Born a true "Jeddahwi", Al Maeena's truly free spirit and outspoken language has allowed him to become one of the most respected independent voices in Middle Eastern journalism. As former editor-in-chief of both the Saudi Gazette and Arab News, and a frequent guest on BBC, CNN, NPR and other international news networks, his knowledge about Saudi Arabian politics, history, economy and culture is equaled by his deeply human and personal point of view. In 1979, he was at the beginning of his career - and one of the very first observers who witnessed the Mecca events from very close by.