Asharq Al-Awsat

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Asharq Al-Awsat is a leading pan-Arab daily based in London, England. In 2004, Faisal J. Abbas established its weekly Media Supplement which he edited until 2009. The supplement covered media trends and developments both regionally and internationally.

During his tenure as Media Editor, Faisal translated most of his work and posted it on the newspaper’s English website. The following compilation includes a number of his articles, interviews and features from that period.

MEDIA INTERVIEWS:  

ARTICLES AND FEATURES:  
  • Satan’s Academy – June, 8th 2005. To many people in Saudi Arabia, “Star Academy” is referred to as  “Academiat Al Shaytan(Satan’s Academy)! Why… you may ask? Well, so that it would be named after its founders, the “evil devils in our world” as one Islamic ‘awareness recording’ suggests
  • Islamic Threat to UAE Unfounded – July 28th, 2005. Bloomberg.com published, on 24 July, 2005 a story about an “Islamic website warning the United Arab Emirates, the Middle East’s fourth-largest oil producer to expel non Muslims and Westerners, including the US ambassador and other US citizens within 10 days or risk being attacked
  • Jylland-Posten Editor: “We Are Indeed Very Sorry – February 22nd, 2006. Jorgen Mikkelsen, co-editor in chief of Jyllands Posten says his newspaper is truely sorry for publishing Prophet cartoons.
  • Finding a Place for Product-Placement – March 28th, 2006. Despite not being very common in the Arab world, a number of television shows have successfully used product placement. The reality TV show “Star Academy”, for example, signed an exclusive deal with Lebanon’s “Diet Center” to provide the contestants’ meals.
  • Boycott Fever Returns – August 2nd, 2006. Boycotts became popular during the second Palestinian intifada. They gained momentum during the invasion of Iraq in 2003 and came back “bigger than ever” earlier this year, after the publication of offensive cartoons in a Danish newspaper.
  • 9/11 and the birth of “Muslim Action Hero” – September 14th, 2006. 9/11 also paved the way for the first Muslim “hero” on US television networks, at the end of 2005 when the series ‘Sleeper Cell’ was first broadcast. The “hero” of this series is a devout African-American Muslim called Darwyn al-Sayeed.
  • Arab and American Media Bias: The Truth Behind the Myth – May 23rd, 2007 – This article does not seek to ‘judge’ whether the US media is biased or not, as “there is no such thing as a completely unbiased media” to start with.
  • The Kingdom: Where Hollywood imagination meets Saudi Realities  – October 9th, 2007. It is not every day that you watch a Hollywood-style car chase happening on the streets of Riyadh. For Westerners, the movie might be an interesting “insight” to a culture that is very different to their own.
  • Saudi Cuisine with an Irish Twist – November 1st, 2007. Interview with Sean “Yahya” Redmond, the Irish celebrity chef who made his name presenting a show about Saudi food, in Arabic!
  • Ghosn: Arab World Must Recognize Successes – June 6th, 2008. The Arab world harbours much potential, however needs to recognize its own successes and tackle fundamental concerns, including division and education says Carlos Ghosn.
  • World Leaders Embrace New Media – June, 9th 2008. n recent months, the Internet has been used by leaders from US presidential candidates to launch online campaign strategies to Queen Elizabeth II, who broadcast her annual Christmas message on YouTube last December.
  • Interview with Imran Khan – November 11, 2008. Interview with Pakistani cricket star-turned politician Imran Khan.
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