"Popular Arab TV Program Exposes the Real Al QaedaThis seems like a bold move for an outfit in that part of the world: but Dubai has struck me as having leaders who understand the real world, even if they don't quite approve, and are making an effort at catching up on several centuries of changes.
"The show is called 'Death Making' in Arabic, hardly the way Al Qaeda probably wants itself described.
"But that is how the powerful pan-Arabic satellite channel Al Arabiya casts the terror organization and its foot soldiers in its popular television program.
"Hosted by female correspondent Rima Salha, the Dubai-based show is heading into its third year on Al Arabiya and aims to influence how the Arab world views Al Qaeda...."
("Popular Arab TV Program Exposes the Real Al Qaeda" FOXNews (September 1, 2009))
The Al Arabiya show (third year?! not bad at all!) is one of those instances where 'those Muslims' defy the stereotype that organizations like Al Qaida and the Taliban have worked so hard to establish: that a Muslim is a religious fanatic . I hope this sort of thing catches on.
Once their petroleum reserves run out, and/or the rest of the world finds a viable alternative, many people in the Middle East will be in for a massive change in fortune. I think it'll be easier for countries there to adjust - or, better yet, prepare - if many of their citizens aren't struggling to live in the pre-Magna Carta world.
I'm no huge fan of Dubai. The country has a dubious record when it comes to freedom of expression and interference with online communications. On the other hand, Dubai's Sheik Rashid understands what a great opportunity his land has - and how little time there is to use it.
"...He knew that his land's oil was a source of great wealth that would last - a while. Looking at the few decades of prosperity that drilling for petroleum would yield, he said, 'My grandfather rode a camel, my father rode a camel, I drive a Mercedes, my son drives a Land Rover, his son will drive a Land Rover, but his son will ride a camel."...'Dubai's world-class architecture is part of an economic development plan intended to keep the people going after the oil revenue runs out. Judging from this program, it looks like Dubai's good sense may extend beyond economics. Or, maybe someone there realizes that it'll be easier to make a profit without religious crazies blowing up people and buildings.
(December 8, 2007)
Either way, if Sheik Rashid's plans work, and Al Arabiya's programming helps change minds and hearts in the Middle East: it's good news for Dubai, and for the rest of us.
- "Oh, Dear: Libyan Terrorist Traded for Oil?"
(August 30, 2009)
- "Kilometer-High Tower on Hold"
Apathetic Lemming of the North (January 14, 2009)
- "Dubai Architecture: A Photo Gallery"
Apathetic Lemming of the North (October 25, 2008)
- "Another Dubai Skyscraper: This One Spins"
Apathetic Lemming of the North (June 27, 2008)
- "World's Longest Arch Bridge Proposed - Bin Laden's Building it"
(August 27, 2008)
- "Is the War on Terror a War on Islam? Not Quite"
(December 8, 2007) Particularly
- "Different Strokes for Different Folks: How Middle Eastern Culture Deals With Reality?"
(November 2, 2007)
- "Filtering, Censorship, and Dealing With It"
Apathetic Lemming of the North (September 14, 2007)
- "The Internet: USA Rules, UAE Rules"
Apathetic Lemming of the North (August 14, 2007)