We are not a TV station that only concentrate on those who are always under light. We are not a TV station for celebrities and for grand politicians and superstars. We are a TV station for the ordinary person. The normal people, ordinary people in the Arab world sees Al Jazeera as their voice.
Some people call it the 'Al Jazeera spirit' - courage, re-thinking authority, giving a voice to the voiceless. We have never been favored by the authority. The human being is the center of our editorial policy. We are not a TV station that rushes after stars, big names, press conferences, hand-shake journalism.
Al Jazeera is a representation of, you know, diversity in the Arab world. In our newsroom, we have every single nationality, we have every single, you know, ideology, we have every single background. However, when it comes to the screen, we have one code of ethics and one code of conduct.
I started, actually, as an analyst on African affairs, mainly on Al Jazeera. I remember the first few series were about Saudi students, and the negotiations between the government and the Sudanese rebels in the south. And then, slowly, I was speaking about Congo, Democratic Republic of Congo, Zimbabwe, Mozambique and a few other places.
Al Jazeera should understand the societies, should understand the culture of the civilisation, should understand the dynamics of the societies, should be part of this understanding; and on the other level, Al Jazeera should concentrate on the margin rather than the centre. It means that Al Jazeera should be close to the public.
There is a very deep conviction in the heart of the people who work in al-Jazeera that if it changes its editorial line, it will very quickly lose its audience. Al-Jazeera has its own style; it has more than 3,500 employees, and I don't think anyone will have the attitude of changing it because they will lose.
I started as an engineer. I migrated to philosophy and international politics. And I did my studies about African - Africa democracy and democratization in Africa, taking Kenya as a model. And then, while I was doing so in 1996 in South Africa, Al Jazeera was established. So they requested me to be an analyst on African affairs.
When the Islamic revolution began in 1979 under the leadership of Ayatollah Khomeini, it aroused considerable admiration in the Arab street. It presented a model of organised popular action that deposed one of the region's most tyrannical regimes. The people of the region discerned in this revolution new hope for freedom and change.
The international media concentrates on the famous, the big names. Al Jazeera goes to the margins, investigates stories that are still developing and in the future become very big. Why did the Arabic world love Al Jazeera? Everybody felt he was represented in the newsroom and on the screen. That kind of belonging is ours.