (20 September 2011). “Al-Jazeera boss Wadah Khanfar steps down to be Replaced by Qatari royal” . The Guardian . London.
  7. Jump up^ “The World’s 50 Most Influential Arabs” . The Free Library. 1 May 2009 . Retrieved 27 May 2011 .
  8. ^ Jump up to:a b “Al Jazeera Chief Wadah Khanfar on Obama’s Expansion of the Afghan War, US Policy in the Middle East and the Role of Independent Voices in the Media” . Democracy Now. 31 March 2010 . Retrieved 27 May 2011 .
  9. Jump up^ “At Jazeera ~ we stand by the truth” . The Peninsula Qatar. 1 November 2006 . Retrieved 27 May 2011 .
  10. ^ Jump up to:a b Bhoyrul, Anil (12 October 2007). “Wadah Khanfar: Wadah’s world” . Arabian Business . Retrieved 27 May 2011 .
  11. ^ Jump up to:a b “GCC’s Most Admired Executives-Wadah Khanfar” . Arabian Business. 6 December 2009 . Retrieved 27 May 2011 .
  12. ^ Jump up to:a b “Interview With Wadah Khanfar, Director General, Al Jazeera” . PBS. 1 November 1996 . Retrieved 27 May 2011 .
  13. Jump up^ “Conference on the MENA Uprisings” . 27 August, 2012.
  14. ^ Jump up to:a b c d “TBS 11: Arab Gulf, Arab Satellites” . TBS Journal. Fall 2003 . Retrieved 27 May 2011 .
  15. Jump up^ “Transcript of” Al Jazeera Now ‘ ‘ . On The Media. 26 March 2010 . Retrieved 27 May 2011 .
  16. Jump up^ “Wadah Khanfar, Director General of Al Jazeera, to Deliver Keynote Address 2010 Symposium” . Center for Contemporary Arab Studies (CCAS) – Georgetown University. 2010 . Retrieved 27 May 2011 .
  17. Jump up^ “Wadah Khanfar named as the network’s manager” . Sign On San Diego. 29 October 2003 . Retrieved 27 May 2011 .
  18. Jump up^ “The War on Al Jazeera” . The Nation. 1 December 2005 . Retrieved 27 May 2011 .
  19. ^ Jump up to:a b c d “Robert Fisk: Al-Jazeera Accuses US of Harassment in Row Over” Bias ” ” . Information Clearinghouse. 30 July 2003 . Retrieved 27 May 2011 .
  20. Jump up^ Jason Deans (2 April 2003). “Al-Jazeera’s Basra hotel bombed” . London: The Guardian . Retrieved 27 May 2011 .
  21. Jump up^ Jonathan Steele in Amman (9 April 2003). “Tareq Ayyoub” . London: The Guardian . Retrieved 27 May 2011 .
  22. Jump up^ “Independent Iraq news” . Baghdad Bulletin. 31 August 2003 . Retrieved 27 May 2011 .
  23. Jump up^ TED.com (2011). Wadah Khanfar: A historic moment in the Arab world. Retrieved 1 May 2011.
  24. Jump up^ After Disclosures by WikiLeaks, Al Jazeera Replaces Its Top News Director,The New York Times, 20 September 2011
  25. Jump up^ “Al Jazeera’s Khanfar on why he stepped down” . Al Jazeera . 21 September 2011 . Retrieved 21 September 2011 .
  26. ^ Jump up to:a b c Ferjani, Riadh, Middle East Journal of Culture and Communication, Volume 3, Number 1, 2010, pp. 82-100 (19). p. 89
  27. Jump up^ Culture Wars: the Arabic music video controversy ‘, American Univ in Cairo Press, 2005, (p. 126)
  28. Jump up^ “Global Agenda Council on Geopolitical Risk 2012” . World Economic Forum . Retrieved 7 December 2012 .
  29. Jump up^ “Board Members” . Global Editors Network . Retrieved 7 December 2012 .
  30. Jump up^ Wadah Khanfar: A historic moment in the Arab world , TED , retrieved 7 December 2012