Our Spring 2016 issue is our inaugural bilingual Arabic/English issue featuring research, columns conference reports, book excerpts and reviews, and podcasts all addressing the theme of “Media and Terrorism”. The full text is available here.
As the ramifications of the Arab Spring fade away, we look at how Arabic hip-hop has evolved since that time. Sean O’Keefe, author of the once popular but now inactive blog , offers his perspectives on Arabic hip-hop music in terms of its history, development, media coverage, and regional diversity. He also explains how Arab rappers in the diaspora and female rappers are distinct.
Isabel Bolo and Abdalla Hassan review the critically acclaimed film Clash (Eshtebak) by director Mohamed Diab. The film centers entirely on the eight square meters inside a Central Security truck packed with sundry political detainees; events occur within a single day. The backdrop is the factionalism and upheaval witnessed in the aftermath of an Islamist president’s ouster by his defense minister, when mass protests blanketed the nation.
Mara Revkin, PhD candidate in Political Science at Yale University, unveils the legal structure, recruitment, and media management of the infamous yet understudied so-called Islamic State (ISIS). As part of her research, she has conducted interviews with defectors and individuals who have escaped ISIS occupied territory. She has also interacted with active members. In the podcast, Revkin explains the legal structures of ISIS and why it is appealing to followers.
Steven Salaita, the Edward Said Chair of American Studies at the American University of Beirut, speaks with Arab Media & Society about academic freedom, tenure, and the special case of Palestine. A prolific writer, Salaita is the author of seven books including Uncivil Rites: Palestine and the Limits of Academic Freedom and Anti-Arab Racism in the USA: Where It Comes from and What it Means for Politics Today. His upcoming book is called Inter/nationalism: Decolonizing Native America.
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.
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 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.
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.