ABF: ‘The Battle for Democracy in the Arab World’

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Organiser: Arab Broadcast Forum

Venue: Intercontinental Hotel, Abu Dhabi

Date and Time: The conference will be 29-30 April, the session will be at 3pm on 30 April.

Format: No written contributions or speeches are needed. This is more of a chat with friends and colleagues who are interested in your views. There will be contributions from the audiences and email contributions from the public. Expect your views to be challenged and be ready for lots of fun!

Language: Arabic. Ar-E and E-Ar simultaneous translation will be available for audiences and panelists. The Arabic stream will be taken for tv and radio.

Key questions: It is more than a decade since the launch of the first Arab satellite tv news channels. Have such channels contributed in developing a better understanding of democracy? Should the media promote and advocate democracy or only report the the debate? Who do satellite channels speak for? the majority or the minority? Do they represent the masses or the voices of descent? Do they reflect the range of views in the Arab World? Are they being challenged by the bloggers and does the increasing influence of Arab bloggers mean that the media failed in reflecting the diversity of opinions in the Arab World?

Moderator: Hosam El Sokkari, head, BBC Arabic Network
Featured Speakers: Abdellatif Al-Menawy, head of news, ERTU; Lawrence Pintak, director, Adham Centre for Television Journalism, American University in Cairo, Mahmood Al-Yousif, blogger and activist, Bahrain; Saad Bin Tifla Al-Ajami, academic ex-minister of information in Kuwait; Major Gen. William Caldwell, Spokesperson, Multinational Force in Iraq.

This session will be produced with live audience participation from the audience. It will be broadcast live on BBC Arabic radio and streamed on BBCArabic.com in co-operation with Abu Dhabi Television.

This is going to be very interesting indeed. I’ll blog about it from Abu Dhabi if I get the chance, but expect to hear about it when I get back. This is going to be a day trip (a very long one mind you, I’ll be leaving at approximately 5am and returning just after midnight on the same day – I hope!)

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9 Comments
  • Pamela
    28 April 2007

    Mahmood, you’ve probably heard “Rantings Of a Sandmonkey” from Egypt is quitting blogging?

    Sandmonkeys last post

  • mahmood
    28 April 2007

    What? No way! I’ll go have a look, thanks for the heads-up Pamela.

  • Pamela
    28 April 2007

    Kiitos(You’re welcome) Mahmood,

    I am very sad about this. Here in USA we take free speach for granted. There are some groups here that use the courts to try to squelch it, and some groups let them.

  • Sami
    28 April 2007

    Hi Mahmood, it is great to have you in this session.. it is gunna be a strong open debate about a serious issue.. one of the key subject in the ABF.

    Unfortunately, I won’t be able to attend the ABF- although we organise it and I was the head of the execution team- but I have some important meetings this week. I was planning to do the same thing as you are planning, to attend one or two days sharp but things are not as we wish sometimes.

    Anyway, nice to have you on this important session and thank you for being part of ABF success story.

  • Ingrid
    29 April 2007

    Well, it’s good that you’re becoming more and more a visible person. Come the trial time, it will draw a whole lot more (unwanted) international attention. Can’t wait to hear your report on this! Safe travels!
    Ingrid

  • mahmood
    29 April 2007

    Sami thanks my friend. I’m looking forward to it.

    I just wish that local airlines would fix their schedules to actually encourage inter-gulf travel!

  • Al Ain Taxi
    29 April 2007

    Hi Mahmood,

    I’d like to come along, is it open to the public?

  • mahmood
    29 April 2007

    I’ve not idea actually, but check their website for more information.

  • Sami
    29 April 2007

    Well Al Ain Taxi, I could give you a pass if you want to.

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