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Über dieses Buch

This edited volume offers the first extended, cross-disciplinary exploration of the cumulative problems and increasing importance of various forms of media in the Middle East. Leading scholars with expertise in Middle Eastern studies discuss their views and perceptions of the media’s influence on regional and global change. Focusing on aspects of economy, digital news, online businesses, gender-related issues, social media, and film, the contributors of this volume detail media’s role in political movements throughout the Middle East. The volume illustrates how the increase in Internet connections and mobile applications have resulted in an emergence of indispensable tools for information acquisition, dissemination, and activism.



Erratum to: Media in the Middle East

Without Abstract
Nele Lenze, Charlotte Schriwer, Zubaidah Abdul Jalil

On Media Activism and Political Involvement


Chapter 1. Revisiting Cyberactivism Six Years after the Arab Spring: Potentials, Limitations and Future Prospects

Social media played a crucial role in the instigation and orchestration of the sweeping wave of political change that spread across the Arab world in 2011, which came to be known as the “Arab Awakening” or the “Arab Spring.” In this chapter, I revisit the role played by social media in aiding political transformation, a phenomenon commonly referred to as “cyberactivism,” 4 years after the eruption of the Arab Spring. I argue that social media platforms initially played a vital role in paving the road for sociopolitical transformation in the Arab world, by providing the opportunity for exchange of ideas and the formulation of collective public opinion, as well as the documentation of significant events. Thus, it encouraged civic engagement and public participation on one hand, while providing platforms for citizen journalism on the other. However, I also analyze the complex multiple factors which limited the effectiveness of social media’s contribution to the sociopolitical scene in the Arab world today.
Sahar Khamis

Chapter 2. Constructing an Alternative Public Sphere: The Cultural Significance of Social Media in Iran

Like the old media—radio, cassette tapes, and cartoons—that produced the symbols and recognitions that contributed to the successful Islamic Revolution, new media is leading the discourses that threaten the current Islamic authority. In spite of the limitations of freedom of expression, Iranians participate in making transnational discourses concerning human rights or democratization in private spheres through social media. This chapter discusses some of these narratives, which are built around the formation of alternative public and private social media spheres.
Gi Yeon Koo

Chapter 3. You’ve Come A Long Way Baby: Women’s New Media Practices, Empowerment, and Everyday Life in Kuwait and the Middle East

From the right to drive (Saudi Arabia), the freedom to vote and express themselves more openly (Kuwait), the right to fight back against sexual harassment (Egypt), and the smile as a resistance campaign (Turkey), women are using digital media to confront the state, enhance their agency, and change their life circumstances. Through this analysis of women’s new media use in the Middle East, we will examine some emerging implications for formal power relations and the role of women within them.
Deborah L. Wheeler

On Governmental and Non-Governmental Media Organisations


Chapter 4. Location, Regulation, and Media Production in the Arab World: A Case Study of Media Cities

In 1997, Egyptian Media Production City was inaugurated on the outskirts of Cairo, and in 2001, Jordan Media City and Dubai Media City were established in Amman and Dubai, respectively. Other countries followed this trend. This chapter charts the development of media cities in the Middle East and examines their contribution in creating multiplicity and diversity in the Arab broadcasting industry.
Yushi Chiba

Chapter 5. Preventing a Mobilization from Spreading: Assad and the Electronic War

In March 2,011, a massive uprising broke out in Syria. It was quickly helped and fuelled by social media: social media activists linked the different protests and collected news to spread information outside Syria. The Assad regime attempted to counter this by using different tools which allowed the regime to survive by undermining public debate till today. Their own electronic services can be analyzed not only as an element of broader partnership (with foreign experts and companies) but also as a team which is guided by self-preserving values and interests.
Matthieu Rey

Chapter 6. Spectacles of Terror: Media and the Cultural Production of Terrorism

This study examines the cultural production of terrorism by analyzing both terror and anti-terror campaigns. With the aid of information and communication technologies, terrorist groups are able to publicize their own messages, resulting in the globalization of their ideologies and an increase in the quantity and quality of their cultural production. In a perverse reversal, corporate news networks, in their constant search for content, publicize terrorist activities and sensationalize these stories as part of their profit-maximizing operations. The symbiotic relationship between seemingly disparate actors, including corporate news networks, terrorist networks, and the counter-terrorism security apparatus, means that the spectacle of terrorism is being created by both terror and anti-terror campaigns.
Suzi Mirgani

Media, Culture and Language in the Middle East


Chapter 7. Winning Hearts and Minds through Soft Power: The Case of Turkish Soap Operas in the Middle East

This chapter analyses Turkey’s soft power in the Middle East through its export of soap operas to the region. It first focuses on the rationale behind Turkey’s shift from the use of hard power to the use of “soft power” in the Middle East. In particular, the author examines the key elements of the “strategic depth” theory, or the so-called Davutoğlu doctrine, and shows how a new vision for Turkey’s international role and cultural attractiveness underlies Turkey’s soft power in the region. Then, the paper examines one tool used to project Turkey’s soft power in the Middle East: the export of soap operas (diziler). Finally, this chapter offers an assessment of the real impact of Turkish soap operas in the Middle East; it argues that while soap operas have won the hearts and minds of the Arab populations, they have nevertheless failed to increase Turkey’s actual power capacity in the region.
Jana Jabbour

Chapter 8. Locating Emirati Filmmaking within Globalizing Media Ecologies

Emirati filmmakers have produced more than 40 features since 1989. This chapter situates the question of locating Emirati filmmaking within the context of competing expectations about audience, drawing upon conventional models used throughout the MENASA regions alongside indigenous media, Nollywood, and Hallyuwood, arguing that the UAE opens our understanding of the broader region in relation to media industries and cultures.
Dale Hudson

Chapter 9. Protest Poetry On- and Offline: Trans-regional Interactions in the Arabian Gulf: An Example from Bahrain

Literature platforms, poetry on YouTube, and blogs have all contributed to the flourishing of digital literature in the Gulf. One example of the outstanding role of digital literature is protest poetry from Bahrain that also spread through YouTube. Ayat al-Qurmazi’s poetry recitation will serve as one example of hands-on activism. While political dissent through cultural production is not only distinctive for the Arab world, this is a region where the literature and poetry are more often used for these purposes than elsewhere in the world. As one of the most important aspects of online literature lies in the processes of local and regional interactions, I examine open forums and institutionalized platforms. A focus lies on dissent and state counteractions offline and online related to literary protest expression.
Nele Lenze

Chapter 10. Arabic in a Time of Revolution: Sociolinguistic Notes from Egypt

This chapter takes some examples of writing practices surrounding the Egyptian uprising of 2011 as a reference point in a broader discussion of contemporary sociolinguistic change in Egypt. It describes the ongoing reconfiguration of linguistic resources and repertoires of vernacular literacy events against the background of recurrent language-related ideological debates. Rapid vernacularization is discussed from a historical perspective and within the language-as-practice theoretical framework.
Ivan Panovic


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