Monday, February 05, 2007

Middle Eastern news sources

If you are interested in Middle Eastern developments, I suggest that it may be worth your while to check out two English-language news sources from the Arab world.

One of them is the weekly on-line presence of Al-Ahram, an Egyptian paper well over a hundred years old. As time goes on, I am more impressed by the variety of in-depth articles they have, on a variety of subjects.

The other is the English site of Al-Jazeera, the Arab-language. In the United States, the TV version of Al-Jazeera has a reputation for being anti-American, something I am not in a position to judge for myself, but the English web material strikes me as being on a par with other international outlets.

What both sites give you is a selection of news that you won't find on US or even British sites. US coverage of the Middle East is usually restricted to the Iraqi situation and Iran's nuclear capabilities. Even Afghanistan is little covered, despite it supposedly key position in the War on Terror. Worse, American news is usually cast in terms of domestic politics, in other words, what Bush, Cheney, Snow, Pelosi or Hillary Clinton or John McCain has said about Iraq, or what they said three or four years ago (if they are playing the blame game). Even British media usually pair the words "Iraq" and "Blair."

By the way, does anyone have a good source of news from the Israeli point of view? I often look at Haaretz, a paper of good repute, but it like other Israeli media seem to be entirely obsessed with the minutiae of local politics.

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