<$BlogItemTitle$> <$BlogItemTitle$>Broadcasters of Tomorrow

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Saudi Film Keif Al Hal

In 2006 on of the producers of the Saudi film Keif Al Hal spoke to film students.
The American University of Sharjah has some of the best film students in the Middle East. They've won awards and traveled to the U.S. to screen their films at the University of Southern California School of Cinematic Arts. Today in class we watched a CNN story about a film made by producers from Saudi Arabia. The film is called ‘Keif Al-Hal’ (Arab News Link). It's set in Saudi Arabia but won't be seen in cinemas in Saudi because there are no public film screenings there. Note, in Saudi you can attend a public stoning but not a film. Students got into a debate about the film and the CNN coverage. The film shows women driving, which is still forbidden in Saudi. The film also features a very aggressive, fundamentalist, brother character who meddles in his sister’s romantic life. The piece included an interview with the Saudi actress who spoke about her personal decision not to wear a veil or any traditional head covering both on and off screen. I've invited students to comment. ‘Keif Al-Hal’ has already played elsewhere in the gulf and at International festivals.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

VIDEO: Arab Sex Education and Islam

Sex education is a hot topic in the Middle East. In some regions sex education is available on Television programs. In other places it’s forbidden. Most of the students in this class didn’t receive any comprehensive, formal sex education in school. They decided to debate the issue. The video is only a short clip from a live debate.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

CNN Dubai

We visited the CNN office in Dubai in June 2006. CNN has broken international stories from the Dubai office. The offices produces video and text content for cnnarabic.com. The Office was surprisingly small but everyone looked to be very busy.

Best Arab University Survey

Which Arab University is the best? If you or your friends are studying at a University in Saudi Arabia, The United Arab Emirates, Egypt, Lebanon, Kuwait, or Qatar please take this short survey. It will help others learn about University in the region.
Egypt ¦ Kuwait ¦ Lebanon ¦ Oman ¦ Qatar ¦ Saudi Arabi ¦ United Arab Emirates

Then take one more short survey. It's your chance to tell us which is the best overall university in terms of social life, Respect for women, religious values, faculty, etc. Please take the survey and tell your friends. We'll publish the results in one month. Add us to your favorite list and check back!

Friday, September 12, 2008

Moroccan Blogger Released

The AP is reporting that Mohamed Erraji (see the story below) has been released but must appeal his two year sentence. The Paris-based group Reporters Without Borders said "the Moroccan judicial system must now hear his appeal in a proper manner. We hope the outcome will be fair."
One can only wonder about the significance of the online reaction to his situation. Blogs and Internet-based journalists were all over his story and a Facebook group was created. Curiously I didn't see the story in print (my local paper or national papers). A quick check of the International Herald Tribune and the New York Times came up with no stories.

Al Jazeera

This is the Al Jazeera video control room at their headquarters in Doha, Qatar. It's one of the best I've seen anywhere in the world! Unlike many other broadcasters in the region, Al Jazeera makes a big effort to train and hire local staff. The staff are mostly from Qatar. Other Arabic TV stations we visited didn't have as many Arabs working behind the scenes.
Al Jazeera was very accommodating. They let us poke around everywhere. We visited the Al Jazeera training centre, the 24-hour news channel and the Al Jazeera Children's Channel.
In Canada, my home, strict broadcast regulations make it difficult for cable operators to provide the channel. Consequently, many people watch Al Jazeera through black market satellite dishes.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Morocco: Blogger Arrested, Sentenced Immediately

Moroccan blogger Mohammed Raji was arrested at his home in Agadir. An article that Raji had posted on Hespress is said to be the source of the conflict. It was critical of the Moroccan King.
American blogger A Moro in America, has a good post about bloggers and the press in Morocco which, according to Global Voices, is one of the better free speech zones in Muslim North Africa.