Border Guards of the “Imagined” Watan: Arab Journalists and the New Arab Consciousness (Middle East Journal)

(Vol. 63 No. 2 Spring 2009) Media plays a fundamental role in the formation of national identity, most famously detailed in Benedict Anderson’s theory of the imagined community. In the Arab world, a media revolution is contributing to the emergence of a reawakened regional Arab consciousness. A comparison of data from the first major regional […]

Obama starts well with Muslims but must do more (The Christian Science Monitor)

CAIRO (March 16, 2009) — Perceptions are a critical piece of the foreign policy matrix. From the perception of the Islamic world, the Obama administration is ticking off many of the right boxes. First, President Obama signaled his intention to make a major foreign-policy speech in an Islamic capital during his first 100 days in […]

Lessons worth learning: The Indonesian model (Arab Media & Society)

Issue 6, Fall 2008 What a difference a few thousand miles makes. I spent the summer in Indonesia, a vast and complex nation that is home to more Muslims than all Arab countries put together. When I lived there in the 1990s, covering the final years of the Suharto era, there were many parallels to […]

Insurgent TV Coming to a Satellite Near You? (CJR.org)

(Jan. 10, 2007) A controversial TV channel that is the voice of Iraq’s anti-American insurgents looks set to open another front in the propaganda war against the U.S. The head of Al-Zawraa, which airs footage produced by the Islamic Army of Iraq, says he has finalized a deal for the channel to be distributed on […]

Cairo Ignores U.S. Request to Pull Plug on Jihadi TV in Iraq (CJR.org)

(Jan. 4, 2007) Sunni-Shia power politics and U.S.-Egyptian relations are at the center of a dispute over a satellite television station that is the latest weapon in the arsenal of Iraq’s insurgents. Al-Zawraa, an Iraq-based television version of the jihadi Web sites, is being broadcast across the Arab world by Nilesat, a satellite provider answerable […]

America’s Media Bubble (NYT/Int’l Herald Tribune)

CAIRO (Oct. 19, 2006) — The United States no longer controls the script. That’s a reality Democratic congressional leaders must digest as they seek to recast America’s relationship with the world. There used to be a time when the U.S. media wrote the global narrative. The world saw itself through a largely American camera lens. […]

The Middle East: It’s all just too darned complicated (Daily News Egypt/Turkish Daily News)

First Published: October 2, 2006 Memo: To Arabs and Muslims Re: The Middle East It’s your own fault. That’s right, the Bush administration can’t be held responsible for the mess they have made of the Middle East. You Arabs and Muslims are to blame. How can anyone be expected to develop a policy for this […]

Caught between Iraq and the hard guys (The Daily Star Lebanon)

February 28, 2006 The visit to the Middle East last week by U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza  Rice brought with it another reminder that American Middle East policy is firmly  wedged between Iraq and the hard guys. There were never any easy answers to the Middle East morass, complicated  further by the recent outbreak of […]

U.S. Middle East policy: Between Iraq and the hard guys (Daily News Egypt)

First Published: February 23, 2006 This week’s visit to the region by Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice brings with it another reminder that U.S. Middle East policy is firmly wedged between Iraq and the hard guys. There were never any easy answers to the Middle East morass. Washington’s drunken lurching in search of exactly that […]

Why all the fuss now? (Al Ahram Weekly)

16 – 22 February 2006 In a confused world of overlapping cultures, authoritarian and extremist forces often exploit the politics of difference, writes Lawrence Pintak* We just don’t get it, do we? And by “we,” I mean all of us — Americans, Arabs, Europeans, Pakistanis, Indonesians, you name it. The cartoon controversy is just the […]