Arabian Peninsula الجزيرة العربية

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Media on Media Roundup (February 14)

[Iranians take to the streets in memory of the 1979 Revolution; Photo by Abedin Taherkenareh/European Pressphoto Agency] [Iranians take to the streets in memory of the 1979 Revolution; Photo by Abedin Taherkenareh/European Pressphoto Agency]

This week’s Jadaliyya “Media on Media” roundup addresses several issues affecting the MENA mediascape. Iran marked the anniversary of the 1979 revolution this Friday, and the New York Times showcased some memorable posters from the procession, some of which thanked Americans who opposed the “Muslim ban.”

According to Human Rights Watch representatives, Saudi Arabia intensified its attacks on journalists and activists in 2016. Also in Saudi Arabia, young women are taking to social media to report experiences of sexual harassment and abuse, using the hashtag #Break_Your_Silence_Speak_Up.

Al-Monitor takes on Turkey’s television industry, analyzing whether digital streaming will revolutionize viewing practices and content creation in the country. On the cultural front, Tunisian artist Sarroura Libre marries past and present with a pop art exhibition that gives homage to the country’s icons.

All of these stories and more are available below in further detail.

Media and Politics

A sarcastic response to Syria's militants
Source: BBC
The manager of Syrian radio Fresh FM has challenged jihadist group Jabhat Fatah al-Sham by broadcasting sarcastic responses to the group’s demands. He has also refused their requests to monitor the radio staff’s behavior.

Iran celebrates its revolution, and thanks some Americans
Source: New York Times
Iranians took to the streets to mark the anniversary of the 1979 revolution. This article examines the memorable posters from the rallies, noting a few which thanked American protesters for standing against Trump’s “Muslim ban.”

Egypt backs Trump claim that media did not cover terror attacks
Source: Middle East Online
A spokesman from the Egyptian foreign ministry supported U.S. president Trump’s claims that Western media outlets have not reported on many “terrorist” attacks, calling for a shift in the way the international community deals with the phenomenon of terrorism.  

Infinite eyes in the network: Government escalates attack on secure communication
Source: Mada Masr
The Egyptian government has increased its efforts to intercept and monitor messages sent over the internet. The article highlights the paradox in the state’s efforts to develop its telecommunications sector and gain control over the internet, raising questions on digital freedoms.

When discussing Trump's Muslim ban, cable news excluded Muslims
Source: Media Matters For America
MediaMatters has conducted a survey of coverage of US primetime news, and as detailed in the article, found there to be a paucity of Muslim commentators on the topic

Privacy critics assail U.S. plan to collect travelers’ social media details
Source: Seattle Times
Privacy advocates in the U.S. criticized the White House plan to collect visa-bearing travelers’ social media information, noting that is unlikely to deter terrorist activities and may encourage other countries to adopt it.

Media Industries

Will digital platforms revolutionize Turkish TV series?
Source: Al-Monitor
Reports on Turkey’s TV sector note that two local platforms, BluTV and PuhuTV, will soon stream their shows online and produce original works. The report contends that the challenge remains in providing diversified content that attracts viewers given a competitive environment.

Lovin Dubai buys 7Days’ social media handles
Source: Campaign Middle East
This report indicates that holding company behind “Lovin Dubai” has purchased all social media channels belonging to the now-defunct UAE newspaper 7Days, in an attempt to acquire a broader audience.

Snapchat firm opens first Middle East office in Dubai
Source: Arabian Business
The photo and video application, Snapchat, opened its first Middle East office in Dubai with the aim of targeting regional markets.

إغلاق قناة "العرب" نهائياً بعد فشل إعادة إطلاقها
المصدر : العربي الجديد
أغلقت قناة «العرب» بشكل نهائي بعد أن تعثرت مشاريع إعادة إطلاقها في البحرين و قطر. تأسست القناة في عام 2014 و بدأت البث في العام التالي، لكنّهت أُغلقت بعد ساعات على انطلاقها بسبب تجاوزات قانونية بحسب السلطات البحرينية.

Freedom of Journalists/Expression

Saudi Arabia: Intensified repression of writers, activists
Source: Human Rights Watch
According to Human Rights Watch reports, Saudi Arabia has increased its arrest and prosecution of dissident writers and human rights activists in 2017 despite ratifying the “Arab Charter on Human Rights” which guarantees the right to freedom of expression.

Egypt detains almost 100 journalists
Source: Middle East Monitor
A new report by the ‘Arab Media Freedom Monitor’ reveals that around 100 Egyptian journalists are currently held in custody as a result of the increased systematic repression against the press since 2013.

Haunted by jail ordeal, Turkish novelist Asli Erdogan won't stay silent
Source: Middle East Monitor
Acclaimed novelist Asli Erdogan insists on remaining in Turkey despite her four month-long imprisonment, stating that the real danger in the country is totalitarianism, not sharia law.

MADA Report: 383 media freedoms violations during 2016
Source: International Middle East Media Center
In its most recent report, the Palestinian Center for Development and Media Freedoms, “MADA” noted 383 recorded violations against Palestinian media organization and professionals, 65% of which were committed by Israeli occupation forces.

Mahmoud Hussein detained for more than 50 days
Source : Al Jazeera
Al Jazeera called for the release of its journalist, Mahmoud Hussein, after being detained for over fifty days in Egypt. The Qatar-based network also condemned the inhumane conditions Hussein is currently kept under.

الصحافي القيق يضرب عن الطعام بعد تحويله للاعتقال الإداري
المصدر: العربي الجديد
أعلن الصحافي المعتقل، محمد القيق، عن إضرابه عن الطعام بعد أن قررت السلطات الإسرائيلية تحويله للاعتقال الإداري لمدة ٦ أشهر. يتعلق إعتقاله بقضية حرية الرأي و لكن لا توجد أي مستندات أو وقائع قانونية تبرر حبسه.  


Social Media

Saudi women use social media to expose harassment
Source: Middle East Monitor
A social media campaign using the hashtag #Break_Your_Silence_Speak_Up was started to encourage Saudi women to speak about their experiences of sexual abuse and harassment, given the minimal familial and societal support they often receive.

‘Cycling girls’ ride for freedom
Source: Arab News (AFP)
A group of women gather regularly to cycle in Baghdad, encouraging women and men to challenge post-war trauma through cycling. What started off as an art-project-turned-social-media-phenomenon is now a civil society movement in Iraq.

تحذيرات للملحقين القضائيين الجدد من استعمال مواقع التواصل الاجتماعي
المصدر : المفكرة القانونية
وجه وزير العدل والحريات التونسي كلمة لفوجٍ جديد من الملحقين القضائيين تجاوزت إلى كيفية التعامل مع الوسائط الإجتماعية. أثارت كلمته جدلاً كبيراً حيث اعتبر الكثير أن مهمة السلطة القضائية لا تتضمن المدونة الأخلاقية.  

Media Practices

"At least 60,000 anti-Arab Facebook posts in 2016," says Israeli NGO
Source: Middle East Monitor
The Arab Center for Social Media Advancement has published a study which finds a strong correlation between racially-charged remarks made by Israeli officials, and the rise in anti-Arab content by the Israeli public on social media, with Facebook posts reaching 60,000 in 2016.

"ناشطو" جو معلوف
المصدر : المدن
ينتقد كاتب المقال برنامج الإعلامي جو معلوف والمعايير الغير واضحة بإنتقاء ضيوفه «الناشطين»، قائلاً أنّ "الناشط" الحقيقي عليه أن يتمتع بثقافة شاملة  و لا يستطيع الإعلام تعميم المصطلح من غير أن تكون له حيثية فعلية.


For Kurds in Syria, world novels finally speak their language
Source: Your Middle East
A French novel was the first international literary work to be translated into Kurdish, as part of a broader project in Qamishli, Syria. The project aims at a linguistic cultural revival in light of previous constraints placed on Syrian Kurds.

Family Album
Source: Al Jazeera
The short film "Family Album" looks at the important role old photography studios played in the Middle East and the influence of those photos on contemporary regional struggles.

Photo exhibit explores Middle East culture
Source: Met Media
A photo exhibition at the Center for Visual Art in Denver is showcasing work displaying the diversity of Middle Eastern culture. The artists hope that the photographs provide an avenue for empathy given the current geopolitical climate.

Israeli racist chic comes to New York Fashion Week
Source: Electronic Intifada
Fashion label Ovadia & Sons debuted a menswear collection inspired by the Israeli military and football team, Beitar Jerusalem. The article condemns the designers for glamorizing Israel’s occupation of Palestine.

L’exposition «Mémoire de Tunisie en Pop Art» de passage à Tunis
Source: Jeune Afrique
A pop art exhibition by Tunisian artist Sarroura Libre gives homage to the personalities that have shaped her country’s history since the late 1930s. Libre hopes her work gives Tunisian youth a sense of optimism in a tense political climate.

فيلم «محبس»: الضحك على العنصرية
المصدر : حبر
تروي المخرجة اللبنانية سوفي بطرس في فيلمها «محبس» قصة رومانسية-كوميدية عن العلاقة اللبنانية- السورية. تمدح الكاتبة الفيلم لقدرته على تناول موضوع مهم بشكل طريف و عميق.  

مخرج و منتج "مولانا" للLBCI...و صدمة سقوط الحريات في بيروت
المصدر : LBCI
حُذفت بعض المشاهد من فيلم "مولانا" قبل عرضه في  الصالات اللبنانية  بحسب قرار أصدره دار الفتوى اللبناني. في المقتطف الملحق بالمقال، يبدي منتج الفيلم المصري صدمته بسقوط حرية التعبير في بيروت، المدينة التي لطالما اعتبرها أم الحريات لا تقمع.     


Video Game sees Daesh beaten by a female Kurdish fighter
Source: Middle East Monitor
A new video game has an unlikely lead, a Yazidi Kurd female fighter taking on Daesh, whose character was influenced by the many Yazidi and Kurdish women fighting against the extremist group.

Is Rumi an antidote for the post-truth America?
Source : The Express Tribune
Muhammad Tahir responds to a New Yorker article on Rumi’s poetry, noting that the "erasure" of Islam from his work may not make a difference to anti-Muslim views. Tahir goes on to contextualize Islamophobia within Western thought.

From Jadaliyya Media Roundups

Israeli forces raid Palestinian publishing house, trashing equipment, confiscating printers
Source: Jadaliyya Palestine Media Roundup
Israeli forces ransacked al-Nour publishing house in Ramallah, which is a common practice in the Occupied Territories. Some rights organization took the event as further evidence of the Israeli government’s hostility to Palestinian freedom of press.

Fermer sa ligne téléphonique, un message citoyen aux autorités
Source : Jadaliyya Cities Roundup
L’Orient Le Jour reports on a civic campaign in Lebanon that called for the one-day boycott of telecom companies in protest of high tariffs and obscure billing practices.

The "Media On Media Roundup" is an initiative to survey published material in the news and broadcast media that deals with journalism, coverage, or mass communication practices about the region. These roundups are produced and curated in collaboration with the American University of Beirut's Media Studies Program. The items collected here do not reflect the views of Jadaliyya or the editors of the Media Page.


About the Arabian Peninsula Page

Despite its regional and global significance, the Arabian Peninsula has played a tangential role in the study of the modern Middle East. Jadaliyya’s Arabian Peninsula Page seeks to further the debates on the region and its eighty million inhabitants from a myopic focus on statistics, conjecture, and religious violence to one on people and communities, everyday hardships and popular struggles, culture and politics. It will bring together scholars, writers, artists, bloggers, journalists, activists, and photographers who work on or live in Bahrain, Kuwait, Qatar, Oman, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, and Yemen. The goal is to provide an open and collaborative space for the production of knowledge on a region that has largely escaped critical engagement.

Arabian Peninsula Map and Stats

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Population (2016):                                         1,378,904
GDP ($US billions; 2016):                                     66.37
GDP Per Capita ($US billions; 2016):                50,300 
Health Expenditure (% of GDP; 2014):                      5
Military Expenditure (% of GDP; 2016):                4.59
Adult literacy rate (% age 15+; 2016):                   95.7
Internet Users (/million; 2015):               1.259 (93.5%)


Population (2016):                                        2,832,776     
GDP ($ US billions; 2016):                                    301.1
GDP Per Capita ($ US billions; 2016):                71,300
Health Expenditure (% of GDP; 2014):                   3.0
Military Expenditure (% of GDP; 2014):                3.65
Adult literacy rate (% age 15+; 2015):                  96.3
Internet Users (/million; 2015):               2.289 (82.1%)


Population (2016):                                        3,355,262 
GDP ($US billions; 2016):                                    173.1      
GDP Per Capita ($US billions 2016):                 43,700
Health Expenditure (% of GDP; 2014):                   3.6
Military Expenditure (% of GDP; 2016):             12.75
Adult literacy rate (% age 15+; 2015):                  91.1
Internet Users (/million; 2015):              2.438 (74.2%)


Population (2016):                                        2,258,283
GDP ($US billions; 2016):                                    156.6
GDP Per Capita ($US billions; 2016):              129,700
Health Expenditure (% of GDP; 2015):                   2.2
Military Expenditure (% of GDP 2008):                  2.3
Adult literacy rate (% age 15+; 2015):                  97.3
Internet Users (/million; 2015):              2.039 (92.9%)


Population (2016):                                       28,160,273
GDP ($US trillions 2016):                                      1.731
GDP Per Capita ($US billions 2016):                  54,100
Health Expenditure (% of GDP; 2014):                   4.7
Military Expenditure (% of GDP 2015):                13.5
Adult literacy rate (% age 15+; 2015):                  94.7
Internet Users (/million; 2015):              19.32 (69.6%)


Population (2016):                                       5,927,482
GDP ($US billions 2016):                                     667.2
GDP Per Capita ($US billions 2016):                67,700
Health Expenditure (% of GDP; 2015):                 3.6
Military Expenditure (% of GDP; 2014):              5.66
Adult literacy rate (% age 15+; 2015):                93.8
Internet Users (/million; 2015)              5.274 (91.2%)


Population (2016):                                     27,392,779
GDP ($US billions; 2016):                                    73.45
GDP Per Capita ($ US billions; 2016):                2,500
Health Expenditure (% of GDP; 2014):                  5.6
Military Expenditure (% of GDP; 2014):               3.97
Adult literacy rate (% age 15+; 2015):                  70.1
Internet Users (/million; 2015):              6.711 (25.1%)