September 2015

A lot can change in 10 years...

It feels like yesterday when I started my career in motoring journalism. Ten years of success. Ten years of drawbacks. Ten years of accomplishments. Ten years of hard moments. Back in September 2005, I reckon my first article (Volkswagen Beetle, Herbie the Love Bug) - time passes by so quickly! Not too long ago a friend of mine asked me a question: "What are some of your most memorable moments of your career over those 10 years?" As I look back at 10 years in journalism, certainly, it is the many great people I have had the pleasure to work, share and deal with that have made my career an outstanding one!

So, with 2015 marking the 10th anniversary of my career and my 4th anniversary as full-time Editor-in-Chief (after Ronald Balit), this seems as good a time as any to echo some of those most memorable moments.

Mentors are important to me, and I had two good ones when I joined ArabWheels back in 2005: Adel Metni (my deceased Rally driver tutor, may he rest in peace) and Reem Abou Chakra who showed me the ropes to attainment.

My first work-related trip was to the Dubai Motor Show in December 2005. During my college years, I hosted an entertaining safety campaign entitled "Automotive Show" that focused on how to avoid car accidents in Lebanon, featuring Lebanese Rally Champion Abdo Feghali. This event was covered by Al-Balad newspaper on March 28, 2008. I was then interviewed for my involvement in motoring journalism in Al-Akhbar newspaper on May 5, 2008.

I’ve been lucky enough to have met several motorsports celebrities, such as Michael Schumacher, Felippe Massa, Kimi Raikkonen, Mark Webber and interviewed Christian Klien and Timo Glock. During the 2010 Beirut Motor Show, I had the opportunity to meet Jean Todt, FIA president. I went on-the-air with a fledging radio show called "Auto Strike" on July 9, 2010, on Radio Strike. In 2011, I went on-the-air again but this time with the celebrated Sana Nasr who presents the Lebanese Lottery on TV, on Melody FM. I hosted the "Technologia" section during the "Hawa Beirut" morning show, a section all about the latest news in the automotive industry.

In November 2012, I was the only Lebanese motoring journalist to represent Lebanon as a jury member on the panel of judges at the Middle East Motor Awards (MEMA) in Sharjah, United Arab Emirates. The MEMA is the biggest and the most coveted award of the Middle East automotive industry under the patronage of Muhammad Ben-Sulayem.

You have a vision for your life? Go find or create something that drives you crazy in a good way. I sure got lucky. A deviation from the personal path I didn’t expected turned into a memorable 10 year journey. And it still feels like yesterday.

I leave you here. I hope you will enjoy our well-packed issue with first drives with the Range Rover Sport SVR, Mercedes Benz GLC and the Porsche Boxster Spyder. On the regional side, we tested the Infiniti Q70 in Dubai, and the monthly tests carefully chosen are Mercedes S400, CLA45 AMG and Honda Odyssey J. Other features are in our September issue such as the Nissan Micra Cup Edition, MINI annual ride and drive, and coverage of car fan clubs in Lebanon (Dodgers Club and Camaro Club).

You can always drop us a line on our online and social media platforms. See you next month!

- Issam Eid, Editor-in-Chief

Cover Story: Range Rover Sport SVR

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