Text of report by Quds Press web news agency
[Al-Jazeera Satellite Channel Opens Media Training Centre Branch in Syria in Preparation for Possible Expansion" - Quds Press headline]
Damascus, Quds Press - Syrian media sources have told Quds Press that the Al-Jazeera Satellite Channel has opened a branch of its media training centre in Damascus in the presence of a delegation from Al-Jazeera Satellite Channel and Syrian Government officials.
The sources told Quds Press that the inauguration of a branch office of Al-Jazeera Media Training Centre could be the first step to expand the Al-Jazeera office in Damascus and transform it into a regional office. The sources said that the branch office was opened in cooperation between the Al-Jazeera satellite Channel and the Syrian Media Academy. The opening session was attended by Waddah Khanfar, director general of Al-Jazeera Satellite Channel; and Abd-al-Aziz al-Hurr, director of the training centre. It was also attended by Syrian ministers, includin! g Yusuf al-Ahmad, minister of state for Administrative Affairs Development; Talib Qadi, deputy assistant information minister; and Dr Nizar Mayhub, director of the Syrian Media Academy.
The sources said that Syrian Vice President Faruq al-Shar'a received the Al-Jazeera delegation that visited Syria. The sources said the meeting enhances the possibility of transforming the Al-Jazeera office in Abu-Rumannah Neighbourhood in Damascus that is currently run by Tawfiq Abd-al-Hamid into a regional office, an idea that was raised a short while ago but was later abandoned for reasons that have not been disclosed, as the sources said.
Dr Faysal al-Qasim, the presenter of the Opposite Direction talk show in Al-Jazeera Satellite Channel, recently participated in a seminar on the media in Tudmur. Mish'an al-Juburi, owner of the Iraqi Al-Zawra television, had said earlier in a statement to Quds Press that he, Faysal al-Qasim, and Nasir Qandil had provided media consultation s! ervices to Al-Ra'y television station that the Information Ministry ha d granted a license for transmission as a political and news channel.
Source: Quds Press news agency, London, in Arabic 4 Sep 07