A well-connected journalist, commentator, and master propagandist, Mohamed Hassanein Heikal crafted the message of former president and pan-Arab nationalist Gamal Abd al-Nasser and defended his legacy long after his death. Heikal’s books were consistent best sellers in the Arab world, and his political analysis was accorded respect. His influence endured the epochs of long-reigning presidents, a revolution, and its political uncertainty. Senior editor Abdalla Hassan examines his legacy.
Dr. Rasha Abdulla, associate professor in the Department of Journalism and Mass Communication at the American University in Cairo speaks with us about her work on big data, social media and the Egyptian Revolution. Together with a group of scholars from the University of Amsterdam, Dr. Abdulla conducted big data research using the contents of the “We Are All Khaled Said” Facebook page.
Why can’t the West ‘do’ long wars? Robert Hassan discusses what he terms a ‘clash of temporalities’ between a Western and secular conception of time that is rigid, and a Muslim and sacred conception where time belongs to God. He examines how extremist groups such as ISIS use digital media to give practical expression to jihadist ideology.
With over thirty years of experience as a war reporter in Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, and Syria, Kurt Pelda is well acquainted with the terrors of armed conflict. In this podcast, he shares his perspectives on the war in Syria, challenges the propaganda emerging from the conflict, and shares his personal experiences of life on the frontlines of some of the bloodiest conflicts in recent history.
A selection from the book Media, Revolution and Politics in Egypt, written by Abdalla F. Hassan and published by I.B. Tauris in association with the Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism at the University of Oxford. Taken from the first chapter of the book, this excerpt examines the evolution and limitations of press freedoms under the Mubarak regime.
In the aftermath of the murder of Italian graduate student Giulio Regeni, Basil El-Dabh analyzes how the brutal incident was covered in Egyptian media. El-Dabh points out that with the absence of local coverage, Egyptian television relied heavily on foreign reports. Furthermore, coverage was notably critical of the government response to the killing.
Andrew Hammond examines the ideological insecurities of the Saudi regime and the efforts they have made to maintain their territorial integrity. He argues that no amount of media control or manipulation can guarantee protection against the risks associated with long fragile borders like those of Syria with Turkey or Saudi Arabia with Yemen.
Veteran journalist Magda Abu-Fadil speaks with us about how the migration crisis has been covered in Lebanese media and beyond, and issues of media ethics in the Arab world. She argues that while the media is not monolithic, xenophobia has had a notable influence in how migration is communicated to the public.
This past fall, photojournalist Kim Badawi was detained and interrogated for over ten hours at Miami International Airport. Badawi, a French-born American citizen of Egyptian and Slovenian ancestry was apparently flagged for his time working as a journalist throughout the Arab world. Badawi spoke to us about the incident via Skype from Houston, Texas.
In this excerpt from a longer conversation, Abdallah Schleifer unpacks what draws marginalized youth to ISIS, articulating that just like the social revolutionary movements of the ’60s, the appeal of ISIS is not ideological, but rather existential. ISIS, he argues, offers a way for those on the fringes to transcend their marginalization, and express themselves violently. Ultimately, he says, much of ISIS’s power comes from their exceptional use of media to attract followers.
In light of the Paris attacks, we speak with The Guardian's Patrick Kingsley about the media narrative around the migrant crisis. Since March, Kingsley has reported extensively on this subject from across the Middle East, Africa and Europe. His work has been turned into a book to be published in 2016 by Faber. Kingsley spoke to us via Skype from Amman, Jordan.
In April 2014, Egypt’s then foreign minister Nabil Fahmy used a marriage simile to describe the country’s relationship with the United States. At home, the expression didn’t translate. Muhammad Y Gamal discusses the challenges associated with media translation, and makes a case for the development of a coherent media translation policy in Egypt.
Managing Editor Sarah El-Shaarawi conducts an in depth review of BBC Media Action's policy breif After the Arab Uprisings: The prospects for a media that serves the public, examining the viability of their proposed recommendations for reforming Arab national broadcasters.
We revisit our 2003 interview with journalist Yosri Fouda where he recounts his experience meeting two top members of Al Qaeda. His account offers insight into the inner workings of the organization and the challenges faced by a journalist covering such a high profile and complex story.
With the announcement of the first annual Arab Media Day scheduled for April 21, 2016, Ramzy Baroud questions the decision to hold such an event given the sorry state of media in the region. Baroud argues that the theme - "The Role of the Media in Combatting Terrorism" - is overly politicized, and offers seven suggestions for improving Arab journalism.