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Culture & Society

Front Row Seat to History: Mohamed Hassanein Heikal

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 opinion was sought in hour-long television interviews and behind closed doors in the corridors of power. His influence endured the epochs of long-reigning presidents, a revolution, and its political uncertainty. Senior Editor Abdalla Hassan examines his legacy.

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Egyptian President al-Sisi Meets with Intellectuals Amid Rising Concerns over Media Freedom

March 22, 2016—Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi initiated an open dialogue today with prominent intellectual figures, according to a statement from the President’s Office. The meeting, which was attended by approximately twenty invitees, marked the inaugural installment of a series of planned national dialogues among politicians, intellectuals, and media workers.

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BOOK EXCERPT | Media, Revolution and Politics in Egypt

With the demise of the second Arab autocrat within a month, people power seemed on the verge of revolutionizing the Middle East, a region known for its monarchs and presidents for life. Abdalla Hassan's book unpacks Egypt’s media and political dynamics—tracing events leading up to the 2011 revolution, the 18 days of uprising, military rule, an Islamist president’s year in office, his ouster by the army, and the reestablishment of the military presidency. Expanded freedoms of expression, in the press and on the streets, have contracted with the skillful reinvention of repression. This is the story of an uprising.

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Newsweek Lands in the Middle East

Last week a Middle East version of veteran American publication Newsweek was launched by the Dubai-based Pakistani broadcasting company ARY Digital Network. This marks the eighth international edition of the 82-year-old publication. We speak with senior deputy editor Leila Hatoum about the new venture. (Arab Media & Society)

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Oct. 30, 2015 – Controversial TV anchorwoman Riham Saeed resigns as channel suspends her show

Al-Nahar TV Network announced Friday the suspension of Sabaya al-Kheir TV program hosted by controversial anchorwoman Riham Saeed, who resigned amid public outrage against her for airing personal photos of a guest on her show without her permission. Last Tuesday, Saeed hosted Somaya Tarek, who claims to have been harassed by a man in a Heliopolis mall. On her show, Saeed appeared to defend the man and blame the woman, implying that Tarek "had brought it on herself." (Aswat Masriya)

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What is There to Celebrate?

It was recently announced that Arab “media experts” are planning to “celebrate” Arab Media Day on April 21, 2016. The theme for the first day of what is meant to become an annual tradition is “The role of the [Arab] media in combating terrorism”.  The mockery is surely multi-faceted. One …

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