travelling helps ..

.. as stated so many times to widen ones horizon, to open the mind .. and discover eventually a different angle to look at things.
Cairo, Egypt – view on the nile river

So this time the post comes from Cairo, where I had the luck to be right there in time for a lecture, or better talk and discussion between and with Mona Makram-Ebeid and Hafez El Mirazi about the impact of media on public opinion: Arab media vs. Media US. Both are quite remarkable personalities in the field of political science and journalism.

Mona Makram-Ebeid is former a parliamentarian, professor of political science at the American University and was introduced as being engaged in a lot of NGO related work. An examination for better female representation in politics can be looked up here and Al-Ahram weekly has an interview with her from 2004 on her political career.

Hafez El Mirazi just has quit Al-Jazeera and his office in Washington DC to – as it got spread out during the evening – setup a new media voice here in Cairo. A short profile of him can be found at global studies or read a longer, well informed version here, again on Al-Ahram weekly.
Mona Makram-Ebeid began with an outline of the development of media in the arab world, which seemingly had an almost overlooked burst out during the last years due to the development of Satellite TV. Nevertheless it suffers from the lack of political representation and opinions, which she described as being not that much due to restrictive governments, but as well as a missing trust into media within the arabic public.

Hafez El Mirazi followed her introducing statements and questions sharing his views in this field from his manifold journalistic experiences taken from that different angles as working for BBC, Voice of America and Al Jazeera. His ability to describe and analyze the various points of views, but keep up to his opinion, made the descriptions – partly handed out with short insight anecdotes – a very rich and vivid experience. He pointed out the necessity for a strong voice of arab media and the enormous impact it could develope, if it is able to establish itself as a trustworthy source and analysis.

Both speakers agreed in the decline of analysis in western politics form the arab side and a necessity to regain that field. The same still I could agree on for the western side – as to be more careful in the repetition of pre-established opinions and reinvented clich├ęs. … thus this event was a very good experience I luckily could participate in.

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