Tidbits of Arabic News translated into English

Friday, June 27, 2014

Why Al Arabiya is so boring!

Whenever I watched the BBC Arabic, they would forever and anon turn to Dr. Edmund Ghareib when discussing political issues in the Middle East. Dr. Edmun Ghareib is an analyst based out of Washington DC, but he is originally Arab.

Yesterday, I was watching Al Arabiya, and who do they suddenly announce but Dr. Edmund Ghareib himself! They do the exact same thing as the BBC Arabic: he shows up via a live video connection, with the Washington Monument in the background over his shoulder.

Turns out he is a very busy man, because I was watching Al Arabiya with someone else, and she said that Dr. Edmund is forever showing up on Al Jazeera, too. So he is apparently not picky, he likes to be on all the news channels, and they all love him.

However, I think they do themselves a disservice. Whenever he comes on the air, I can't help but tune him out. I think he's kind of dull. Then again, I can never really catch what he's saying.

I learned some more things about Al Arabiya: during the coup in Egypt, they took the side of the Egyptian army. A lady who watched the coverage at the time told me that Al Arabiya actually didn't even present the side of the Muslim Brotherhood and Mursi.

Well, they are doing the same thing now with Iraq. Al Arabiya takes the side of the Sunnis in Iraq. All the time I've been watching Al Arabiya these days, I've never seen them interview anyone who represents the side of Al Maliki's Shia government.

For example, yesterday evening's program featured two guests: one was Dr. Edmund, an independent analyst, and the other was an Iranian guy, who lives in Britain and despite the fact that he is Iranian really doesn't like Al Maliki. They ought to have had a third guest, someone who took the opposite view of the Iranian. That is what the BBC Arabic always does: they have an independent person, and then they'll have two or even three other people who represent various opposing points of view. And honestly, that makes it more interesting, because everyone starts fighting! But at least they're just fighting with words.

Al Arabiya really should think about this, because their little conversation yesterday with Dr. Edmund and the Iranian guy was quite simply boring.

As for Al Jazeera, I've not been watching them; but I've just heard that although they sided with the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood and Mursi during the coup, they did at least present the side of the Egyptian army.

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