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February 25, 2004


Issandr El Amrani

I agree with your point and Riverbend's, but one small rectification: the Saudi's actually do have religious broadcasts in English whose purpose it is to convince the world that Islam is a peaceful (or better) religion. The Egyptian Nile Satellite TV also broadcasts religious shows about religion, particularly since 9/11 as they feel that Islam has a bad image. Of course most of these shows are poorly produced and in the Saudi case hosted by fanatics. The point is, why are they spending millions on a magazine that doesn't talk about politics (Hi), the staple diet of most Arabs I know, or a state-run TV station which is the most boring thing in the world? For a hint of what is truly revolutionary in the Arab world, tune in to the light entertainment and music channels for scantily clads VJs, amorous SMS messages exchanged live on a CNN-like ticker tape at the bottom of the screen, and since a few days ago the Arabic version of Big Brother. Now that's watchable television.

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