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Opinion & Analysis

Obsessing over Jihadi Otherness: Radicalism’s Evolution and the Failure of the Post-Colonial Arab State

The rise of the Islamic State group (which will be referred to as ISIS), from the perspective of those in the Middle East drawn to it, rather than Europe where the French scholar Olivier Roy has proposed the idea of the “Islamization of radicalism,” can be discussed within the framework of a number of deeper phenomena in Arab societies since the mid-twentieth century.

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PODCAST | View From the Front Line

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.

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Good Neighbors, Fragile Borders

Protect your borders – one critical lesson of the Syrian war that Saudi Arabia is taking close to heart. The Syrian regime proved lethally effective in the art of crushing internal dissent. Its use of informal militias among multiple agencies of security and military, its Arab nationalist propaganda, the projection …

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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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The Counterrevolution Will Be Televised: Propaganda and Egyptian Television since the Revolution

In a short and critical read, Amr Khalifa draws attention to the Egyptian state’s influence on shaping the narratives propagated by national and local media, particularly television. Using initial coverage of the 2011 Revolution as a jumping off point, Khalifa argues that the same mechanisms for controlling the media have been used and reused by successive governments, and reflects on new limitations on freedom of expression, which he argues are more stringent than those seen under Gamal Abdel Nasser.

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Asleep at the Press: Thoreau, the Nuances of Democracy and Egyptian Revolt

Through the lens of Thoreau’s conception of democracy Matthew Crippen investigates the international media’s framing of Mohamed Morsi’s overthrow in the summer of 2013. He questions why much of the Western media and Al Jazeera adopted the uniform narrative that the ouster was a coup and a travesty of democracy, despite its popular support. Without adjudicating whether or not the overthrow was anti-democratic, Crippen posits that the reasoning undergirding the dominant opinion among media pundits that it was remains questionable.

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Mapping Egypt’s Media: State Influence in a Transforming Landscape

President of the Egyptian Radio and Television Institute Gamal El Shaer presents unique insight into the current Egyptian media landscape. Grounded in historical discussion of the evolution of broadcast, print, and digital media in Egypt, El Shaer offers lucid description and analysis of how we have arrived at the current post-Revolution media environment. This article also tackles some of the challenges currently facing the country’s media in terms of the relationship between the state and the media, ownership structures, research, and professionalism.

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