Al-Jazeera Channel: Star Attraction in Arab Media [Archives:2001/35/Focus]

August 27 2001

Emad Al-Saqqaf
Now we are living in the epoch of Information Technology in which media has an active role to develop awareness among people and make them more civilized. Thus, media is the reflection of the culture and civilization of nations and the mean to express their love, hatred, resentment, satisfaction and dissatisfaction. It is a window to know much about the customs and traditions of nations. In the Arab World, under the yoke of bitter reality and tragic catastrophe in the Occupied Land, in Palestine and within the weak stand of Arabs, we are in dire need at least to a media which can make Arab people more enthusiastic towards their legal right in Palestine. We are in urgent need to sacrifice our life for the sake of freedom, we need a media which arouse the indignation of the people. Unfortunately, what we see is the reverse. All the Arab channels televise all kinds of dance parties and concerts and the latest news of songs and singers, while at the same time we see with our own eyes tens of the defenseless Palestinian citizens are killed and tortured by the Israeli soldiers daily. The heart of Mohammed Al-Dorrah was riddled with holes by bullets of the colonizers, while our children watch POKEMON. In this bad atmosphere of Arab media, a new successful channel has emerged from Qatar with its serious and fruitful programs, that is (Al-Jazeera). We feel surprised to see Faisal Kasem with his program Opposite Encounter (Al-Etijah Al-Moakes), Yosry Fuda with his program, Extremely Secret (Serry Lelghaya), Ahmad Mansour with his program, Beyond Limitations (Bela Hodood). All these programs are rich in contents and provides the viewers with strong and interesting varieties. Despite the turmoil which is raised by some people, concerning the programs it delivers, it remains with its credibility and faithfulness in order to gain the confidence of the viewers throughout the Arab World. In Yemen, the Al-Jazeera channel is widely viewed by all Yemenis whether in its live programs or in its saturation coverage of activities and incidents in Yemen through its regional bureau in Sana’a. Even some people were attracted to the name of Al-Jazeera. Their small places are named Al-Jazeera. In Taiz, it is clear to see some small shops carry that name (Al-Jazeera) and its logo. We do hope that Al-Jazeera will be the shining example for all the other Arab media besides binge the beacon of truth for Arabs.