Recently I had the opportunity to attend the Doha Debates; a well-known series that is produced in Doha, Qatar by the Qatar Foundation and aired monthly via BBC World news. The aim of the debates: to enable the outside world to catch a glimpse of the issues affecting the Arab world, and provide a free forum for discussion. Launched over seven years ago, the programme – which is filmed in front of a select audience of students and high-end university scholars – identifies tough local issues and pulls in senior level politicians and academics from across the world to discuss, debate and take questions from the audience.
If we ignore the fact that some journalists are just impossible to please – I’m not naming any names, but you know who you are; at least you should do… And if you don’t give me a call, and I’ll put you straight – there are some interesting findings in the Insight/MediaSource Middle East Journalist Survey 2011. Its aim is to establish how happy journalists are with the way they receive information from both the public and private sectors, and to provide a “snapshot” of the mood in journalism across the Middle East.
Prominent Emirati commentator and journalist Sultan Al Qassemi. With such a huge following on Twitter, was he tweeting updates during the Arab Media Forum? The tenth Arab Media Forum kicked off this morning in the presence of 2,400 media personalities and experts from the Middle East region, and Arabian Bytes was there to catch all the action from Day One. After being officially opened by His Highness Sheikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, the two-day forum – which is taking place at the Grand Hyatt Dubai – began with a keynote speech by Egypt’s Minister of Culture, Emad Abu Ghazi (who attended after Egypt’s post-revolution Prime Minister, Essam Sharaf, apparently pulled out at the last minute).