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We were there: Celebrating 150 years in the Middle East and North Africa

We started our journey as a trusted voice providing unbiased news to the world. Today we continue to do so, while also partnering with customers to share information and insight.

150 years ago, Paul Julius Reuter opened the first international branch of Reuters in Alexandria, Egypt. That dusty telegraph office, despite its humble façade, was a revolutionary outpost that used the telegraph—the latest in disruptive technology—to connect millions of people, providing trusted news and information which shaped the course of history across the decades. Throughout those 150 years, despite the political, economic and social upheavals happening across the Middle East and North Africa, we were there.

We were there when the Suez Canal was completed, connecting the Mediterranean Sea with the Red Sea, opening a pathway for trade and diplomacy between East and West. We were there when oil was discovered in the region, transforming countries across MENA into critical players on the world stage. And we were there throughout the ensuing decades, when this oil was used to finance the growth of incredible cityscapes that are now recognized as hubs of industry, commerce and culture.

But we can never forget that we were also there when we saw times of destruction which had a horrific human cost. The Russo-Turkish War. Both World Wars, which saw battles fought across the Middle East and North Africa. The Iran-Iraq war, the Lebanese civil wars, the Gulf Wars and more recent conflicts in Libya, Afghanistan, Syria and Yemen, amongst others. During these times, despite the danger, our brave journalists and photographers risked their lives to tell the stories that needed to be told.

And we continued to operate in the region, because leaving wasn’t an option for us any longer—this was our home. In our offices across the Middle East and North Africa, we had become a business that was inseparable from the community in which we lived and worked.

In 2008, we entered a new stage of our corporate history by becoming Thomson Reuters.

We began our transformation into The Answer Company, bringing together actionable intelligence from the financial, legal, tax and accounting and risk industries. As Thomson Reuters, we provide our customers with the answers to the questions that matter most, while our Reuters colleagues continue to provide the fearless, unbiased and independent reporting that is needed now more than ever.

I am incredibly proud and humbled to be a part of this organization, which has been such an important part of the development of this region. We started our journey as a trusted voice providing unbiased news to the world. Today we continue to do so, while also partnering with customers to share information and insight with them, helping to grow industry and commerce through our solutions and actionable intelligence.


Learn more

Visit mena.tr.com for more on how Thomson Reuters serves the Middle East and North Africa.

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